In preparation for my trip on the Great River Road: North, I purchased an atlas. To be exact, I purchased Rand McNally Best of the Road Atlas and Guide, 2018. I’ve purchased an Atlas in the past, but this time it was accompanied by a travel guide. I was excited. My adventure north along the Great River Road: North would begin in Saint Louis. My wife, son and I stopped in Saint Louis at the arch. I visited there as a young child, however this was my wife and son’s first visit.
Previous Missouri visits aside, I was more intrigued by the attraction in Hannibal. The Atlas described Hannibal, Mo as the “hometown of Samuel Clemens”. Let’s just say that I knew who Mark Twain was, and I knew that “Mark Twain” was a pen name. Most likely I was taught Twain’s real name in high school; I enjoyed the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I found that book interesting, but I didn’t pay attention to Twain’s actual name.
A quick internet search told me who Samuel Clemens later became known as. Through a very quick purchase (all hail Ibooks) on my mobile device I purchased a book called, Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain. It told me many things about the Mississippi River, which I’ve crossed many times, and even once lived near. I was amazed by the river’s size. Twain himself describes the great Mississippi River in his own way:
An Article in the New Orleans ‘Times-Democrat’ based upon reports of able engineers, states that the river annually empties 406,000,000 tons of mud into the Gulf of Mexico…. This mud, solidified, would make a mass a mile square and two hundred and forty-one feet high. That is an amazing natural phenomenon.
As amazing as those facts are, I was still more intrigued by the hometown of a well-accomplished American author. As a stop on the Great River Road, Hannibal is located approximately 100 miles northwest of Saint Louis. Located on the west banks of the Mississippi River, Samuel Clemens resided in Hannibal from 1844-1853. The museum consisting of a series of buildings to represent the towns which Twain describes has been open to the public as a museum since 1912. I highly recommend taking your time and visiting the things that Hannibal, Missouri and the Mark Twain Historical District, affectionately known as Twain Town have to offer.
It has been said that Hannibal, Missouri was in mind when he describes the setting of his fictional works like the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
. Mind my readers that Hannibal has modernized since the days of Samuel Clemens’s residency in Hannibal, or since Mark Twain’s publishing of his works. At any rate Hannibal, Missouri is a nice, historical and informational place to visit.