Tag Archives: Elmira College


Last weekend (October 5-7. 2018) CMTS hosted the 2018 Quarry Farm Weekend Symposium “American Literary History and Economics in the New Gilded Age.” The economic expansion of the U.S. during Mark Twain’s lifetime was unprecedented, in this country or any other. Twain was fascinated by the technological innovations that transformed commerce and industry, the volatile financial markets that strained to keep up with the demands of entrepreneurs and investors, the infamous magnates that accumulated private fortunes unimaginable to previous generations, the Read more…


2018 marks the sesquicentennial anniversary of Mark Twain’s first visit to Elmira, the town where he would meet his wife, spend many of his summers over the remainder of his life, write several of his most acclaimed books, and finally be laid to rest. In the following essay, Dr. Seybold commemorates the occasion by offering his estimation of what Elmira meant to Mark Twain.  January 26, 1905 It was the 30th birthday of Mark Twain’s nephew, Jervis Langdon. His father, Charley Langdon, Read more…


The fall portion of the 2018-2019 The Trouble Begins Lecture Series presented by the Center for Mark Twain Studies features four lectures, with the first event set for Wednesday, October 10 in The Barn at Quarry Farm.  All four lectures begin at 7:00 p.m., and are free and open to the public. Wednesday, October 10 in The Barn at Quarry Farm 7 p.m. “Getting to Know Mark Twain through the Eyes of Grace King, a Southern Woman of Letters” Miki Pfeffer, Nicholls State University Read more…


The 2018 Mark Twain Lecture Series, hosted by the Chemung County Historical Society and the Center for Mark Twain Studies, continues on Thursday, August 16 at the Chemung Valley Museum (415 East Water St., Elmira).  The lecture begins at 7:00 p.m., and is free and open to the public. “Through the Lens of the Langdons: Capturing Elmira, 1889-1891” Nathaniel Ball, Elmira College George Eastman’s invention of the Kodak Series 540 in 1888, whose slogan simply stated, “you push a button, we do Read more…


The seed of what eventually became Mark Twain among the Indians and Other Indigenous Peoples, published last month by the University of California Press, was planted—quite by coincidence—long ago in Elmira. The year was 1986 and I was a freshly-minted Ph.D. (with a specialization in modern American poetry), hired on as an assistant professor at Elmira College. One day, out of the blue, I got a phone call from Dr. Herb Wisbey, a member of the College’s History Department and—as Read more…


During the 2017-2018 academic year, The Center for Mark Twain Studies sponsored a creative writing contest for area students in grades 2-6, encouraging students to explore Mark Twain’s legacy and the importance of the Langdon family in Elmira and the Twin Tiers. While staying at Quarry Farm, Mark Twain encouraged his children to create and tell their own stories based off the tiles adorning the parlor fireplace. The 24 tiles around the fireplace depict fables written by ancient Greek storyteller, Read more…


The 2018 Park Church Lecture Series, hosted by the Center for Mark Twain Studies at Elmira College, begins Wednesday, June 20 in the historic and cultural landmark, The Park Church, 208 W. Gray Street, Elmira.  The lecture begins at 7:00 p.m., and is free and open to the public. “’…there is only one thing of real importance…’: The Letters of Olivia Langdon Clemens” Barbara Snedecor, Elmira College Olivia Langdon Clemens The letters of Olivia Langdon Clemens reveal her deep emotion as well Read more…


Winners have been selected for the Quarry Farm tile fireplace creative writing contest sponsored by the Center for Mark Twain Studies (CMTS). Four area students in grades 2-6, were selected for their creative writings exploring Mark Twain’s legacy in Elmira and the Southern Tier: Tessa Baker, Finn Academy; Alexa Fairbanks, Fassett Elementary; Mayla Falank, Cohen Elementary; and Alana Heath, Hendy Elementary. Mark Twain often encouraged his children to create and tell their own stories based off the tiles adorning the Read more…


On Wednesday, May 9 in The Barn at Quarry Farm at 7:00 p.m, Walter G. Ritchie, Jr. will present a lecture entitled, “High Style in Mid-Nineteenth Century Elmira: The Architecture & Interiors of the Jervis Langdon Mansion” By the 1860s, Jervis Langdon, Mark Twain’s father-in-law, was ready to create a home that announced his status as one of Elmira’s most successful and influential businessmen. After purchasing a house built in the 1850s, he immediately arranged to have it enlarged and Read more…


The Center for Mark Twain Studies kicks off its Spring 2018 Trouble Begins lecture series by hosting Ron Powers, Pulitzer Prize- and Emmy Award-winning writer and critic, on Wednesday, March 21 at 7:00 p.m. in Cowles Hall, Elmira College. The presentation is free and open to the public. Powers’ presentation, “Travelin’ Man,” looks into how Mark Twain’s prodigious travels around his region, then the nation, and then the world, have provided pleasure and scholarly thought for more than a century. Somewhat less Read more…


The Quarry Farm Fireplace Creative Writing Contest CMTS is pleased to announce the creation of creative writing contest for elementary school students.  Three winners will be awarded a tour of Quarry Farm, including inside the main house. A PDF copy of this assignment can be found by clicking here. Mark Twain on the Quarry Farm Porch The Center for Mark Twain Studies encourages local elementary school teachers to discuss Mark Twain’s legacy in Elmira and the Southern Tier region of New Read more…


The Spring 2018 Trouble Begins” Lecture Series Previous “Trouble Begins” lectures can be found and downloaded in the “Trouble Begins Archives” or by clicking here. Wednesday, March 21 in Cowles Hall on the Elmira College Campus 7 p.m. “Mark Twain: Travelin’ Man”  Ron Powers, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, media critic, and New York Times best selling author Mark Twain’s prodigious travels around his region, then the nation, and then the world, have provided pleasure and scholarly thought for more than a century. Read more…

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