Samuel Clemens, the writer known as Mark Twain, is celebrated at a museum in Hartford, Connecticut, at the grand house he and his wife, Olivia, built in 1874. Although he earned quite a bit of money, Clemens made a number of unwise investments; the family experienced financial insecurity and, for a time, lived in Europe to save money. After their daughter, Suzy, died in 1896, Livy found it too painful to live in their Hartford home‚ and the Clemenses sold the property in 1903.
After his wife passed away, Clemens built a home for himself in Redding, Connecticut, where he lived from 1908 until his death in 1910. Designed to his specifications, the house was built in the style of a Tuscan villa because he had fallen for the style in Italy. The property was named’Stormfield,’ inspired by his short story Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven. It features heavily in the third and final volume of his autobiography, published in 2015.
In 1923 a devastating fire destroyed Stormfield. The current estate was re-built in 1925 on the same foundation, retaining the original terraces, stone walls, stone pillars and formal gardens.
Now Stormfield is on the market, listed for $4,200,000. The house is set on 28.53 private acres and adjoins 161 acres of Redding Land Trust for unmatched privacy. The compound includes the 6,300 square foot main house, which has five bedrooms, five full and one half baths and three fireplaces. There is a detached pool/carriage house with three garage bays, as well as the second-floor guest/caretaker cottage with two bedrooms, a full bathroom, a living room and a kitchen.
The main house has grand formal rooms, including the dining room overlooking the stone terrace and rolling lawn, plus the formal living room with a striking hand painted coffered ceiling and adjoining library. The house is furnished with marble and hardwood floors, walk-in closets, vaulted ceilings, a breakfast bar, expansive gardens and staff quarters. Modern amenities include a security system and a heated gunite pool.
Though only 58 miles from Midtown Manhattan, the rural tranquility of the site is remarkable. According to listing agent Laura Freed Ancona of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty, upon surveying the countryside from his new home, the writer exclaimed, “How beautiful it all is. I did not think it could be as beautiful as this.”
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