As soon as writer Mark Twain set foot in Hartford, Connecticut he fell in love with the place. Mark Twain instantly knew that he wanted to build a lavish home in genteel Hartford where he could write and raise his family in comfort and style. In 1873, Twain enlisted New York architect Edward Tuckerman Potter to build a sprawling neo-Gothic mansion.
Mark Twain’s dream house included an expansive billiards room used for writing, drinking, and entertaining rowdy male guests. The billiards room was the ultimate proto-man cave. Mark Twain’s wife and daughters were not allowed to set foot in his manly writing nook.
Thankfully, the ladies of the Mark Twain house had their own space. The house featured a roomy nursery and playroom where Twain’s wife Olivia tutored the children, and staged fanciful games and make-believe safaris in which Mark Twain would often participate.
Mark Twain wrote several of his most celebrated works in the opulent Hartford home, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Sadly, financial strain caused by an iffy investment and the death of Twain’s beloved daughter Susy prompted his family to flee their dream home and move to Europe in 1891. In the early 1900s, Twain sold the opulent home which had once been his pride and joy.
In addition to the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut, Mark Twain enthusiasts can also visit Hannibal, Missouri where Twain spent much of his childhood. The riverboats, caves, and streets of Hannibal Missouri served as the inspiration for some of Mark Twain’s most vivid characters, including Tom Sawyer.
The lavish Mark Twain House in Hartford offers visitors the chance to view the living space of one of the most revered writers of all time. Budding writers will surely gain inspiration from paying a visit to the house which gave us Tom Sawyer.
Photos by Cliff/Flickr
351 Farmington Avenue
Hartford, Connecticut, 06105