In my childhood bedroom, a pink, handmade dollhouse sat adjacent to my rod iron bed. Countless hours were spent creating storyline after storyline that centered around my barbies and their adventures within the wallpapered rooms. Many years later, walking on the path from the visitors center to the Mark Twain House and Museum, I felt like I was approaching a life-size version of that very same dollhouse that sat in my room.

This week’s Secret of SoCal is The Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, CT.

During the mid-to-late 1800s, an explosive literary movement took place in Hartford. When Twain and his family moved from Buffalo, NY to Hartford, CT, they built a custom house. Memories and innumerable classics were crafted within the walls of the Twain residence. Some notable novels written in Hartford were The Prince and The Pauper, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and A Tramp Abroad.

Every knook and cranny of the Twain residence was one of a kind; each room had stenciled patterns and ornate trinkets. Not to mention, the Twains had countless pieces of carved furniture shipped from Europe. The different rooms breeded creativity and transported me to a different time, allowing me to easily picture Twain’s hours spent crafting his best works.

In 1891, Twain and his family sold their house for half of the original value due to financial turmoil. After the family moved, the house served many different purposes such as an apartment, a library, a school and eventually, the museum.

Tours of the house last approximately 45-60 minutes, and tickets can be purchased at the visitor center or online. Photography is only allowed on the exterior of the house, thus my pictures don’t do the Twain residence justice.

Although the literary movement eventually migrated to New York City, its time in Hartford left a historic mark. I highly recommend visiting the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford to learn more about the rich history.

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