The gravestone of Samuel Langhorne Clemens/Mark Twain.
The associations of Mark Twain, one of America’s greatest literary sons, with the South are so strong that it’s surprising to learn that summers spent in New York were integral to the writing of his masterpieces.
In 1870, Mark Twain — real name Samuel Clemens — married Olivia Langdon, a native of Elmira, in New York’s Southern Tier. Though the couple lived in Buffalo and Hartford, Conn., for 20 years, Clemens and Langdon spent every summer in the peace of Olivia’s sister’s Elmira home. The residence, Quarry Farm, is located at the top of East Hill, which provides the geographic advantage of a stunning vista, removed from Elmira’s downtown.
Quarry Farm is now the private property of Elmira College, which permits access to the estate only through special arrangement and for the College’s visiting Twain scholars.
Nevertheless, there are many other opportunities for the general public to cross paths with Clemens’ Elmira experience. The most convenient option is to join a “Trolley into Twain Country” tour. This ride brings Clemens’ biography to life, and also provides a glimpse into the history of Elmira itself, with stops at the aforementioned study (shown above) now located on the Elmira College campus, and a stop at Woodlawn Cemetery where Twain is buried. Tours are available only in July and August, so the time to schedule your visit is NOW.
Check out the Mark Twain Trio Bracelet Set, which can be worn together or separately, reminds you to “Explore,” “Dream” and “Discover.”