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In February of 1870, Samuel Clemens (a.k.a. Mark Twain) married Elmiran Olivia Langdon at Ms. Langdon's home in Elmira. For the next 20+ years the Clemenses spent their summers at Olivia's sister's (Susan Langdon Crane) home, just outside of Elmira. The home, known as Quarry Farm, was situated on a mountain just east of Elmira, and had a picturesque view of the Chemung Valley, and the city of Elmira below. In 1874, as a gift for Samuel, the Crane's built an octagonal study on a knoll a short distance from their home. It was thought that it would give Samuel a quiet place to think and write. It certainly was an inspiration. During this time period, and in this study, Mark Twain wrote major portions of some of his most acclaimed works, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Life on the Mississippi, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, The Prince and the Pauper, and A Tramp Abroad. Mark Twain loved his study. He described it as, "...the loveliest study you ever saw, octagonal with a peaked roof, each face filled with a spacious window... perched in complete isolation on top of an elevation that commands leagues of valley and city and retreating ranges of distant blue hills.
On April 21, 1910 Samuel Clemens died at the age of 75. He is buried along with his family in Woodlawn Cemetery in Elmira.
In 1952, the study was gifted to Elmira College and moved to the college campus, where it resides today. It is open to the public daily from mid-June through Labor Day and by appointment throughout the rest of the year. Quarry Farm is now owned by Elmira College and serves as a residence for Mark Twain scholars. The Elmira College Center for Mark Twain Studies offers a variety of programs, including conferences, seminars, and public lecture series. For information, call 607-735-1800 or write The Elmira College Center for Mark Twain Studies, Elmira
Park reservations are made through the Department of Building and Grounds. Reservations for the use of facilities at Harris Hill Park and Park Station can be made by calling 607-737-2843 or by coming to the Building and Grounds Department located at 217 Madison Avenue in Elmira, from 7 am to 3:30 pm (closed 12-12:30 for lunch) Monday through Friday. Credit cards are now being accepted. There is a nonrefundable additional charge for credit card use. A minimum of $2 or 2.65% whichever is more. For more information on County Parks, visit the Parks and Recreation page.
Chemung County Fairgrounds reservations can be made by calling the Department of Buildings and Grounds at 607-737-2843.