Estate where Mark Twain died back for sale in Redding for $3.9M

Photo of Alexander Soule

The Tuscan-style villa modeled on the one where Samuel Clemens lived his final years, on the property where he died, is back on the market on Mark Twain Lane in Redding.

The owners of the property — known as Stormfield — are asking $3.9 million. That’s $300,000 less than its listing price in the summer of 2021.

Clemens, who wrote as Mark Twain, lived at the property from 1908 to the time of his death there on April 21, 1910.

Despite a surge of wealthy New York residents into Connecticut towns during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a spike in real estate prices, Stormfield’s owners did not sell at $4.2 million. The property was listed anew in March at the lower price.

Situated on 28 acres on a hill above the Mark Twain Library in Redding, Stormfield includes an expansive lawn, portico porch, pool and separate apartment above a detached garage. It comprises a main house and a detached garage apartment, totaling totaling 6,300 square feet of living space with four bedrooms and five full bathrooms.

The listing last summer noted the home’s name was inspired by Twain’s short story, “Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven.” An adjacent property that Clemens developed for a daughter, Jean, who died soon after, was listed for sale in 2017.

Also on the property are a pool and carriage house, as well as a detached three-car garage with a second-floor caretaker cottage complete with two bedrooms, a full bathroom, living room and kitchen.

Clemens’ daughter Clara inherited the property and offered the villa during World War I as a convalescent home for soldiers. She then found a buyer for the property, only for the villa to be destroyed in 1923 during a fire sparked by renovation work, according to several historical sources. A new buyer bought the land and reconstructed it in 1925 using the same foundation, stone walls and other features.

The property is owned today by Jake and Erika DeSantis. Town records show they paid $3.45 million for the property in 2003.

Neither Jake DeSantis nor a William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty broker handling the listing could be reached Monday for details on any buyer interest in the property to date this year.

Of the 50 houses sold in Connecticut between January and mid-April priced between $3.5 million and $4.5 million, only a handful have been located north or east of the stretch of Long Island Sound communities from Greenwich to Fairfield.

The closest such sale to Stormfield was a house seven miles south on Martin Road in Weston, which sold in March for $4.35 million — 7 percent less than the price the owners sought in May 2021. While the Weston lot is far smaller at six acres, the house is more spacious at nearly 10,000 square feet.

Several more properties are on the market in that price bracket not far from Mark Twain Lane. After going on the market last year at the same price as Stormfield, the owners of a Ridgefield stone villa overlooking a waterfall dropped the price of the property 11 percent this year to just under $3.8 million.

And other properties are coming on each day in the range of $4 million, to include a 14,000-square-foot mansion on Congress Street in Fairfield listed for the same price as Stormfield.

Includes prior reporting by Nicole Funaro .Soule@scni.com; 203-842-2545; @casoulman