The Portsmouth Puddle Dock neighborhood home where Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1836-1907) lived in his teens is open to the public, May – October. Originally from New Orleans, Aldrich resided with his grandfather in this stately home until he left to begin a career in New York. (The home was also Portsmouth’s first hospital until the Aldrich family repurchased it.) Read about it at: strawberybanke.org/houses/aldrich.cfm.
Aldrich is perhaps best known for his work entitled The Story of a Bad Boy, a semi-autobiographical account of his youth, which has been considered to be an inspiration for Mark Twain’s character Tom Sawyer. You can read the story here: seacoastnh.com/aldrich/index.html#badboy.
As the editor of Atlantic Monthly during its earliest heyday, he spearheaded a popular and influential literary magazine and kept company with several prestigious writers of the day, including Mark Twain, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Charles Chesnutt. Read more about Thomas Bailey Aldrich here: americanliterature.com/author/thomas-bailey-aldrich.
We thank reader and genealogist Jacqui Bally for bringing this writer’s home to our attention. For a brief history of Portsmouth Puddle Dock, click here: seacoastonline.com.
The Thomas Bailey Aldrich House is the second stop of our New Hampshire Author Adventures Trail.