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The Wadsworth-Longfellow House, Portland

4.4
#1 of 6 in Historic Sites in Portland
Garden · Historic Site
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The Wadsworth-Longfellow House is a historic house and museum in Portland, Maine, United States. It is located at 489 Congress Street and is operated by the Maine Historical Society. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962, and administratively added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. The house is open daily to public from May through October (half days on Sundays). An admission fee is charged.
The house has both historical and literary importance, as it is both the oldest standing structure on the Portland peninsula and the childhood home of famous American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882).
American Revolutionary War General Peleg Wadsworth built the house in 1785–1786, the first wholly brick dwelling in Portland. Wadsworth raised ten children in the two-story structure with a pitched roof before retiring to the family farm in Hiram, Maine, in 1807. His daughter Zilpah and her husband Stephen Longfellow IV were married in the house.
Their son, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, was born nearby at the home of an aunt, Stephen's sister, on February 27, 1807. The home was a three-story Federal architecture-style home at the corner of Fore and Hancock Streets. Young Longfellow did not move with his parents to the Wadsworth-Longfellow House until he was eight months old, but spent the next 35 years there. The Longfellows added today's third story in 1815. Make The Wadsworth-Longfellow House part of your personalized Portland itinerary using our Portland trip app.
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The Wadsworth-Longfellow House reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
291 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Fantastic tour of this historic home. It was a self guided tour that had audio capabilities but the docents that were in the house offered amazing stories about the history of the home and the... 
    Fantastic tour of this historic home. It was a self guided tour that had audio capabilities but the docents that were in the house offered amazing stories about the history of the home and the...  more »
  • Call before you go. We went here at 2:45 on a Monday afternoon and they would not let us in. They said a group had shown up unexpectedly from NYC and rather than let us go to the gardens first and... 
    Call before you go. We went here at 2:45 on a Monday afternoon and they would not let us in. They said a group had shown up unexpectedly from NYC and rather than let us go to the gardens first and...  more »
  • We visited here on a Saturday around 1:00pm. It was not very busy at all. You have to get the tickets next door at the Maine Historical Society. There was a “mask required” sign, but my husband and I....  more
    We visited here on a Saturday around 1:00pm. It was not very busy at all. You have to get the tickets next door at the Maine Historical Society. There was a “mask required” sign, but my husband and I....  more »
Google
  • The two main Wadsworth-Longfellow houses (this and the house in Boston) are unusual in the sheer volume of original artifacts. What distinguishes this house is the rather professorial mien of the guides. Taken in total, it is easy to gain a deeper appreciation for America's most popular poet during the 19th century.
  • We really enjoyed our visit. It is a gorgeous place. Kudos to the staff who put their hilarious spin on the "do not touch" signs! I pretty much went on a treasure hunt, looking for one in each room! Our guide was wonderful,too.
  • The exhibit on clothing was okay- some specifics to Maine and Portland but I felt like it was similar to many other exhibits I have seen. Didn’t think it was worth the admission fee given that it is a very small museum and house.
  • We like to visit a historical society whenever we get a chance because we like learning about the community's history. There's a great food exhibit in the gallery that was really interesting and informative. You can even turn into a Portland Italian sandwich which is obviously for kids, but naturally I couldn't resist. You can also visit the Wadsworth-Longfellow House next door.
  • We wanted to visit a museum in Portland that is focused on local history and this was the only one that fit the bill. It was small but quite interesting. It gave us a glimpse of Maine’s past and present through two exhibitions. The first, called “Trade Banners and the Crafts That Built Maine” presented the various trade associations from the mid-1800s, whose collective output was vital to the state’s economy. The second, called “Spark! Maine ART Stories”, showcased the work of contemporary local artists and what Maine means to them. The museum has a nice gift shop offering coffee table books and souvenirs. We stayed for an hour.

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