The Mark Twain House & Museum – Hartford, Connecticut - Atlas Obscura

The Mark Twain House & Museum

The former home of Samuel Clemens and family remembers the happiest period of the author's life. 


Finished in 1874, the Mark Twain House & Museum was built by the author to serve as a home for he and his wife, but financial troubles and the death of one of their children eventually made the house unlivable.

Twain had the Neo-Gothic mansion built in 1873, near the height of his literary fame and wealth. The large estate house featured intricate detailing across the exterior including gabled roofs and picketed red spokes across the spacious porch. The interior of the home had rooms for his wife and all of his children, and a number of rooms devoted to luxury space. The interior was designed with input from Twain and featured an idiosyncratic layout. It is even rumored that the house was built to resemble a riverboat, although this is not readily apparent.

While he lived in the house, Twain penned many of his most successful works including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. His time at the Connecticut house were some of his happiest, but they were not to last.

After losing a great deal of his money by investing in a shoddy printing press, Twain and his family were forced to move to Europe in 1891. Later on when Twain’s fortunes once again turned, one of his daughters passed away. The memory of the lost child was too much for Twain’s wife and she was unable to return to their Connecticut home. Thus the grand house was sold.

Today the house has been marked a national landmark and has been restored to the opulent condition it was in when inhabited by Twain and his family. A museum was added during renovations and now visitors can not only learn about the author, but step right into his shoes.  


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