Entrance to historic Longfellow House in Portland, Maine
Think of Maine and you think of lighthouses, ports and the great outdoors – a literary landmark wouldn’t be first to mind. But the Longfellow House in Portland is not only the former home of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; the simple brick house is also one of the oldest buildings in the town.
The house was built in 1785 by the poet’s grandfather, and guided tours leave on the half hour. You’ll see the rooms in which Longfellow and his family lived, and get a précis of the poet’s life and works, but even if you’re not interested in poetry, it’s a fabulous place to visit, since all the furnishings either belonged to Longfellow’s family or are of the era. So as far as seeing how people lived in the 19th century, it doesn’t get better.
The best part? If you’re into interior design, you’ll love the fabulous bright colors – walls are covered in loud patterned wallpaper, the carpets scream for attention and, in the hallway, there’s even what looks like brightly patterned tiles but is actually painted and varnished canvas.
Tours only take around half an hour, so there’s plenty of time to see the house and grab a bit of culture before getting back to the serious business of lighthouse spotting and lobster roll eating.
Source: Kat Owens Photography