Hannibal – In Search of Mark Twain

Today was all about Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain. Hannibal was his boyhood home and inspiration for the characters and locations in his books, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.

We planned to start our day by going up to the Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse at the top of Cardiff Hill. We got to the base of the steps leading to the lighthouse and quickly changed our mind about going up the stairs. Neither Susie’s or my knees could handle it. Depending who you ask, there are 240 or 340 steps to the top. We decided to do it later, by car.

We walked across the street from the stairs to the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum. The admission ticket gets you into the home and several other Mark Twain related sites in Hannibal’s historic district. Following a walk through the house, we went to the Becky Thatcher House and the Museum Gallery, which contains 15 Norman Rockwell paintings that were used to illustrate special editions of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.

We walked back from Main Street to our Hotel and got into the car. Our first stop was the Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse which offered a great view of the historic district. Our next stop was the Mark Twain Riverboat which offered an hour cruise on the river. After the cruise, we hopped into the car and headed to Mark Twain Cave, which was the inspiration for the cave in Tom Sawyer. Susie sat out the tour of the cave because of her knee.

Mark Twain Lighthouse as viewed from Main Street.
Hannibal Historic District viewed from the Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse.
Mark Twain Home and the whitewashed fence.
Sam Clemens’ Room. It is the inspiration for Tom Sawyer’s bedroom from which he frequently escaped.
Rear of Mark Twain’s House. The rear window on the second floor was in Sam/Tom’s room. Also visible is the drainpipe he used for his escape.
Huckelberry Finn House
Becky Thatcher’s House
JM Clemens, Mark Twains’ father’s Office.
Mark Twain Riverboat
Barges Heading down river. The barges can be as long as 1,200 feet long and are a cost effective way of getting grain to the Port of New Orleans for transport all over the world.
Lover’s Leap as viewed from the Mark Twain Riverboat
One of the many passages in Mark Twain Cave.
Mark Twin Cave-Flowstone
Mark Twain Dinette. Opened in 1942. There are menus on the wall dating back to the early days and $0.39 hamburgers. Today’s price is significantly higher.

One thought on “Hannibal – In Search of Mark Twain”

  1. Thanks. Off to St. Louis!

    “The first time I ever saw St. Louis, I could have bought it for six million dollars, and it was the mistake of my life that I did not do it.”
    – Mark Twain in “Life on the Mississippi”

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