Unusual Tourist Sites: Mark Twain Museum Hannibal Missouri Part 2

About the unusual tourist site the Mark Twain Museum in his boyhood home of Hannibal, Missouri, history and information.

Hannibal, Missouri

Adjoining the Clemens home is the Mark Twain Museum, where a collection of rare books, original manuscripts, furniture, clothing, and photographs is on display. The museum was dedicated in 1937.

Once you've visited the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum, it would be only natural to cross the street to the Becky Thatcher House. Becky was one of the key characters in Tom Sawyer, and she was patterned after a real-life character, Laura Hawkins, who lived in the house across from young Clemens. That house has been preserved, too, and for Twain, it represented pure elegance.

The Thatcher house was garnished with crystal-prismed table lamps, mirrors, and mahogany candlestick holders. Today you'll find remnants in the bedroom of what attracted young Sam to Laura (Becky). A blue silk dress, a cambric nightgown, and a petticoat are all laid out neatly on the bed, and long white lisle stockings are draped on the chair.

There are other reminders of Twain throughout Hannibal, like the Pilaster House, where the Clemens family lived for a very brief period of time. It is one of the most architecturally interesting homes in town, with its wooden Greek columns which adorn the walls.

At the foot of "Cardiff Hill," where Sam and his friends played, statues of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn have been erected. The life-size bronze figures are by Fred S. Hibbard.

The Mark Twain Cave is located 2 mi. southeast of Hannibal on Missouri Route 79. In Tom Sawyer, this was the cave in which Tom and Becky Thatcher became lost and Injun Joe died. The cave is well-lit and maintains a dry, uniform 52 deg F. temperature.

Location: The Boyhood Home and Museum are at 208 Hill Street. Admission: Except for the cave, almost all other Mark Twain attractions in Hannibal are free. Hours: The Home and Museum are open daily (except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's) from 8 A.M. to 8 P.M. between June 1 and September 1; from September 1 to May 30, 8 A.M. to 5 P.M.

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