Traveling to North Carolina last week for a family wedding led us back through Hannibal MO the other day and a visit to the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum.
The controversy over his most famous works, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, notwithstanding, Twain is considered one of America’s greatest authors. He certainly deserves reading and studying by anyone who fancies themselves a writer. I read the books starring Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn as a boy. I remember being swept away by their adventures even as I struggled to decipher their “strange accents and language.”
The Mark Twain Museum includes Twain’s boyhood home, his father’s office, an interpretive center, Grant’s Drugstore, A Museum Gallery, “Becky Thatcher’s” house (she was modeled after a female friend of Twain’s in Hannibal (Laura Hawkins Fraser), and a replica of Huck Finn’s house (who was inspired by a local boy, Tom Blankenship). If you’re in the area, it’s well worth a visit.
Be warned that seemingly every other business in Hannibal contains the name Mark Twain or one of his characters. That means navigating the small town can be confusing. But most of the buildings are well preserved from the mid-1800’s era when the town was growing. Also, it wasn’t busy at all on a beautiful mid-April day.