Monte Cristo Cottage

Monte Cristo Cottage (also known as Eugene O'Neill Summer House) was the summer home of American actor James O'Neill and his family, notably his son Eugene O'Neill. It is a National Historic Landmark located at 325 Pequot Avenue in New London, Connecticut.

Monte Cristo Cottage (Eugene O'Neill Summer House)
The home in 2018
Location325 Pequot Avenue, New London, Connecticut
Coordinates41°19′55″N 72°5′46.5″W
Architectural styleStick/eastlake, Queen Anne
NRHP reference #71001010
Significant dates
Added to NRHPJuly 17, 1971[1]
Designated NHLJuly 17, 1971[2]


James O'Neill came to New London, Connecticut in June 1884 and purchased two plots of land on Pequot Avenue for his wife Ella's 27th birthday.[3] The property included a cottage built in the 1840s which he expanded. It is now a two-story house, three bays wide with a porch that wraps around the front to the north side. A tower with pyramidal roof stands just beyond the porch on the north side. It was the principal family residence during Eugene O'Neill's childhood.[4]

As a child, Eugene spent much of the year traveling with his actor father touring from city to city, but the family returned to this cottage each summer. It was named for the play in which his father starred in touring productions for many years. O'Neill probably wrote his first two plays here, and it is the setting of his plays Ah, Wilderness! and Long Day's Journey into Night.[4]

Recent history

The house was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1971 for its association with O'Neill.[2][4] The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center purchased it in 1976[5] and operates it as a historic house museum, furnished to appear as it might have for the setting of Long Day's Journey into Night. The house also features exhibits about O'Neill's life and works, as well as artifacts and memorabilia, including the desk which he used to write his drama Anna Christie which won him the Pulitzer Prize.[5]

See also


  1. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  2. "Monte Cristo Cottage (Eugene O'Neill Summer House)". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-10-05.
  3. Black, Stephen A. Eugene O'Neill: Beyond Mourning and Tragedy. Yale University Press, 1999: 28. ISBN 0-300-07676-2
  4. Edmund Preston (March 22, 1971). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Monte Cristo House / Eugene O'Neill House" (pdf). National Park Service. Cite journal requires |journal= (help). Accompanying 1 photo, exterior, from 1971. (443 KB)
  5. Schmidt, Shannon McKenna and Joni Rendon. Novel Destinations: Literary Landmarks from Jane Austen's Bath to Ernest Heminway's Key West. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2008: 13. ISBN 978-1-4262-0277-3
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