The Mark Twain House & Museum is the place to tour the home where Samuel Clemens, better known by the pen name Mark Twain wrote several of his books including the Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, respectively. What I did not know is a later house belonging to Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, is also on museum property.
First we toured the Stowe house, which is not where she wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin. This house is actually where she moved later in her life, though the house itself is skillfully adorned with several items belonging to her, including the desk on which she wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The museum also had copies of her original handwriting, which was pretty cool.
The Mark Twain house was quite impressive in the respect that Twain actually wrote many of his masterpieces there in that house. The inside resembled the insides of some of the Newport Mansions such as the Breakers, but further therein were nooks and rooms I could definitely imagine myself hunkering down to write in. The home also boasted electricity, a sizable patio and an indoor garden. This home was truly an inspiring place. Unfortunately for Twain, he invested poorly at some point and was forced to sell the home.
Logistically, both houses were only available by tour, and there were pros and cons to both. Our guide at the Stowe home seemed young and inexperienced, growing somewhat uncomfortable in lapses of silence and lack of questions from our group, while our Twain house tour guide seemed quite knowledgeable in comparison. At the Stowe house, photography was allowed, while in Mark Twain’s: no photos please. Amazing works of fiction written in the Twain house. The Stowe house, more of a retirement home for her.
One thing I can’t say much about is the museum itself: we arrived at the Twain museum and hour and a half before closing, which was just enough time to tour the two houses and nothing else. However, the little bit I was able to glance off entering and exiting, there is much to see there and perhaps I have a reason to return.
All in all, I think any writer will get a kick out of visiting the homes of two masterful American authors. Thanks for reading.