A Legacy of Preservation

Historic preservation is a broad concept that applies to both objects, such as collections items, and structures which need periodic maintenance and restoration. We can even see preservation in the historic landscape of 105 Brattle Street, where ever-changing nature is carefully maintained in ways that reflect historical intentions. History can also be preserved without physical items, through the stories that we tell, and how we choose to tell them.

Before the National Park Service acquired the Vassall-Craigie-Longfellow House, members of the Longfellow family and the community took great care in preserving the objects and stories that they felt would be important for the world to retain. Today, we can look back and see not only the stories of the Longfellow family and George Washington preserved here, but of many others who interacted with the property and its inhabitants over the centuries.

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5 minutes, 33 seconds

In the early 20th century, the Longfellow family began to actively preserve this house as a museum. Archivist Kate discusses the evolution of historic preservation at the site, from the Longfellow House Trust to the National Park Service.


A Timeline of Preservation at Longfellow House-Washington's Headquarters



Last updated: January 26, 2024

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