The Laura Richards House is a historic house at 3 Dennis Street in Gardiner, Maine. Built about 1810, it is a fine local example of Federal period architecture. It is primarily significant as the home of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Laura E. Richards during the majority of her writing career. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
Description and history
The Laura Richards House stands in a residential area just south of downtown Gardiner, at the southern corner of Dennis and School Streets. It is a 2-1/2 story wood frame structure, with a hip roof, interior end chimneys, and clapboard exterior with denticulated cornice. The main facade faces northeast toward Dennis Street, and is five bays wide, with the center entrance framed by sidelight windows and pilasters, and topped by a half-round transom with entablature above. The interior has a typical Federal period central hall layout. Attached to the rear is a 1-1/2 story ell with a monitor roof, which joins it to a carriage barn.The house was built about 1810 by Ebenezer Byram, who had purchased the land from Robert Hallowell Gardiner. In 1878, it was purchased by Henry and Laura E. Richards. Laura Richards (1850-1943) was the daughter of Samuel Gridley Howe and Julia Ward Howe, and Henry Richard was Gardiner's grandson. The couple moved to Gardiner in 1876 after suffering financial reverses, and it was about that time that Laura Richards began her writing career. She is best known for a series of children's books, and was a corecipient of the inaugural Pulitzer Prize for a biography of her mother.