Walking Hannibal, Missouri

Day 193

     When we stay in a town we normally spend the first day riding around to get our bearings. The next day or so we tour or hike our areas of interest. Then, if the weather is nice, we walk the town. Today was that day. Mark Twain’s Hannibal is about 10 blocks long by 4 blocks wide.

    We wandered and looked at the various mansions, including touring the Rockcliff Mansion. 


    In Hannibal, you can’t kick a stone without hitting something labeled Mark Twain: Mark Twain restaurant, Mark Twain ice cream parlor, Mark Twain souvenir shop, Mark Twain brewery, Mark Twain candy store, Mark Twain antiques, etc.

     We walked the 244 steps from the statute of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn


to the Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse.


On the way, I think I saw a Monarch Butterfly


     I am not sure, as it was the same size as a regular butterfly. It might have been a Viceroy Butterfly. Maybe Lisa, my sister-in-law, can verify.

      The Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse stands on Cardiff Hill overlooking Hannibal, Missouri, on the banks of the Mississippi River. On November 11, 1934 construction on the lighthouse was commenced. The lighthouse was the first in the nation to be “inland”, which rendered it not as an aid to navigation, but to shine light over the year-long festivities surrounding the celebration of Mark Twain’s 100th birthday, and therefore purely for decoration.


     The lighthouse was lit by President Franklin D. Roosevelt from the White House on January 15, 1935. Technicians installed lines that connected the beacon of the lighthouse to the president’s desk in the Oval Office so that he could light the beacon with the turn of a key. I bet that cost the taxpayers a pretty penny.

  Unfortunately it blew down in a windstorm in 1960.


     It was rebuilt, lit and dedicated on May 24, 1963 by President Kennedy in the same manner that Roosevelt did it in 1935. In 1994 the lighthouse was refurbished and rededicated by President Clinton.

     Today, the lighthouse is again in disrepair. Inside visitation is not allowed as it is structurally unsound. Not a lasting tribute, I would think.

4 thoughts on “Walking Hannibal, Missouri

  1. Reading between the lines – does this sound like the lowest bidder won the contract – and supported by the government. Makes one wonder



  2. It is definitely a Monarch, a male to be specific. How do I know? There’s a scent gland on the hind wing (only male Monarchs have it). And Viceroys have an extra line going along the inner edge of the hind wing. Lisa [Warren says: Take that, Bainbridge Scholars.]

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