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Stowe House Designated As National Historic Landmark


March 11, 2013

HARTFORD The Harriet Beecher Stowe House is one of 13 newly designated national historic landmarks, the National Park Service and the Secretary of the Interior announced on Monday.

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center Executive Director Katherine Kane said she's happy she can now say the house is recognized as a historic landmark, because people are often surprised it's not one.

"In some ways, it's a bit anticlimactic because people think we're already a national landmark," she said. The designation "raises the profile" of the museum.

"We think it's also great recognition for Connecticut and the impact of Connecticut's first lady of literature, Harriet Beecher Stowe," she said.

Stowe, an activist and author best known for her 1852 anti-slavery novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin," moved into the house in 1873 and lived there for 23 years, according to the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center website. She and her husband, Calvin Stowe, had built a mansion near the Park River, but moved to the Forest Street house when the mansion became too expensive.

"As a 21st-century museum and program center, the Stowe Center connects Stowe's issues to the contemporary face of race relations, class and gender issues, economic justice and education equity," according to the site.

"From the Civil War to civil rights, to the struggles and accomplishments of women, African Americans and Latinos, these sites highlight the mosaic of our nation's historic past," said Jonathan B. Jarvis, director of the National Park Service. "We are proud to administer the National Historic Landmarks Program to educate and inspire Americans through their country's rich and complex history."

Others announced Monday include the Camp Nelson Historic and Archeological District in Jessamine County, Ky., one of the largest recruitment centers for African American soldiers during the Civil War; the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., where law enforcement officials attacked civil rights marchers on a day known as "Bloody Sunday;" and Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, N.Y, "one of the country's oldest artists retreats," according to the release.

"It's exciting to be on this list with the Edmund Pettus Bridge and the Old San Juan Historic District in Puerto Rico," Kane said. "That's good company to be in."

The national historic landmark program was established in 1935 to recognize "nationally significant historic places that possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States," according to the release. There are 2,540 designated landmarks.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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