Pinch Me Places: Nook Farm (Clemens and Stowe Houses)

For a wannabe writer like me, there is not much more hallowed ground than Nook Farm in Hartford, Connecticut, the site where once lived two of American letters' most revered authors. The northwest corner of the grounds holds the sprawling, unique home built for Samuel Langhorne Clemens, or Mark Twain. When Clemens and his wife, Olivia, moved to Hartford, they settled in Nook Farm, first renting John and Isabella Beecher Hooker's house and then building their own, into which they moved in 1874. In addition to raising their three daughters here, Clemens wrote his most famous books while living in this house, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The family sold the house in 1903. Today, it is a museum and is open for public tours (though the last I knew, the hours were somewhat eccentric--which seems appropriate).
Just a short walk across the lawn at Nook Farm is the Stowe house, where Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, lived with her husband and children from 1873 until her death in 1896. Several of Stowe's later works were written while she lived here. The Stowe and Clemens families were friendly and often visited each other.

It is a unique pleasure to have been able to visit these two homes in one visit, and see where these giants of American literature lived and worked.

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