In recent years, the Friends devoted the funds from the annual appeals to interior improvements in the House. For example, for many years the House’s music room or library looked like this.
The curtain rods were bare, exposing the roll-down shades necessary to preserve the artifacts from too much sunlight. Any visitor in the Longfellows’ time would have immediately noticed the lack of window draperies—they were an essential part of any handsome home in the Victorian period.
This detail from a commercial engraving published in Henry W. Longfellow’s lifetime shows the effect of the sweeping draperies at each window.
The Friends undertook to pay for appropriate new draperies to improve that important room’s period appearance and enhance the experience of visitors to the House. And here’s the result.
Much more historically authentic, no? We hope to be able to fund similar projects inside the House in honor of the Longfellow family and the many other illustrious people who came through those rooms.
We also look forward to working with the Park Service to keep the tours of the House, lectures, poetry readings, and concerts all free to the public. Help from members and other donors makes that all possible. Thank you for your generosity.