Maine Historical Society and the Wadsworth-Longfellow House, Portland

Categories: Historic Sites, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.5/5 based on 170+ reviews on the web
The Wadsworth-Longfellow House is an 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.HistoryThe 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.
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  • The home and grounds are very well attended and the house is maintained as it appeared when Henry lived there as a boy and young man. 
  • An unexpected and pleasant surprise to learn that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was a native of Portland and a visit to this location is well worth of anybody's time. 
  • I expected a typical boring walk around a mansion, but our tour guide was so animated and knowledgeable that this was actually fun, 
  • $8 for adults or $7 if you're a AAA member for the museum, this didn't include a tour of the house. The museum includes great photos and lithographs from the inception of Portland Maine until today. You also get access to a historical photo collection next door which contains some great early photos of the city and its residents. There is a great little garden behind the house that's free to visitors.
  • This was a really great introduction to the history of Maine, and the estasment of Portland. The guides and museum shop attendant was very knowledgable and friendly. I highly suggest checking out the collection of letters and Declaration of Independence.
  • Adjacent to the Maine Historical Society building, the Longfellow house is accessible only via an hour-long guided tour. Admission to the tour is $10 with a AAA discount, which also grants you access to a small civil war museum with highlights on Maine's involvement in the war. Our tour guide was Terri, who was clearly well-versed (pun intended) on Wadsworth Longfellow's poetry, slinging a few rhymes throughout our tour. She always had a smile on her face and was genuinely interested in the history of the house and of the surrounding area. Maybe not a "must-do" but it's certainly a destination that's unique to Portland, and a great way to toss in some history amongst a day of shopping and dining around beautiful Portland.
  • Rich and relevant. Great exhibit and love the house! Very interesting Museum Store with many electic book titles and gifts.
  • Like going back in time and Living Small and smart. That Way they where .
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