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“Stop and go through if you are in town”

Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum
Ranked #3 of 29 things to do in Hannibal
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Visit the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum and learn how a small boy from Hannibal became America's most beloved author! Experience interactive exhibits, live performances, original Norman Rockwell paintings, treasured Clemens family artifacts, Twain memorabilia and historic properties! The Mark Twain Boyhood Home is a National Historic Landmark. Don't sneak away from Hannibal until you've visited!
Reviewed 11 September 2017

We were here years ago but stopped on our way home; it is a bit disappointing to see such commercialism making the square look "artificial" -- well it is artificial since none of it was real in the first place, but it is no longer as simple as it was years ago. Seeing Samuel Clemson's childhood home was good, but the rest of it kind of cheesy. Won't make much sense if you don't know anything about Mark Twain (pseudonym), how he came to take that name as an author, or tales of Huck and Tom -- and Becky Thatcher (who now has her own house on the square). There is a cute photo-op place with a sign, white fence, and bucket with large paint brushes if you want to pretend you were one of the sucker Tom Sawyer talked into "whitewashing" a fence for him as an honor and for free.

Thank Ann T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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18 - 22 of 716 reviews

Reviewed 11 September 2017 via mobile

We found this to be a very interesting way to spend an afternoon. We were told that we could see all the locations in about an hour. However, my wife and I like to actually look at the exhibits and read the captions. We definitely spent more than one hour looking at the various locations. It was very interesting to read that Mark Twain was really not racist. His Huck Finn book portrays a young white boy who finds his relationship with a runaway black slave more important than any reward he could earn by tuning him in. I think that stories of Mark Twain being racist are "fake news." He was just writing about life during that time in our Country. It is clear his writings were intended to breed respect and tolerance of differences in both race and socio economic status.

2  Thank Ralph N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 September 2017 via mobile

The museum is nicely done, very clean and modern. The self guided tour was easy to navigate and ver informational! We enjoyed our tour and even purchased the Samuel Clemens DVD put together by PBS in the gift shop.
Definitely worth the admission price!

Thank M Betsey C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2017

One can't visit Hannibal without visiting her most famous son's birthplace. After all, isn't that what put Hannibal on the map? The Boyhood home and Museum is the starting place to see the multiple venues of Samuel Clemens' life and the lives of his contemporaries and characters. Outside the home is a wooden fence, photo op. Have your photo taken whitewashing the fence Tom was supposed to do himself, but manipulated his friends into doing for him. That is the only "hands-on" activity in this museum for those with small children, and can be seen without actually going in the museum.

The museum venue tells the story of Mark Twain from his ancestors to his death through photos, signs and a video. If you like to read, you can get a lot of information. If you don't, then move quickly through this museum.

The Huck Finn cabin is right out the back door. It is tiny, and frankly, nicer than I imagined it to be. It is also empty. Huck Finn was a real boy, but he had a different name.

The Mark Twain Boyhood Home is attached to the museum, and one can look in the doors and windows to see his furnishings and statues of him in various rooms. See his sister's room. This is a quick tour, but interesting. The best photos can be taken here. Exit through the gift shop.

The Becky Thatcher House is across the street from the Mark Twain Boyhood Home. This is a building that is mostly set up to be a child's play area, and has some hands-one type activities for children.

The court house is next door. It is a quick look inside with two informational boards. Imagine Tom Sawyer facing Injun Joe in this room. Poor Injun Joe was a real man who never did anything wrong, and asked Mark Twain why he made him a villain. He got his revenge by NOT dying in a cave, but living to be over 100 years old, outliving Twain himself.

The final venue is a block or two away, and is a gallery. We almost skipped it, but I am glad we didn't. It was the most interesting of the six venues. There were life-size statues of Twain with his famous book characters. A raft in the corner can seat an entire classroom, and has the rolling feel of a raft on water. A video of Twain's famous characters can be watched while sitting on the raft. Upstairs there is a paddlewheeler wheel that can be steered. This gallery is air conditioned, has seating, and more participatory exhibits. One can tour everything in an hour and a half, or longer if interested. I could have stayed longer in the gallery alone. On the second floor there was a display of Normal Rockwell prints of Mark Twain's characters. This may have been a traveling exhibit, but it was very interesting to my husband, who is a Norman Rockwell enthusiast.

Thank actressteacher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2017

A must if you want to understand the writings of Mark Twain. A 1 1/2 hr film is worth taking time to watch to fully grasp his life. Hannibal is an interesting town.

Thank Linda M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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