Places to Visit: In Search of the Great American Writers

Phillis Wheatley

Old South Meeting House
310 Washington Street at the corner of Milk Street in the heart of downtown Boston– Phillis worshiped at Old South and became a member in 1771. It’s the only surviving historic site associated with Wheatley’s life. People from different walks of life with a wide range of viewpoints still meet here for services, lectures, concerts, living history and educational programs.

Contact the museum for educational programs and visiting hours,
Phone: 617-482-6439, website:

Longfellow National Historic Site
105 Brattle Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts – In March, 1776, Wheatley visited Washington here when he used the house as his headquarters during the siege of Boston.

Phone: 617-876-4491, website:


Washington Irving

Sunnyside, Tarrytown, New York
The author designed his romantic river-front home in 1835. Woodland walks, scenic picnic areas, flower gardens, and water views enhance a visit to this national landmark. Sunnyside is open every day except Tuesday, from March to December, from 10:00-5:00. The Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow, Washington Irving’s Grave and more…

Visit the Historic Hudson Valley web site:


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Portland, Maine
485 Congress Street – The beloved childhood home of Longfellow. The house was built by Longfellow’s grandfather, General Peleg Wadsworth, after the Revolutionary War.  Visit the web site for hours, directions and information:

Cambridge, Massachusetts
105 Brattle Street –The Longfellow’s home for 45 years is now a National Historic Site. General Washington used the house as his headquarters during the siege of Boston. Visit the web site:

Sudbury, Massachusetts
Longfellow’s Wayside Inn – established in 1716, inspired Longfellow’s popular poem, Tales of a Wayside Inn. Visit the web site:


Emily Dickinson

The Emily Dickinson Homestead
280 Main Street, Amherst, MA 01002 – Call for times and dates when the Dickinson Homestead is open to the public: 413-542-8161. Visit the wonderful website at:

The Jones Public Library
43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA 01002 –  Includes a major collection on Dickinson including manuscripts, early editions, photos, videos, and a miniature of Emily’s room. Call: 413-256-4090.


Louisa May Alcott

Orchard House
399 Lexington Road, Concord, Massachusetts 01742 – The beloved Alcott home, twenty miles west of Boston and one mile east of Concord Center, reflects the period of the family’s occupancy, 1858–1877. Orchard House is open year-round and is shown by guided tours. Visit the web site for a wealth of information:

Walden Pond State Reservation
915 Walden Street, Rt. 126, Concord, MA 01742 – In 1845 Thoreau went to live and work at Walden Pond. Visitors can see a copy of Thoreau’s cabin. They can also hike, picnic, swim, fish, canoe, and cross-country ski on the 411 acres. E-mail:

Fruitlands Farmhouse
102 Prospect Hill Road, Harvard, MA 01451 – In 1843 Bronson Alcott took his family to “live off the fruit of the land.” The utopian experiment lasted seventeen months. Visit the web site for information on the site:


Mark Twain

Boyhood Home
208 Hill Street, Hannibal, Missouri. There are many fascinating sights in town from Twain’s restored home to cave tours – all found at Visitors Center, 573-221-2477.

Quarry Farm
Elmira, New York: the summer home and birthplace of the Clemens daughters, Susy, Clara, and Jeane, is not open to the public. See exhibits and his octagonal study at Elmira College,, Quick Links, Twain.

Mark Twain House
351 Farmington Avenue, Hartford, Connecticut. Mark and Livy raised their family in this extraordinary house atop a hill not far from downtown Hartford. Find information at or call: 1-860-247-0998.