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Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:38:50 +0000
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<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="http://www.townandcountrymag.com/leisure/real-estate/g12009854/mark-twain-farmhouse/" 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="https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&amp;q=https://www.raveis.com/mls/99190819/325reddingroad_redding_ct?AGT%3D4534%26SITE%3Dagt&amp;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="http://www.mansionglobal.com/articles/70520-mark-twain-s-former-connecticut-farmhouse-listed-for-1-85-million?mod=mansion_global_articles_en_wsj_home" 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="http://marktwainlibrary.org/about-us/history-of-the-mark-twain-library/" 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="http://www.marktwainhouse.org/man/twains_children.php" 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="http://marktwainlibrary.org/fundraising/book-fair/" 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="http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/big/0421.html">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>
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