Friends of the Longfellow House Activities

The Friends of the Longfellow House is a tax-exempt non-profit organization that depends on membership fees and contributions for its operations. We work very closely with the Park Service to achieve common goals. Here is a list of our activities and some of our future plans. In order to continue to continue our efforts we welcome financial support and volunteer help from well wishers.

We use this money to:

  1. Co-publish the Longfellow House Bulletin, containing articles about the 18th- and 19th-century history of the house, its occupants, and their artifacts. The Bulletin also provides information about current activities. Members receive new issues of the Bulletin in the mail twice a year. Copies are also available at the House and on our website.

  2. Maintain this website to supplement the official Park Service website as a repository of unique information about the house, and a list of forthcoming events. We plan to substantially increase the site's articles about the site’s history in the coming years.

  3. Offer two $1200 fellowships each year to scholars (often young PhD students) to help cover their travel expenses to come to Cambridge to study the Longfellow House collections.

  4. Subsidize lectures, dramatic presentations, and special tours for members and the public. Many of these programs are jointly sponsored with the Park Service, and the limitations of the federal budget make our private financial support increasingly vital.

  5. Present on Sundays during the summer a festival of musical and poetry programs on the lawn of the house. All these events are free to members and the general public.

  6. Recreate and maintain the formal garden originally designed by two well-known horticulturists for Henry Longfellow's daughter Alice in the early part of the 20th century.

    We undertook a successful multi-year capital campaign to reconstruct the pergola, prepare the ground, and purchase the heirloom plants for this unique garden. The first flower planting took place in 2005, and the garden was completed in the following years. It is open to the public during daylight hours, a rare example of a colonial-revival garden freely available so close to Boston. We have continued to provide maintenance funds as the project matures.

  7. Raise money for various other purposes, such as purchasing manuscript letters that suddenly appear on the market for the archives, refurbishing objects and art in the house's collections, etc.

  8. Publicize the House and its needs to decision-makers, funders, and the general public. As an independent non-profit organization, we can serve as a much-needed advocate to government in a world of budgetary shortfalls.