For more information about Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, his work, influence, family, and childhood home, visit our Longfellow website at www.HWLongfellow.org.
Within its walls lived three generations of one remarkable family that made significant contributions to the political, literary, and cultural life of New England and the United States. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882), grew up in the house and went on to become one of the most famous men of his time.
The Wadsworth–Longfellow House is also an important architectural artifact of New England's past. Originally a two–story structure with a pitched roof, it was the first wholly brick dwelling in Portland. Zilpah and Stephen Longfellow (Henry's parents) added a third story in 1815. The only single–family residence to survive downtown Congress Street's change from a mixed commercial and residential neighborhood on the edge of town to an urban business district, it is the oldest standing structure on the Portland peninsula.
Behind the House you will find the Longfellow Garden, a secluded Colonial Revival style garden that is an oasis of green and quiet in the heart of downtown Portland. Located on what had once been the domestic farmyard for the Wadsworth Longfellow family, the Longfellow Garden Club created the garden in 1926. Beautifully landscaped, with meandering paths throughout, it is open to the public in seasonal weather. To read more about the garden, visit The Longfellow Garden page on the HWLongfellow.org website.
Portland History Docent Program (PHD) is a collaborative effort by Greater Portland Landmarks, The Maine Historical Society, Tate House Museum, Portland Harbor Museum, and Victoria Mansion. Each February, these five organizations join forces to provide a twelve-week training program for new volunteer guides at each organization’s respective museum site. PHD graduates are asked to commit to a year of volunteer time at one of the five sponsoring sites. In return they receive knowledge, experience, and friendships that will last a lifetime! PHD graduates who volunteer with MHS give tours of the Wadsworth-Longfellow House. To sign up for the next PHD Program, contact Bill Hall, the Coordinator of Portland’s History Docents Program, 207-774-5561 ext. 120.