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 loviest 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 College, Box 7035, Elmira, NY 14901.
Click here for a link to the Mark Twain Country website.