Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, lecturer AND LOVER OF DOGS.
He also happens to be one of our favorite dead people. We, 2 Besties, are a little (lot) nerdy. We grew up in downtown Hannibal, hung out there in our youth and still enjoy it’s beauty today as grown-up (age-wise) residents. The blonde bestie was actually Becky (yeah…THE Becky of Tom and BECKY) when we were in Jr. High (I have been BEGGING her to throw that dress back on and go downtown with me- she refuses). I, however, was no such thing. I knew I was not cut out, even then, to be such a thing. While she was greeting tourists in her yellow curls, I was sweating my A off down the street at Murphy Motor’s washing cars on the lot for my dad. #memories
Our love of this town and Mark Twain’s quirkiness is what lead us to our BIG ANNOUNCEMENT TODAY!
TWAIN TREATS! (take that in for a moment)
We love tourist season with it’s happy downtown visitors. Vacationers BEEM- it’s awesome! Anyhoo- When we go on vacation we always try to find something cute to bring back for our dogs. It just made good sense that we would provide the tourists of Hannibal, MO with a souvenir to take back to their pups. Right? It’s a no brainer.
We are YAPPY to announce that the following merchants have come aboard to sell our Twain Treats:
Chocolaterie Stam, Mississippi Marketplace, Mark Twain Dinette, Ole Planters Restaurant, Mark Twain Riverboat and Garth Woodside Mansion Bed & Breakfast.
~~A historic side note…because we love history: Garth Mansion has a history rich in stories of Twain. Two of Samuel Clemens’ childhood friends remained close to him all his life: John and Helen (Kercheval) Garth. They entertained Clemens on visits to Hannibal and corresponded with him many times. Samuel Clemens, John Garth, and Helen Kercheval were all students at Mrs. Elizabeth Horr’s school and later at that of J. D. Dawson. John is probably one of the boys who provided Clemens with inspiration for the character Tom Sawyer.
We have come full circle here. Hannibal. There will be tons of people that live here that beg to differ, but WE LOVE THIS TOWN. It is rich in history that is both historic and industrial. Rather than do tons of research on the town we have lived (aside from college) our entire lives in, I just went to the City of Hannibal website where the history is already spelled out for me (I cheated on this blog). This is what I found. Before you read that, I just want you to know how cool I am (it’s true….plus I have to beat the blonde at something because she was BECKY!). Moses D. Bates is my 2nd cousin’s great grandfather (I know….you’re jealous…try to control your envy), my Hungarian-Slovak family immigrated here to work in the cement plant that they speak of (ILASCO, MO) AND my Grandparents worked at both the shoe and rubber plant back in the day. I could go on but it just seems pompous…….
The MAIN thing here is that if you live in Hannibal, tell all of your visiting friends and family of the Twain Treats. If you do not live in Hannibal but plan to visit, make sure you pick up a pink box of Twain Treats for your pups (or a pup in your life).
If you don’t want the history lesson, skip all of the italic words to follow and go straight to the closer.
So this is what was on the Hannibal website:
~~Founded in 1819 by Moses D. Bates, the river town soon flourished as a principal docking port for steamboats, flatboats, and packet steamers traveling the upper Mississippi. By 1845, Hannibal had achieved city status and by 1860, the population had more than doubled, making it the second largest city and third commercial center in Missouri.
Early industries influencing the city’s growth include pork packing, soap and candle making, coopering, and milling of lumber. As railroad transportation became less prominent, other businesses ventures took its place, including shoe manufacturing, button making, and cement production.
Hannibal has a proud list of well-known sons and daughters, including William Lear (designer of the Lear jet), Congressman William Henry Hatch, Navy Admiral Robert E. Coontz, sculptor John Rogers, Margaret Tobin (the “Unsinkable” Molly Brown), composer Egbert Van Alstyne, and artist Carroll Beckwith.
Hannibal’s most-famous son is Samuel Langhorne Clemens, known worldwide as Mark Twain. At the age of four, Sam’s family moved to Hannibal from his birthplace in Florida, Missouri, about thirty miles to the southwest. Many of the popular characters featured in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and other famous works, were based upon people Sam had known while growing up in Hannibal. Today, visitors can still tour Mark Twain’s boyhood home, the Becky Thatcher house, and the famous Mark Twain Cave.
Today, Hannibal is a community of approximately 17,000 people. Hannibal is a wonderful place to live, work, shop, or simply visit. Hannibal has a number of local industries, including General Mills (ranked 69 out of the 100 best companies to work for by Fortune magazine for 2008), Watlow Electric, Buckhorn Rubber, Cosmoflex, Spartan Metal, Enduro Industries, Continental Cement, Hannibal LaGrange University, Hannibal Regional Hospital, the Hannibal Clinic, and nearby BASF. Hannibal also has a Collegiate League Baseball franchise, the Hannibal Cavemen, who play in the Clemens Field in downtown Hannibal.
Today, Hannibal has more than 20 public parks scattered throughout, and an ever-growing multi-use trail system. Community facilities are complimented by the Admiral Coontz Armory (for recreation), boat docks located on the Mississippi River (operated by the Parks & Recreation Department), and an aquatic park within walking distance from downtown Hannibal.
Aside from Hannibal’s unique historic district, the community has grown into a thriving haven for artisans, and is included along the famous 50 Miles of Art corridor. The 50 Miles of Art corridor includes a scenic drive along Highway 79, and focuses on the growing art communities of Hannibal, Louisiana, and Clarksville, Missouri. Hannibal is home to numerous world-class artists and craftsmen. There are two studio tours each year (Spring and Fall) that highlight artists and their studios.
Thinking of visiting Hannibal? We’ve got you covered with loads of fun for young and young at heart. Hannibal is a wonderful tourist destination for thousands of visitors each year. Be sure to visit us over the fourth of July when Hannibal celebrates National Tom Sawyer Days for three full days – a family and area tradition for over 50 years.
~~Twain was raised in Hannibal, which later provided the setting for Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. He served an apprenticeship with a printer and then worked as a typesetter, contributing articles to the newspaper of his older brother. He later became a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River.
We hope you are as excited as we are. Probably not. That’s ok- we get it. We are still here, doing our thing, bringing you fresh, healthy, delish and FUN biscuits for your dog. So nothing has changed….we just have uber cute biscuits for the tourists now.
Weekend Getaway Grins and Tourist Twinkles,
The brunette (and the blonde also because she proof reads everything)