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Civil war decor
Civil War theme Link to enlartgement

Charley's Civil War cavalry sabres are crossed with his bugle above the mantel . Close examination of the image reveals boxing gloves, pipes, a coal fireplace, a pull cord for the servants, and a gas light. A cream and red paper was on the walls.

Upon his return to Cambridge in the fall of 1870, Charley established his new lodgings in the rear of the house and decorated it with objects from India. Edith wrote: “His room is beginning to look quite gorgeous with all his new things..”

By 1871 Annie Fields noted what became a favorite after-dinner activity in the Longfellow House—a visit to the exotic furnishings of Charley’s room: “We adjourned to the room of Charles the East-India man, where we saw many curiosities.... “

Japanese decor
Charley's Japanese room with fans

Charley and Waddy re-decorated the sitting room in 1874 when Charley returned from his travels in Japan and China with numerous pieces he had shipped from the Orient. They wallpapered the room with an Asian pattern and placed Japanese fans on the ceiling.

Charley removed his Indian items and made the room “almost entirely Japanese throughout.”

Charley also had a residence in Boston by this time, which may have helped make his room in Cambridge more available to his sisters and cousins, who quickly came to treat it as their favorite haunt.

Japanese fans
Ceiling fans

Neo-Grec wallpaper
Japanese wallpaper detail

The neo-Grec wallpaper Charley brought home is still on the walls today although the ceiling fans have been removed for safekeeping. Neo-Grec wallpaper
Japanese wallpaper
Harry Dana's room
The room as used by Harry Dana

Harry Dana used the rooms from 1917 until his death in 1950. He used one room for a bedroom and the other for an office, and eventually added built-in bookcases.

He had desks, bookcases, a telephone, typewriters, and office equipment.

Harry Dana's room
Harry Dana in his office


Back to Japan Room
© 2004 Longfellow National Historic Site