Today’s Boston Globe Travel section contains an article by past Boston 1775 guest blogger Christopher Klein on historic houses in New England where George Washington really did sleep, as either general or President.
- Longfellow National Historic Site in Cambridge (later owned by Newburyport merchant Nathaniel Tracy).
- The Newburyport Public Library (formerly owned by merchant Nathaniel Tracy).
- The Joseph Webb House in Wethersfield, Connecticut (unaccountably never owned by Nathaniel Tracy).
The museum is concluding a state-of-the-art restoration of the second-floor bedroom where Washington spent five nights. The renovation will give visitors the best opportunity in New England to see one of Washington’s bedchambers in a state similar to that when the towering founding father first ducked through the doorway. The restoration included stripping the floorboard stain to reveal the bare wood, returning the faux cedar graining to the woodwork, re-creating the original paint finishes, and installing a reproduction of the room’s 1760s wallpaper to highlight its original vivid colors.Of all these New England sites, Washington lived the longest at Longfellow House, from July 1775 to early April 1776. The National Park Service staff there are offering free guided tours of the mansion focused on Washington on Friday and Saturday, 19-20 February. After the last tour comes my talk on the general’s choice to launch a small navy during the siege of Boston.
(Photo of Washington’s and Longfellow’s study above by Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe. If I recall right, the bust left of center is Longfellow’s friend George Washington Greene, grandson and biographer of Gen. Nathanael Greene.)