Mark Twain Holiday House Tour

marktwaintour1.jpgWho can pass up twinkly lights and festive floral arrangements, housed at some of the most impressive architectural gems in Hartford? Not me, and hopefully not you.

For 27 years, The Friends of the Mark Twain House & Museum have been organizing a holiday tour of beautiful homes in Hartford. This year the tour takes place on Sunday, December 2nd from 11:00am to 4:00pm. The cost is $30 per person if you purchase your tickets in advance, or $35 each if you buy them on the day of the event. Your ticket will allow you to tour the Mark Twain House, the Loomis-Wooley house, and the Renbrook School, as well as four homes in Hartford’s West End on Scarbough Street and Prospect Avenue. In addition to holiday decorations, each location will also feature live music.

To learn more about the event and where you can buy tickets, visit the Mark Twain House website…

House Styles

Often when I’m driving around looking at homes, I wonder “what’s that specific house style?” It’s easy to pick out the traditional colonial, tudor, raised ranch, etc., but what about a Federal vs. Georgian style colonial? Or a Queen Anne vs. Eastlake victorian? I sometimes have difficulties telling the differences with older homes.

Well, no more. has a great picture dictionary that not only provides images, but describes distinguishing features that you can use to tell what differentiates design styles within the same category of home. Check it out to see if you can learn more about your house style.

Asylum Hill Spring Walking Tour and Open House

If you love the historic architecture in Hartford, there is a great event for you to attend this weekend in the Asylum Hill district. The Hartford Preservation Alliance is hosting a guided walking tour through the Ashley Street historic neighborhood on Saturday May 19, starting at 12:00pm. On Sunday May 20, from 12:00pm-3:00pm, there will be an open house tour of vintage Victorian homes and gardens in the same area. You can also enjoy local cuisine and performances by the Hartford Children’s Theatre as they portray Victorian children from the 19th century.

Tickets are $10 for each day or $15 for both days. The events will happen rain or shine and the meeting spot will be Veeder Place at 20 Sargeant Street in Hartford. You can get more info by calling (860) 570-0331 or emailing

Sears, Roebuck and Company Kit Homes

The Hartford Courant had an interesting article today on Sears kit homes that were built in the early 1900’s. I personally find these houses fascinating, as they are architectually distinct and reflect the character of the nation during and after World War I. I’ve had the opportunity to see several of the different “kits” during previous travels to Ohio. Each is unique with its own personality.

If you have an interest in architecture, these homes should be in your catalog. Sears has an comprehensive website that covers the history, including pictures of the various models. You can contact other enthusiasts and find a list of other references to continue your research. Enjoy!