Samuel Clemens, the writer known as Mark Twain, is celebrated in a museum in Hartford, Connecticut, in the large house he and his wife Olivia built in 1874. Although he made quite a bit of money, Clemens made some ill-advised investments; the family experienced financial insecurity and lived in Europe for a while 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 died, Clemens built himself a house in Redding, Connecticut, where he lived from 1908 until his death in 1910. The house, designed to his specifications, 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 the Sky. It features frequently in the third and final volume of his autobiography, published in 2015.
In 1923 a devastating fire devastated Stormfield. The current estate was rebuilt 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 sits on 28.53 acres of private land and backs onto 161 acres of Redding Land Trust for unparalleled privacy. The compound includes the 6,300-square-foot main house, which has five bedrooms, five full and a half baths, and three fireplaces. There is a detached pool/carriage house with three garage spaces, as well as the guest/concierge house on the second floor with two bedrooms, full bath, living room and kitchen.
The main house has large formal rooms, including the dining room overlooking the stone patio and rolling lawn, plus the formal living room with a striking hand-painted coffered ceiling and adjacent library. The house is furnished with marble and hardwood floors, walk-in closets, vaulted ceilings, a breakfast bar, extensive gardens and staff quarters. Modern amenities include a security system and heated gunite pool.
Though it’s only 95 miles from Midtown Manhattan, the campground’s rural serenity is remarkable. According to listings agent Laura Freed Ancona of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty, the writer exclaimed, “How beautiful it is. I never thought it could be as beautiful as this.”