487 Congress Street
Georgian, 1785-1786, Federal 1815
Much of Henry Wadsworth-Longfellow’s early poetry was written here in his family’s home. General Peleg Wadsworth, Longfelow’s grandfather, began its construction in 1785, with bricks shipped from Philadelphia. The initial supply of bricks was exhausted on the first story, and completion of the second story was delayed until 1786 when a second shipment arrived. A fire in 1814 destroyed the original gable roof. The third story and federal style hip roof were added the following year. These later alterations are evident in the changing pattern of the bricks. Henry Wadsworth-Longfellow moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1843, but he often returned to Portland. His family’s home is the oldest remaining residence on the Portland peninsula.
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