I noted Ms. Schmidt's visit to Hannibal with interest because last year I
toured Hannibal and Florida (MT's birthplace). Of the two, I was more
impressed by Florida. The state of Missouri relocated the original cabin
to a beautiful location overlooking a Corp of Engineers lake and built a
shrine around it to keep it from further damage. Inside the shrine are
many excellent exhibits about Twain and his life (including furnishings
from the Hartford house, his mother's rocking chair) as well as a
well-stocked reading room. The shrine is a few miles from the now-deserted
hamlet of Florida, though the cemetery where Twain's sister and uncle John
Quarles are buried is still extant and well-worth the trip. (Incidentally,
some maps do NOT show the Florida location; I believe my AAA map sufficed,
As far as Hannibal itself, I found it to be over-commercialized, though the
boyhood home and Becky Thatcher's Bookstore are both worth the visit. Also
recommended are the cave tour and steamboat ride on the Mississippi
(although both are overpriced), but skip the haunted house and wax museum!
Cardiff's Hill, however, is worth the effort to climb. Mt. Olivet
Cemetery--where Twain's father, mother, and brothers & where Injun Joe
(real name Joe Douglass) are buried--is difficult to find but a must-visit.
Hotel rates are reasonable but food--except for the fast-food type--is
If anyone would like more details, feel free to e-mail me.