In June 1884, the O'Neill family came to New London, Connecticut. James purchased two plots of land on Pequot Avenue for his wife Ella's 27th birthday. The property included a cottage built in the 1840s, which O'Neill expanded. It is now a two-story house, three bays wide, with a porch that wraps across the front and around to the north side. A tower with pyramidal roof stands just beyond the porch on the north side. The house was the principal family residence during Eugene O'Neill's childhood. As a child Eugene would spend much of the year traveling with his actor father as the latter toured from city to city, but the family would return to this cottage each summer. The cottage 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.Long Day's Journey into Night particularly reflects members of his own family in the home: characters are unfulfilled, resentful, often emotionally harmful toward one another.
The house is owned and operated by the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center 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.