'THE MARK TWAIN STUDY
PRESENTED TO ELMIRA COLLEGE
BY THE LANGDON FAMILY
AND MOVED FROM QUARRY FARM
JUNE 9, 1952'
Mark Twain (real name Samuel Clemens) married Olivia (better known as Livy) Langdon of Elmira, New York state, in 1870. Shortly after that date until 1889 the Clemens, with their family, spent their summer months at Quarry Farm, Elmira, with Livy's adopted sister Susan Crane and her husband Theodore. Twain found it very helpful to work there away from his home in Hartford, Connecticut.
Susan had this octagonal study built for her brother-in-law by Alfred Thorp, and some of the decorative features resemble those in the family home in Hartford. In this study – moved from Quarry farm to Elmira College in 1952 – Twain wrote some of his most well known works, such as Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, Life on the Mississippi and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. In 1886, Twain even referred to his study as 'the home of Huckleberry Finn'.
A side view showing the chimney.
The inside of the study.
On one of the walls are two very relevant quotations – both written to his friend and editor William Dean Howells, the first being in 1873:
'I haven't piled up MS so in years as I have done since we came here to the farm three and a half weeks ago. Why, it's like old times, to step right into the study, damp from the breakfast table, and sail right in and sail right on, the whole day long, without a thought of running short of stuff or words.'
Another quotation from a letter is dated 11 June 1874:
'Susan Crane has built the loveliest study for me you ever saw. It is octagonal, with a peaked roof, each octagon [!] filled with a spacious window, and sits perched in complete isolation on top of an elevation that commands leagues of valley and city and retreating ranges of distant blue hills.'
Twain's study being transported from Quarry Farm to Elmira College in 1952.
At the side of the study:
'CLARA L. CLEMENS
'MARK TWAIN WATERING
ONE OF FOUR ORIGINALLY
LOCATED BESIDE THE ROAD
TO THE COLLEGE CAMPUS
DURING THE BICENTENNIAL
On the campus are statues of Twain and his wife. The tiers leading up to Twain's statue bear the names of some of his books.
Olivia Langdon Clemens (1845–1904), born Olivia Iona Louise Langdon, was a student at Elmira College when it was women-only: it didn't become fully co-educational until 1969.
Cowles Hall is near Twain's study, and now houses the Mark Twain Exhibit, and this bust is near the entrance. It is in bronze and is by Ernfred Anderson, who taught drawing, sculpture and clay modeling at the college. He also created the monument to Twain and Twain's son-in-law in Woodlawn Cemetery (see below).
Mark Twain's walking stick.
Twain's self-sticking scrapbook, the only object he ever patented and made money from: he sold 25,000 in 1877 and made around $12,000 from them.
The chapel has some superb stained glass windows, the east ones of which are dedicated to Twain and Livy.
Twain's daughter Clara commissioned Ernfred Anderson to create this monument to her father and her first husband, the director and pianist Ossip Gabrilowitsch (1878–1936).
'SAMUEL LANGHORNE CLEMENS
–– MARK TWAIN ––
NOV. 30, 1835–APR. 21, 1910'
The Langdon monument.