Longfellow's Home, Cambridge, Mass.

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
This fine colonial house stands on Brattle Street, Cambridge, not far from the elm under which Washington took command of the Continental armies. The house had a history before the poet, Longfellow, took it for his home. It was built about 1745 by Colonel Vassal. It was the home of the Traceys, the Lees, and the Craigies. It is still called the Craigie House. Washington had his headquarters here when the British troops held Boston. It is a center for visitors today, however, largely because of its connection with Longfellow. You will recall that the poet was born in Portland, Maine, in 1807. He was graduated from Bowdoin College in 1825. After studying languages in Europe for three years, he returned to teach in Bowdoin. He was connected with Bowdoin until 1836, when he took the chair of Romance Languages at Harvard College, Cambridge. From that time until his death, March 24, 1882, he lived in this house. It was here that he wrote his most famous poems. Some of these you know very well. The "Psalm of Life," "The Wreck of the Hesperus," "The Village Blacksmith," -it would take a page to list only the familiar titles. He is looked upon as the great American poet of the common people. His verses are simple and musical. Some of his finest themes were on subjects gathered on Boston. If you will read "The Children's Hour," you can picture his own three children trooping down the stairs to his study in the room to the right of the entrance on the lower floor. Here, on one of his birthdays, the school children of Cambridge presented him with a chair made from the "spreading chestnut tree." Keystone ID: 11686 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.