Photo of Longfellow House Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site in Cambridge, MA, US
Photo of Longfellow House Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site in Cambridge, MA, US
Photo of Longfellow House Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site in Cambridge, MA, US
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Longfellow House Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site

Historic Site

the national park service • revolutionary war • house tour • original furnishings

105 Brattle St
Cambridge, MA 02138, US
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Longfellow House Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site has 20 Tips

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  • Photo of Cheryl A
    4 months ago
    Recommended to visit. This is a FREE National Park. You have to park across the street from the house, no parking on the property. There is a nice park to have lunch and view the House. In the park is a bronze statue of Longfellow in front of a marble relief with characters from his work. House was built in 1759 for loyalist John Vassall who inherited land along King’s Highway in Cambridge when he was 21. He fled the area at the beginning of the American Revolutionary War because of his loyalty to the King of England. In July of 1775 General George Washington arrived to command the Continental Army, using the Benjamin Wadsworth House at Harvard College as his headquarters. However, he decided he needed more space for his staff & moved in the Vassall House on July 16, 1775. He used the house as his headquarters & home until leaving on April 4, 1776. Andrew Craigie purchased the home in 1791. Before marrying Elizabeth Nancy Shaw, Andrew installed gardens, a greenhouse & an icehouse. With all the renovations, he left his wife in a financial situation at the time of his death in 1819 forcing her to taken in boarders. Longfellow took a job at Harvard College as a Professor of Modern Languages & of Belles Lettres. He rented his first room from Professor Stearns on Kirkland Street, he disliked the place, & sought other accommodations. In 1837, his rented the second-floor room from Elizabeth Craigie. 1843, Nathan Appleton purchased the house after Elizabeth Criagie died & give it to Longfellow as a wedding gift for marrying his daughter Frances, which he paid $10,000 for the home. Longfellow was proud of the connection to Washington. In 1882 Longfellow died & his daughter Alice Longfellow was the last of children to live in the home. To the left of the Longfellow House was the Oliver Hastings House (yellow house) built in 1844. Joseph Gilbert Thorp married Annie Longfellow & lived in this house Brown house, Edith Longfellow Dana who married Richard Henry Dana III. Richard was the son of Richard Henry Dana an author & friend of Longfellow’s.
  • Photo of Catherine M
    5 months ago
    The Longfellow House is beautiful. The gardens were lovely. So often this time of year gardens are somewhat bare, but this on e was in bloom and beautiful. The Tour of the house was conducted by an enthusiastic young Park Ranger. So many times these tours are rushed. This was not the case. Very enjoyable. Would highly recommend this for a relaxing excursion.
  • Photo of maec1
    5 months ago
    Tour guides really do a good job. Did not plan on this but Harvard was a bust. Fantastically preserved and lots of history.
  • Photo of Megs017
    5 months ago
    This house was awesome!! They have free guided tours on the hour that are very informative. Most of the items in the house are original, which you don't see in many places.
  • Photo of SunshineW3239
    5 months ago
    One of my favorite pastimes is visiting historic homes. Longfellow House is one of the best I have seen. The furnishings and artwork are beautiful and the history that has occurred in its rooms is awe-inspiring. Our tour guide was knowledgeable and told us many entertaining anecdotes about both the Longfellow family and the Washingtons. There is also a lovely formal garden on the property. I will definitely visit again.
  • Photo of Germanshepherdmama
    6 months ago
    Wasn't necessarily a Longfellow or Washington aficionado, but really enjoyed touring this historical home. The National Park Service does a great job with their tours (about 30-45 minutes total) and the rangers even showed our kids how to play historical children's games out on the pleasant front lawn. This was a peaceful and interesting side trip away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Boston.
  • Photo of scampi745
    6 months ago
    Really enjoyed time here. Visitors center staff friendly and welcoming. Took house tour (Anthony) and walking tour (Anna) about neighborhood times leading to revolution. Both very informative. House has many beautiful original objects. I enjoyed seeing a portrait of young Longfellow. Ranger stressed this was a home for family. Washington headquarters for about 9 months. Only quibble was brochure reference to 'staff'. If Martha brought staff with her, they would have been slaves. Nice gardens too.
  • Photo of Keith T
    7 months ago
    Didn't know much about Longfellow before this and know more now. Tour guide really was excited about him though. Essentially got a tour of the house with this lady and learned all about Long fellows life. Washington did stay here for a short time and that was some of the allure. Walk through the house but nothing too crazy here
  • Photo of bill d
    7 months ago
    We stumbled upon the house last week while in Cambridge. What a great experience. We learned a great deal about Longfellow and George Washington (he used the house as a headquarters). The guide (Anthony) was extremely knowledgeable and interesting. The house is well furnished in the period. The tour is free.
