Thursday, September 10, 2015


Samuel Langhorne Clemens (aka Mark Twain) 1835-1910,  was a social critic, lecturer and novelist.
Statue erected in Riverview Park, Hannibal, Missouri by the State of Missouri (1913)
"His religion was humanity; a whole world mourned for him when he died."

Hannibal, Missouri
Missouri Backroads near
Hannibal, MIssouri

RV and I detoured as we drove through the Missouri countryside and decided to spend a week in and around Hannibal, Missouri.
Hannibal Missouri

View of Hannibal, Missouri

Downtown and quaint Hannibal, Missouri

Hannibal is a town all of us have read about mostly because of its relationship to Mark Twain, Huck Finn, etc., and a bygone era of the Mississippi River and riverboats.  Upon entering the Missouri countryside we had an inkling of a hint this may be a little more than a sleepy little's a sleepy little tourist town. 
Mark Twain Riverboat
Hannibal, Missouri

Hannibal Trolley

Mississippi River from Hannibal, Missouri

Mark Twain Campground and Cave

Mark Twain Campground

Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) is everywhere, yet he wasn't born here and he didn't die here.  In 1839, his life in Hannibal began when he was about 4 years old when his family relocated by wagon from a sleepy hamlet about 30 miles away, Florida, Missouri.  
Mark Twain stone sculpture at Illinois-Missouri Bridge

Samuel Clemens' brief education was in a country schoolhouse of 25 girls and boys of different ages. Samuel Clemens moved away in 1863, and did not return to the Mississippi River area until 1882 to do research on a book.  The last visit he made to Hannibal was in the year 1902, about 8 years before he died at his home in Elmira, New York.  

In an effort to catch the full flavor of Hannibal and not wanting to miss anything this town had to offer, we stayed at the Mark Twain Cave and Campground (the cave existed in Samuel Clemens' youth).  For $20 each you tour the cave, and then as you leave there's a complimentary wine tasting, gem mine and HUGE souvenir shop...lots of free parking.

Gem Mine - Mark Twain Campground

Wine Tasting - Mark Twain Campground

Mark Twain Campground and Cave

Gift Shop - Ticket Shop - Ice Cream Shop - Theatre
Mark Twain Campground

Mark Twain Campground and Cave

Mark Twin Cave - Hannibal, Missouri

After exploring Hannibal, it is evident Mark Twain left an indelible impression on this quaint little town, most of it having lots of economic impact. A few examples:

Mark Twain Riverboat - Hannibal, Missouri

Entrance to Mark Twain Cave and Campground Complex
Hannibal, Missouri

Silver Creek Fun Park - Hannibal, Missouri

Huck Finn Shopping Center - Hannibal, Missouri

Mark Twain Lake - Missouri State Park

Mark Twain Dinette
Hannibal, Missouri

Mark Twain Dinette - Hannibal, Missouri

Mark Twain Museum Interpretive Center
Wood carved Dioramas in Interpretive Center
Mrs. Clemens' Shoppes
Mrs. Clemens' Shoppes - Hannibal, Missouri
Huck and Tom Statue - Hannibal, Missouri

Aunt Polly's Treasures
Hannibal, Missouri
Finn's Food and Spirits
Finn's Food & Spirits - Hannibal, Missouri

Becky Thatcher's Diner - Hannibal, Missouri
 A Few More...... 

(Note:  Numerous commercial businesses containing the names of the above have been omitted).

If you didn't know, Molly Brown, as in the "Titanic" "Unsinkable Molly Brown" is also from Hannibal, Missouri.  If you have any leftover time you can visit the original and historic Molly Brown Museum and Home.

After visiting Hannibal we wanted to research the life of Samuel L. Clemens and discovered a newly published autobiography, Autobiography of Mark Twain (not published until the year 2010, at the instructions of the author until 100 years after his death).  The Autobiography, an immediate best seller, was not started until Clemens was in his 40's, and reads as if he is dictating a story and is interestingly historical, as he portrays "a life voyage".  He discusses his boyhood in Hannibal sixty years prior in the book, and much, much more. 


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