Physical address: 351 Farmington Avenue, Hartford CT
Phone number: +1 860 247 0998
Business hours: 9:30am – 5:30pm daily (closed New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, July 4th, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day)
DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you buy something after clicking our link to the retailer, we make a small commission on the sale. You can read our full disclosure policy here.
PRIOR to the completion of the 25-room, Gothic-style residence (that legend holds was designed in the image of a riverboat) in Hartford, Connecticut, Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) was a persistent wanderer. Having grown up in poverty and supported himself entirely from the age of 12 years, this home represents a period of stability and success in the writer’s life.
A post shared by Stephen Milano (@milanoism01) on
Work commenced on the house in 1873, and the Clemens family moved in when it was partially completed, in 1874, having travelled through Europe in the intervening months. They remained in residence until 1891, when they again returned to Europe, this time in an attempt to recoup financial losses brought about by the failure of a printing press that Samuel had invested in. He was, by that time, quite a celebrity, as some of his best-known books, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, had been written and published during the years in Hartford.
Although the family still owned their family home in America, the death of Samuel and Olivia’s eldest daughter, Susie, from spinal meningitis in 1896 made a return to the house too difficult for Livy, and it was sold in 1903.
By 1974, one hundred years after it was completed, the house had passed into the hands of the Mark Twain Memorial organisation, who fundraised to have it restored and opened as a museum dedicated to the author and his family. More than 50,000 artefacts now belong to the collection and a new visitor’s centre was constructed in 2003 to help attract more visitors. In the intervening years, the building served as an apartment building, a school and even a branch of a public library.
Visitors and staff in the house have reportedly experienced a range of paranormal phenomena there over the years, including sightings of spirits thought to be members of the Clemens household, the smell of cigar smoke in Samuel’s billiard room, and the feeling of being grabbed at by something unseen. These have taken place both at night, and during the day.
Admittance to the museum is through guided tour only; however, there are a range of tours to choose from. Regular tours of the house run multiple times daily, with Living History Tours (provided from the perspective of individual family members, such as Susie Clemens, George Giffin – the family’s butler, or even Livy Clemens herself), whodunnit Clue mystery tours, and Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours available.
SHARE THIS POST