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Hill and North Main Streets, Hannibal

Apparently someone named Samuel Clemens, whose pen name was Mark Twain, was from Hannibal. There’s a statue of two of his most famous characters, Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, at the end of North Main Street. Back down on Hill Street, which intersects with Main, the houses and offices that his father worked and lived are still standing.

J.M. Clemens Law Office, Hannibal, Marion County, Historic American Buildings Survey, Library of Congress, HABS MO,64-HANIB,10–1

The Historic American Buildings Survey documented the buildings back in what looked to be the 1940s or 50s. They have changed little in appearance since then.

Mark Twain House, 206 Hill Street, Hannibal, Marion County, Historic American Buildings Survey, Library of Congress, HABS MO,64-HANIB,8–1

You can still pick up a paintbrush and pretend to paint the fence over on the right there. It’s a great photo opportunity that we declined to do.

Mr. Clemens came back and posed in front of his family’s house in 1902; by this time he had long been living in Connecticut, where he would die in 1910. A long time ago, in 2008, I visited his birthplace in Florida, Missouri.

Mark Twain in Front of Boyhood Home in Hannibal, 1902, Photograph by H. Tomlinson, Missouri History Museum, N13423

The building below is now the Mark Twain Museum.

Below is Becky Thatcher’s House, which I forgot to photograph, but it looks the same, but is now in color. It is painted tan.

Becky Thatcher House, 211 Hill Street, Hannibal, Marion County, Historic American Buildings Survey, Library of Congress, HABS MO,64-HANIB,7–1

The real standout, however in my opinion, is the House of the Pilasters, which is a fantastic example of a wood frame Greek Revival building in the Doric style. It is a real miracle that it survived to the present day.

House of the Pilasters, North Main and Hill Streets, Hannibal, Marion County, Historic American Buildings Survey, Library of Congress, HABS MO,64-HANIB,12–1

House of the Pilasters, Side View, North Main and Hill Streets, Hannibal, Marion County, Historic American Buildings Survey, Library of Congress, HABS MO,64-HANIB,12–2

2 Comments

  1. The Mark Twain Museum bldg looks different yet similar between past & present day photos.
    Brick vs. Stone & locations of doors & windows, etc.

    • You’re right! I didn’t notice! Someone did their research and restored the front façade of the building at some point, presumably returning it back to its appearance during Mark Twain’s period of residence.

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