NewEnglandTravelPlanner.com Logo   Longfellow House, Cambridge MA
Once Washington's headquarters (he and Martha celebrated their 17th wedding anniversary here), the furnishings are from Longfellow's time.

 

 

Those interested in 18th-century American Revolutionary War history and the 19th-century Cambridge literary scene will want to visit the Longfellow House-Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site at 105 Brattle Street, a 10-minute walk northwest of Harvard Square (map).

Built in 1759 by Major John Vassall, it was used by General George Washington as his military headquarters during the Siege of Boston (July 1775-April 1776).

Some decades later, Mrs Andrew Craigie took in boarders (mostly Harvard professors), and among them was poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, starting in 1837.

Soon after moving to the house, he and Fanny Appleton were married, Fanny's father bought the house for the young married couple, and the poet lived here until his death in 1882.

Virtually all of the Longfellows' belongings and furnishings are still here, as they left them when they died, for the house was occupied by their descendants until the early 1970s.

It's an elegant and beautiful house, and yet still warm and homey, a treat to walk through. The National Park Service guides who take you through, give you a good introduction to the life, times, styles andliterary world of the mid-1800s, when America was searching for its national—and especially cultural—identity.

Longfellow House sponsors concerts every two weeks on Sunday afternoons in summer, on the lawn, free, and open to the public.

From Brattle Square (a few steps from Harvard Square), take Brattle Street, and after about five blocks look for the big yellow house on the right-hand side (map).

Longfellow House-Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site
105 Brattle Street
Cambridge MA 02138
Tel 617-876-4491

—by Tom Brosnahan


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Longfellow House & Washington's HQ, Cambridge MA

Longfellow House, George Washington's headquarters and Henry and Fanny Longfellow's home, in Cambridge MA.

 

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