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TVL BRIEFS -- POET'S House restored

PORTLAND, Maine -- After 21⁄2; years of restorations, visitors are getting their first look at the newly overhauled Wadsworth-Longfellow House, the boyhood home of 19th-century poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

The federal-style home underwent painstaking renovations to give visitors an idea of what the house looked like in 1850. The Maine Historical Society held an open house July 6.

Longfellow was born in 1807 in Portland, where he is honored as a native son.

Built in 1785-1786 by the poet's grandfather, the house now serves as a memorial to his famous grandson. The three-story brick house is a National Historic Landmark.

The goal was to re-create what the house looked like in the early 1850s, says Laura Fecych Sprague, curator of the restoration.

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Though Longfellow had moved out by then and his parents had died, he was a frequent visitor to the family homestead, where his sister Anne and his Aunt Lucia continued to live.

The renovations actually began in 1997 with research into the period and detective work as to what might have existed underneath later coats of paint.

Luxury ferry planned

BOSTON -- A Rhode Island businessman plans to offer travelers to Martha's Vineyard a new route with a fast, luxury ferry that bypasses the traffic and parking woes of Falmouth.

The plan from Charles A. Donadio, president of the company that operates high-speed ferries from Narragansett to Block Island, would ferry passengers from Quonset Point in North Kingston, R.I., to the Vineyard town of Oak Bluffs.

Oak Bluffs selectmen voted to share the town pier with Donadio's sleek vessels. The new Vineyard ferry, which would carry up to 350 people, could begin operating as soon as next summer.

The Quonset Point-to-Vineyard trip would take nearly twice as long as the 45-minute Falmouth trip, but Donadio said he believes the demand would be strong among travelers tired of the congestion of existing service.

Royal family memorabilia

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VICTORIA, B.C. -- Monarchy mavens will be pleased to know that a new exhibit of memorabilia about the British royal family is on display in Victoria, B. C.

The "Celebrating Royalty" exhibit at the Royal British Columbia Museum displays more than 300 items, including thrones, portraits and dresses worn by Queen Elizabeth II and Diana, Princess of Wales.

The exhibit showcases the depth of royal connections to British Columbia, beginning with the Victorian era and continuing into the present. Queen Elizabeth II has visited Victoria in the past and is scheduled to visit again Oct. 4-8.

The exhibit, which began June 28, is set to run through Jan. 31. For more information call 250-356-7226 or visit www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca.

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