Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Online Media

Catalog Data

Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Blog posts
Published Date:
Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:38:50 +0000
Blog Post Category:
Smart News
Smart News Arts & Culture
Smart News Travel
<p>In 1909, Samuel Clemens presented his daughter Jane Lampton  "Jean" Clemens with a sprawling farmhouse located on the corner of the writer's estate in Redding, Connecticut. As Sam Dangremond reports for <em><a href="" target="_blank">Town &amp; Country</a></em>, “Jean’s Farm,” as the property is known, is now on the market for a cool $1.85 million.</p><p></p><p>The farmhouse, which was built in 1787, includes five bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms. The home was gutted by its current owners in 2013, and according to the property's <a href=";q=;source=gmail&amp;ust=1502997281500000&amp;usg=AFQjCNGHgjdaAD6IuPYASH6RP3rbEYoTig" target="_blank">real estate listing</a>, it now features a kitchen with “Cream Marfil marble counters, custom cabinetry, Gaggenau premium appliances,” and a “sumptuous” living room with “Carlisle hickory signature floors [and] antiqued ceiling beams.”</p><p></p><p>That certainly sounds nice, but the property has also retained some of its historic charms. According to Masha Angelova of <em><a href="" target="_blank">Mansion Global</a></em>, the new owners will inherit a barn that was built in 1860, and that was at one point used by Barnum &amp; Bailey to store its circus elephants.</p><p></p><p>Before the barn housed pachyderms, it was beloved by<span style="font-size: 1em;"> Jean, who came to live with her father—who is</span> best known by his pen name Mark Twain—<span style="font-size: 1em;">soon after the construction of his Redding villa. (The author dubbed his new home “Stormfield” because it had been financed with profits from his book </span><em style="font-size: 1em;">Extract from Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven.</em><span style="font-size: 1em;">) According to the </span><a href="" style="font-size: 1em;" target="_blank">website</a><span style="font-size: 1em;"> of the Mark Twain Library, Jean was “delighted to find a farmhouse on the northeast corner of the estate” because she “dearly loved animals.”</span></p><p></p><p>Sadly, Jean’s new chapter in Redding was cut short. On Christmas Eve of 1909, the 29-year-old was found dead in a bathtub at Stormfield. The <a href="" target="_blank">website</a> of the Mark Twain House and Museum states that Jean likely died of a heart attack brought on by an epileptic fit.</p><p></p><p>Before his daughter's untimely death, Clemens had been hard at work raising money for a new pet project. He had <a href="" target="_blank">gifted</a> the town of Redding with more than 1,000 books, which were stored in an unused chapel, and the author hoped to build a permanent library to house his collection.  After Jean died, Clemens sold her farmhouse for $6,000 and put the funds towards the construction of the Jean L. Clemens Memorial Building—the first iteration of the Mark Twain Library.</p><p></p><p>Clemens did not live to see the opening of the institution that was named in his daughter's memory. He died of a heart attack in 1910, at the age of 74. In the author's <em>New York Times</em> <a href="">obituary</a>, Twain's biographer is quoted as saying that "all heart went out of him and his work when his daughter Jean died." </p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p>
Search this
See more posts:
Smithsonian Article Database
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine