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O. Henry Home & Museum, Austin

4.1
#5 of 18 in Historic Sites in Austin
William Sydney Porter rented this Queen Anne-style cottage in the early 1890s. Originally from Greensboro, North Carolina, he moved to Texas in his early 20s. In Austin, Porter worked day jobs as a draftsman in the General Land Office and as a teller at the First National Bank. In 1898, Porter was found guilty of embezzling money from the bank and was sentenced to five years in federal prison. There he embraced his pen name, O. Henry, and had time to write. Upon his release, he moved to New York, where he regularly published stories, among them “The Gifts of the Magi.”

The house became a museum in 1934, and in 1999 it became a National Literary Landmark. Each year since 1978, the museum has hosted the Pun-Off World Championships, a wordplay competition that has received praise from CBS Sunday Morning, NPR, and The Paris Review. The museum offers an array of programming, including exhibits, events, and reading and writing workshops for adults and children. Visitors can enjoy free guided tours highlighting Porter’s extraordinary life, while learning about the history of Austin.

The Museum is part of Brush Square Museums, three historic museums consisting of the Susanna Dickinson Museum, the O. Henry Museum, and the Austin Fire Museum. The Dickinson and O. Henry Museums assist in running the Austin Fire Museum, operated by the Austin Fire Museum Hook & Ladder Society.

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O. Henry Home & Museum Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
75 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • It is a small place, it is worth visiting and to hear the story of the writer William Sydney Porter and his family, it is quite interesting and is set to the use of that time, it is covered in 15 minutes
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  • I felt good to come inside this house and hear the story of a family and get posters as well. I saw amazing furniture and clothing worn by the family. I would go again. It's like I stepped back into t...  more »

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