Thursday, April 27, 2017


Samuel Clemens built this gothic castle on Farmington Avenue in Hartford, Connecticut, and moved into it in 1871.

At that time, Hartford was a hub for writers and publishers.

Now Hartford is known as insurance company central.

On this day it is austere and gloomy.

Sam Clemens spent his happiest years in what he considered the perfect home, constructed to his own specifications.

But it also provided much heartbreak when his favorite daughter, Susy, died in this house at the age of twenty-four from spinal meningitis.

Sam was away at the time, in Britain, after taking a worldwide lecture tour to rebuild the family finances after a bad investment (in a printing press) led to bankruptcy.

Such was Sam's grief over Susy's death (he blamed himself, for having to be away), he would never sleep another night in this house, and instead relocated to New York City for the remainder of his life.