Whittier Home

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The John Greenleaf Whittier Home is a historic house museum located at 86 Friend Street in Amesbury, Massachusetts. It was the home of American poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier until his death in 1892. The house is an amazing “discovery” for literature fans.

Whittier moved with his family to this house in 1836. He penned most of his poetry and prose during his stay here; his classic "Snow Bound" was written in that period. Whittier - during his 56 year stay - expanded the house, raising the original building at the left up and adding another storey, and then adding the section to the right.

The Whittier house and its furnishings remain unchanged since the poet’s death. It is filled with the furnishings, books, paintings, portraits and belongings of the Whittier family. At the entrance downstairs, is an austere bust of Whittier in a mirrored alcove.

Many photos are also displayed in the museum which remain in the same position where Whittier had hung them. Upstairs lies a rare portrait of Harriet Livermore, daughter of Samuel Livermore, a famous Revolutionary War figure and resident of Portsmouth. Since 1918, the house has been owned and maintained by the Whittier Home Association.

In back of the Whittier house are the garden area and the keeper’s home. Today the “Garden House” is used for occasional functions. The gift shop, or Manuscript Room, contains one of Whittier’s work desks, books and a stunning display of Whittier curiosities.

Presently, the Whittier Home operates as a nonprofit museum which is open to the public. Whittier’s birthplace in nearby Haverhill, the John Greenleaf Whittier Homestead, also is open to the public.

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