Japan Room

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This room is part of the 1790s addition by the Craigies.

It served as Charley's nursery for a while and became Charley's bedroom again in the 1860s. He furnished the room with Civil War memorabilia, items from his travels in India, and eventually items from his travels in the Far East.

The Longfellow children enjoyed using the room as a sitting room while Charley was away and even had a piano there.

Charley was among the earliest American visitors to Japan and preserved a large number of pieces of Asian art by sending them to his home.

We adjourned to Charlie's room...We had a great time up in the middle of the night to see the eclipse last night. The Jap [sic] dressing gowns were at a premium and we saw the whole eclipse very well.

—Edith Longfellow to her sister Annie, Oct. 25, 1874

Japan room
Japan Room about 1899

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Don’t ruin yourself in buying strange bronzes. You will have a perfect museum of curiosities; and I shall have to put a Mansard roof on to your part of the house to hold them!

—Henry W. Longfellow to Charles Appleton Longfellow, October 18, 1872


Charley removed his Indian items and made the room almost entirely Japanese. We moved much and at last got room enough for many Jap things very pretty indeed-lacquer etc. He has a beautiful room and such ropes of stuff.

—Alexander Wadsworth Longfellow, Jr. diary; letter to Elizabeth Porter Longfellow October 4, 1874

 

 


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