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Sender: Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
From: Andrew Dickson <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2012 21:08:20 -0400
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Reply-To: Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
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This is very sad.

On Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 7:54 PM, Vicki Dempsey <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I have been contacted privately by many of you for insights into the
> current state of things in Hannibal, but today's experience draws me
> out of my self-imposed exile from the Twain world.  I had a visit from
> a lovely former foreign exchange student from Brazil.  She wanted her
> husband to see the Hannibal sights.  For the first time in years I
> went through the museum.  I am shocked to report to you that the
> foundation and board have allowed the Pilaster House/Grant's Drug
> Store to decay horribly.  It is even more appalling that the site was
> on the states Most Endangered Property list in 2009 -- and yet nothing
> has been done.  For those of you who do not know, the Pilaster House
> is where the Clemens family was renting rooms after John M. Clemens
> filed bankruptcy.  It is where he died.  This is the last place Sam
> lived and enjoyed the free childhood he celebrated in Tom Sawyer.
> Shortly after he entered the world of work as an apprentice.
>                This building is one of only two real structures related to
> Sam Clemens that the organization supposedly cares for.  It breaks my
> heart that while building a faux "Huck Finn" house and dolling up an
> old pizza parlor and store building as museums they allowed an actual
> historic structure that is essential to the development of Sam to
> rot.  I will try to take some photographs on Wednesday to post on my
> facebook page and give you all my address.  I wish I were
> exaggerating, but there is no hyperbole here.
>                I don't know what is wrong with Hannibal.  I have been
> thinking about it for a long time.  I know many of the people on the
> board.  They are not bad people.  But they assuredly are not
> historians or preservationists.   It makes me terribly sad.
>        I know they are going to say they don't have money.  The reason is
> that they spent their money on silly things.
> Terrell Dempsey