There is so much history in the New England area that one can spend years walking by a major historic site without actually "seeing" it. This was the case for (some of) us with the Longfellow House on Brattle Street in Cambridge.
The Longfellow house predates the Revolutionary War. It was owned by a loyalist named Vassall, but the family abandoned the house when the situation for the loyalist faction became too grave. Washington took over the dwelling during the war, and it was used as headquarters for the Continential Army. Longfellow moved into the house in 1843. It was given to him and and his wife Francis by his father-in-law Nathan Appleton as a wedding gift.
The house is open to the public for tours Wednesdays through Sundays. Tours are given at 10:30 and 11:30 in the morning, and at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, and 4:00 in the afternoon. The gardens and grounds are open to the public from dawn to dusk every day.
Most know the name Henry Wadsworth Longfellow by his poems from English class such as "Paul Revere's Ride," "The Song of Hiawatha," and others. What most don't know about Longfellow is his strong support of civil rights, women's rights, and the education of children.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow filled the mansion with objects reflecting his interest in other cultures. European and Asian artwork, furniture, decorative objects and books are found throughout the house. The contemporary Longfellow house was a cosmopolitan home.
One of the amazing things about this historical site is that the house, the furnishings, and the contents are original. It really gives visitors an excellent glimpse into what it was like when Longfellow had lived there. Especially if the ranger giving the tour loves the house!
If you live in Cambridge and have not been by the Longfellow House, take the tour this weekend. If you are coming from out of town, you shouldn't miss it. Just head to Brattle St. in Cambridge, look for the big yellow house. [Permalink] - Longfellow National Historical Site