Harriet Beecher Stowe House, Hartford

Harriet Beecher Stowe House, Hartford (must see)

The Harriet Beecher Stowe House is a historic house museum and National Historic Landmark located at 73 Forest Street in Hartford, Connecticut that was once the home of Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of the 1852 novel Uncle Tom's Cabin. Stowe lived in this house for the last 23 years of her life. The 5,000 sq ft (460 m2) cottage-style house is located adjacent to the Mark Twain House and is open to the public. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970, and declared a National Historic Landmark in 2013.

The Stowe House is a two-story brick building, painted gray, resting on a brick foundation. Although the house is basically rectangular, it has a complex roof, with a jerkin-headed gable running parallel to the street, a hip-roof extension to the rear, and small dormers flanking a central dormer flush to the front facade. The gables are decorated with bargeboard, and the eaves have Italianate brackets. The interior of the house follows a fairly conventional center hall plan, with two parlors, dining room, kitchen, and pantry on the first floor, and bedrooms on the second.

Prior to moving into this home, Harriet Beecher Stowe had been living in Massachusetts with her husband Calvin Ellis Stowe, who taught at the Andover Theological Seminary. When Calvin gave his resignation, effective in August 1863, Harriet set to work preparing their first home in Hartford. Fluctuating costs caused by the American Civil War made the project difficult but Harriet enjoyed supervising the work. She wrote to her publisher James Thomas Fields, "I go every day to see it—I am busy with drains sewers sinks digging trenching—& above all with manure!—You should see the joy with which I gaze on manure heaps to which the eye of faith sees Delaware grapes & D'Angouleme pears & all sorts of roses & posies".

The home was complete enough that, by May 1, 1864, she wrote, "I came here a month ago to hurry on the preparations for our house, in which I am now writing, in the high bow-window of Mr. Stowe's study, overlooking the wood and river. We are not moved in yet, only our things, and the house presents a scene of the wildest chaos, the furniture having been tumbled in and lying boxed and promiscuous."

Stowe remained in the home for the last 23 years of her life. Among the works she published while living here was Pogunuc People (published in 1878). She maintained an active career; in addition to her writing, she also embarked on two lecture tours while living in the house. She also pushed for support of the local Wadsworth Atheneum and assisted in establishing the Hartford Art School, now part of the University of Hartford.

Stowe died in her upstairs bedroom in the house in 1896 with several of her children, her sister Isabella Beecher Hooker, and other family members at her side.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

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Harriet Beecher Stowe House on Map

Sight Name: Harriet Beecher Stowe House
Sight Location: Hartford, USA (See walking tours in Hartford)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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