  • Photo of TravelLover0602
    8 months ago
    This is one of the few tours I have been on that has authentic pieces from the family! So many originals and it was a great FREE tour that lasted about an hour. There is some mention and reference to George Washington using it as his headquarters briefly. However, most of the tour is about the Longfellow family and their history. The garden was beautiful and a sight to see. It's worth a visit.
  • Photo of Jill F
    8 months ago
    An excellent informative tour in a beautifully preserved house situated in a manicured garden. Garrett the guide was exceptional and very inspiring.
  • Photo of L8R
    9 months ago
    We loved walking around the gardens here. We were disappointed that the house itself was not open, but the garden tour was worth it. Hopefully the home will be open next time!
  • Photo of Didi-3950
    10 months ago
    Longfellow House is one of my favorite spots in Cambridge. The house is in pristine condition and the gardens are impeccably maintained. It's a short walk from Harvard Square. Once you enter the back yard you could swear you are somewhere out in the countryside. Serene and chill. Located on Brattle Street the neighborhood is stunning. Tory Row is located here, one home is more stately and grand than the next. FABULOUS! I visit a few times per year and it has NEVER been crowded. It should be mobbed!!! Inside you can view the chair made out of the spreading chestnut tree referred to in Longfellow's The Village Blacksmith poem, and was presented to him by the children of Cambridge. This dude also wrote The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere poem. He deserves some serious cred. General Washington used this home as headquarters of the Continental Army for a time. How can you top that??? Martha Washington lived here. Lots of famous people gathered here, for example, John Adams. Longfellow taught at nearby Harvard College and even if you are not a Longfellow fan this place will knock your socks off. Admission is free as the home is run by the National Park Service. Guided tours only. Call or Google first. NOT open year round.
  • Photo of Nick V
    a year ago
    The NPS does an amazing work preserving this mansion and telling it's story. It was fascinating to stand in the rooms that Washington once occupied as a general in the Revolutionary war. The house has changed hands several times, with each owner leaving their mark or expanding on the house in some way. The garden was very pretty as well. We went on a small guided group tour and learned an incredible amount of detail from the knowledgable guide. I would like to return as the NPS offers several different themed tours of the house and grounds. If you have time, I also recommend taking a walk through the quiet leafy streets around the house. There are many other beautiful old homes that are nice to look at.
  • Photo of Deborah S
    a year ago
    It looks very pretty from outside. I think it reopens in May. The street itself is full of beautiful houses. Worth walking along the street and looking at the garden of the house.
  • Photo of Dale H
    a year ago
    My wife and I recently visited Longfellow House operated by the US Park Service. The tours of the house are free and well worth it. It was in the family until 1913 and is preseved to the date Longfellow died with all the furnishings that were there when he died. The tour guide describes how the house looked when Washington used the house as his headquarters for seven months after the battle of Bunker Hill and then tells you the changes made by Longfellow during his time there. It was great to see a period house like it was when built and furnished.
  • Photo of Ron R
    a year ago
    We were able to visit the Longfellow House recently. We were very impressed with our tour guide's knowledge. Much information on Longfellow. Washington was only in the house for 9 months during the war, but he gets top billing. Most of the furnishings were original thanks to family keeping it until it became part of parks service. This is a must visit while in Cambridge. Only issue is parking. Only legal parking is in garages near Harvard, but it's a short walk.
  • Photo of Rachel D
    a year ago
    I had no idea this house existed until the tour guide at the Nicols House Museum in Beacon Hill (also a good visit) told me about it. I'm glad she did! It was free admission to go on the guided tour (no self guided tours). The guide was very knowledgeable and told us a lot of history about the house itself as well as the art and furnishings. Very interesting, but I'm not sure kids would enjoy going.
  • Photo of M J
    a year ago
    Beautiful grounds and area to explore the basis of George Washington's Headquarters during the American Revolution and the home of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Lovely gardens, interior has been upkept wonderfully, and best of all, it's a National treasure! Within walking distance to Harvard, Radcliffe and several other universities. Park Rangers are very helpful and friendly!
  • Photo of HowardB C
    a year ago
    This is an uncrowded, not-too-big National Historic Site with guided tours by great Park Service employees. It is BOTH the headquarters of Gen. Washington during Revolutionary War and later the home of famous 19th Century writer Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Dripping with fascinating history and wonderfully run. Only takes 60 to 90 minutes to see it all.

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