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Mark Twain's Connecticut

Mark Twain, one of the most beloved literary giants and humorists of the 20th
century had a deep passion for Connecticut, and in 1874 built a magnificent 19
room Victorian Gothic Mansion in Hartford. Connecticut not only represented
natural beauty to Twain, but also rich culture heritage. Today, visitors trace
Twain's steps throughout Connecticut and at many of the state's attractions:

The Mark Twain House - Hartford, CT
Twain lived in the house from 1874 until 1891. During his 17 years in Hartford,
Twain wrote eight major works in the famous third floor billiard room, raised
three daughters, entertained his famous guests and friends and went on to become
America's best known author. Visitors can tour the 19 rooms, and view more than
50,000 artifacts, including original manuscripts and first editions, historic
photographs, family furnishing and Tiffany glass. For more information call
(860) 247-0998 or visit www.MarkTwainHouse.org.

The Harriet Beecher Stowe House - Hartford, CT
The charming 1871 Victorian cottage, home to Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of
the classic and controversial novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, is located next
door to The Mark Twain House. Twain and Stowe were neighbors and he had once
commented that her famed book, "…will live as long as the English tongue
shall live." For more information call (860) 522-9258 or visit www.HarrietBeecherStowe.org.

Essex Steam Train and Riverboat Ride - Essex, CT
Today, visitors can ride what's left of the original railroad that Twain himself
rode in the 1800's. The Connecticut River was an instrumental mode of
transportation during Twain's time, and he would frequently travel up and down
the river when going to and from New York. For more information call (860)
767-0103 or (800) ESSEX TRAIN.

Mark Twain Library - Redding, CT
The original library (1908) was in an unused chapel. As first president of the
library association, Mark Twain helped build the library collection with many of
his own books. He held a concert at his home to raise money for the library, and
posted a sign in his billiard room, requesting that all guests make a $1
contribution. In 1910, the library received a donation from Andrew Carnegie, a
personal friend of Mark Twain, and the current library was built. The library
owns some memorabilia from Mark Twain's former Redding residence (destroyed by
fire in 1923), and some books from his private collection. A special Twain
exhibit titled Sunsets and Scenery: Mark Twain at Home in Stormfield will
take place on Jan. 13 through Mar. 23, 2002. For more information call (203)

Mark Twain’s Victorian Hartford Bus Tour - Hartford, CT
This two-hour guided bus tour will open your mind to the Hartford Twain knew. In 1868 Mark Twain wrote, “Of all the beautiful towns is has been my fortune to see .... Hartford is Chief.” Take this interesting tour and see why. The tour does not go to the Mark Twain House, but it is encouraged to visit the house before or after the tour. The tour is designed to see the Hartford Mark Twain knew for over 20 years, where he gained inspiration. The Hartford where he wrote his novels. See the Hartford Samuel Clemens, Olivia and their three daughters loved, learn who his friends were and whom he visited. Tours depart from all Hartford and East Hartford hotels and select area locations. Reservations required. For more information call (860) 677-8867 or visit www.charteroaktree.com

Gillette Castle State Park - East Haddam
William Gillette, famous for his role as Sherlock Holmes, performed many
theatricals in Twain's Hartford home when he was a child. As an adult, Gillette
built what is known as Gillette Castle -- an unusual stone castle with views of
the Connecticut River. Gillette Castle is undergoing a major renovation expected
to be completed in the summer of 2002. For more information call (860) 526-2336.

Goodspeed Opera House - East Haddam, CT
The landmark Victorian theater built in 1876, two years after Twain built his
home in Hartford, sits right along the Connecticut River. Many shows have
originated at the Goodspeed before debuting on Broadway. For show information
call (860) 873-8664.

Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art - Hartford, CT
One of Connecticut's finest museums, it is the oldest public art museum in the
country (opened in 1844) with a collection of more than 50,000 works of art. It
is recorded that Twain first visited The Museum in 1868. For more information
call (860) 278-2670.

Cheney Homestead - Manchester, CT
The Homestead is the restored home for the Cheney brothers, founders of the
world-renowned silk industry, where Twain visited often with his daughters to
play with the Cheney daughters. Their home is now opened to the public as a
museum and art gallery. For more information call (860) 643-5588.

Timexpo Museum - Waterbury, CT
The Museum, which opened its doors in the spring of 2001, traces the history of
Timex and its predecessors in the watch and clock industry, dating back to the
1850's. A variety of artifacts and memorabilia are on display including a
handwritten letter from Mark Twain. For more information call (800) 225-7742 or
visit www.timexpo.com

Barnum Museum - Bridgeport, CT
Collections and changing exhibits related to the life of P. T. Barnum, the
ultimate showman and contemporary friend of Twain who also traveled quite
frequently. One particular letter that Twain wrote to Barnum is housed in the
archives at the Bridgeport Public Library (across the street from the museum).
It is suspected that Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court was based on the factual character of his friend P.T. Barnum. For more
information call (203) 331-1104.

The Mark Twain River Boat - Hartford, CT
State Street Landing at the Connecticut River in Hartford is a restored
riverfront landing where Twain often boarded steamboats for New York. Today it
offers waterfront walks, festivals and cruises aboard the newest riverboat in
Connecticut, Deep River Navigation's sparkling new M/V Mark Twain. The Mark
Twain has three roomy decks, and its home berth is Hartford's fabulous new
riverfront facility, Riverfront Plaza part of Hartford's Riverfront Recapture
initiative. For more information call (860) 526-4954 or toll-free 1-877-MK TWAIN


Treasure Hunt Through Time

  1. Ridgefield's Keeler Tavern Museum, 132 Main St., is on the National Register of Historic Places and features a British cannonball embedded in the wall. After a visit, stroll Main Street for shopping, dining and a visit to The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art.
  2. Head up to Rte. 7...

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