|Mark Twain House|
|Kevin at Gillette Castle|
Sam Clemens found the details of building and decorating a house frustrating. He complained of being “bullyragged” by plumbers and carpenters. His wife‚ Livy‚ however‚ enjoyed the challenges of domestic life and much of the house reflects her tastes and sensibilities.
Their home measures 11‚500 square feet‚ and has 25 rooms distributed through three floors. It displayed the latest in modern innovations when it was built in 1874. It was lit by gaslight; it had seven bathrooms with hot and cold running water and flush toilets – and at least one bathroom had a shower. Rudimentary ductwork carried warm air from the furnaces in the basement‚ and in 1878 Clemens had an early model of the telephone installed in the kitchen. There were also two features that ran on batteries: a burglar alarm system and an "enunciator" bell for calling the servants.
The couple spent $40‚000 to $45‚000 building their new home‚ so once they moved in they kept the interior simple. Over the next few years Olivia sought advice on what to do with the interior‚ made plans and shopped for the new home.