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The Wadsworth-Longfellow House and Portland

"It is but right that the house should belong to the public… Henry always loved the old home above any spot on earth, visiting here on frequent intervals."

-- Anne Longfellow Pierce from the Lewiston Journal, 1893

Wadsworth-Longfellow House Nearly Hidden
Wadsworth-Longfellow House Nearly Hidden

Item Contributed by
Maine Historical Society

When Peleg Wadsworth built his house in 1785, what is now Congress Street in Portland was on the rural outskirts of the community known as Falmouth.

By the early 1800s, the house was at the center of a thriving New England city. Since then Portland has expanded, burned, and undergone dramatic changes, many of which reflect patterns of growth seen in other American cities.

The house, through all the changes of the city surrounding it, stayed much the same after 1814, except that, in 1901, it changed from a private residence to a historic house museum, preserving the history of the Wadsworth and Longfellow families.

This site explores the history of the Wadsworth and Longfellow families who, from 1785 to 1901, inhabited the the house Peleg Wadsworth built, and explores the ways the surrounding city evolved.