Find your inspiration at 105 Brattle Street! Join us in a fresh exploration of American history through the arts, scholarship, stewardship, and community.
October 9, 2022 marks 50 years since the establishment of Longfellow National Historic Site. To mark half a century, we’ll celebrate past achievements and introduce new ways to find meaning and care for this nationally significant site. Please check this page regularly for updates and special 50th anniversary offerings!
“The Past and Present here unite.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published these words, which open the second verse of “A Gleam of Sunshine,” in 1866.
Envision the poet writing from his Georgian home, just outside of Harvard Square. Longfellow knew the history of his house, built in 1759 for both free and enslaved members of the Vassall families before General Washington occupied it as his first headquarters of the American Revolutionary War. The historic home inspired and influenced Longfellow, as he penned tales that drew upon the very history and life that surrounded him.
Yet, Longfellow never could have known that his words – The Past and Present here unite – would ring true in his home long after his lifetime.
With great foresight, Longfellow’s children established a trust, which preserved their family home as a memorial to Washington and Longfellow. The trust transferred the property to the U.S. National Park Service in the 1970s. In the 50 years since, dedicated community partners, scholars, and staff researched, preserved, and interpreted the site. Their work transformed the site from a private home into the vibrant public gathering place that it is today.
Now, we have the honor of writing the next verse together, as we now mark the 50th anniversary of Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site as a unit of the National Park System.
Over the next year, we’ll celebrate the many achievements that have shaped the site into a dynamic community resource, tourist destination, and center for scholarship. We’ll also continue to peel back the layers of history for an even deeper understanding of 105 Brattle Street’s place in Cambridge history, in U.S. history, and in world history. And we’ll work to make the Longfellow House more welcoming and accessible to all.
Please join us in 2022-23 as we explore Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters anew through the arts, scholarship, stewardship, and community!
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Celebrate All Year LONG
Join in the celebration, both onsite and online!
Behind the scenes, we’re also working to:
Last updated: September 5, 2022