Longfellow House Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site, Cambridge

4.7
#17 of 70 in Things to do in Cambridge
Historic Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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The Longfellow House–Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site (also known as the Vassall-Craigie-Longfellow House and, until December 2010, Longfellow National Historic Site) is a historic site located at 105 Brattle Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was the home of noted American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow for almost 50 years, and it had previously served as the headquarters of General George Washington (1775–76).

The house was built in 1759 for John Vassall, who fled the Cambridge area at the beginning of the American Revolutionary War because of his loyalty to the king of England. George Washington occupied it as his headquarters beginning on July 16, 1775, and it served as his base of operations during the Siege of Boston until he moved out on April 4, 1776. Andrew Craigie, Washington's Apothecary General, was the next person to own the home for a significant period of time. He purchased the house in 1791 and instigated its only major addition. Craigie's financial situation at the time of his death in 1819 forced his widow Elizabeth to take in boarders, and one of those borders was Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He became its owner in 1843 when his father-in-law Nathan Appleton purchased it as a wedding gift. He lived in the home until his death in 1882.

The last family to live in the home was the Longfellow family, who established the Longfellow Trust in 1913 for its preservation. In 1972, the home and all of its furnishings were donated to the National Park Service, and it is open to the public seasonally. It presents an example of mid-Georgian architecture style.
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Longfellow House Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
168 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Unfortunately, the house was closed due to pandemic. But got to visit grounds and picked the brain of an outstanding ranger (Kyle) about Washington and Boston's Revolutionary War history. Enjoyable... 
    Unfortunately, the house was closed due to pandemic. But got to visit grounds and picked the brain of an outstanding ranger (Kyle) about Washington and Boston's Revolutionary War history. Enjoyable...  more »
  • Unfortunately due to covid the house is closed for tours. The rangers are set up under a tent on the lawn. They are knowledgeable and enthusiastic to share their knowledge of the house. And yes... 
    Unfortunately due to covid the house is closed for tours. The rangers are set up under a tent on the lawn. They are knowledgeable and enthusiastic to share their knowledge of the house. And yes...  more »
Google
  • Came for a park ranger tour and learned so many interesting historical facts. Highly recommend for anyone looking for something to do in the area.
  • Loved seeing this historic site, but disappointed I couldn't tour the inside. Apparently they had just closed the inside due to covid restrictions again. Wish the website had updated the information. The tour guide was super nice though and gave me a history lesson on Longfellow, the house itself and George Washington's stay there. Still worth seeing it.

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