While I respect Terrell Dempsey's work, I do not think that he presents a fair assessment of the state of things in Hannibal--perhaps accurate in regard to the condition of Grant's Drugstore. I am originally from Hannibal The buildings is in bad shape.
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On Jun 11, 2012, at 6:54 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