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Hannibal in Marion County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse

 
 
Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, September 14, 2015
1. Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse Marker
Inscription.  Built in 1935 as a memorial to Mark Twain on his 100th birthday, the current lighthouse is the second to be built at this site.

1934 Construction on the Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse began. The metal framework structure, covered with sheet iron and plywood, was completed in less than two months.
1935 The 100th birthday of Samuel Langhorne Clemens. The lighthouse was built as a monument to Hannibal’s most beloved son, as a symbol of his years as a riverboat pilot. It is purely ornamental, nestled too far inland to be of any use for river navigation. President Franklin D. Roosevelt lit the beacon from Washington, D.C. by pressing a gold key connected by telegraph lines. Clara Clemens Gabrilowitsch, Mark Twain’s daughter, spoke about her father in a live radio broadcast from Detroit.

”Hannibal’s plan to flash the continuous light from the top of Cardiff Hill during the year of my father’s centennial is a fine inspiration… What could be more suitable than a bright illumination to remind us that he was born nearly 100 years ago and what place more appropriate than Hannibal to flash
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this light; Hannibal, the town in which Mark Twain spent most of his boyhood.”
Clara Clemens Gabrilowitsch, 1935


1947 Stone steps with an iron railing were constructed from the bottom of the rock quarry below the lighthouse to the top of the hill.
1960 The lighthouse was leveled by a fierce windstorm.
1963 The lighthouse was rebuilt, this time with wood and cedar shingles, and re-dedicated with President John F. Kennedy lighting the beacon. Girl and Boy Scouts lined the steps with candles and the flame passed from scout to scout up the hill.
1994 A two year renovation revitalized the lighthouse and it was rededicated with President Bill Clinton lighting the beacon. This time Boy and Girl Scouts lit a string of flashlights.
2000 The Mark Twain Memorial Bridge changed locations, making it impossible to walk up the steps from the Tom and Huck Statue to the lighthouse.

54 Feet Tall
200 Feet Above the Mississippi River
244 Steps from the Statue to the Lighthouse

(photo captions)
• This photo, taken in 1938, shows visitors on the wooden steps to the lighthouse.
• In 1935, a lighthouse replica was displayed during a parade celebrating Mark Twain’s centennial.
• In 1960, a windstorm with 70-mph winds demolished the structure.
Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse Marker (<i>wide view</i>) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, September 14, 2015
2. Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse Marker (wide view)
This photo, taken in 1963, shows the Mark Twain Memorial Bridge approach atop the rocky incline above the statue.

Information and photos provided by Steve Chou, Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum, Hannibal History Museum and Hannibal Courier-Post
 
Erected by Hannibal Parks & Recreation.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Landmarks. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #32 Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Former U.S. Presidents: #35 John F. Kennedy, the Former U.S. Presidents: #42 William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton, and the Lighthouses series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1935.
 
Location. 39° 42.868′ N, 91° 21.537′ W. Marker is in Hannibal, Missouri, in Marion County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Rock Street and Mark Twain Avenue (North 3rd Street) (Business U.S. 36). Marker is located beside the subject lighthouse, overlooking the Mississippi River and Illinois to the east. Marker and lighthouse are about 1/10 mile from the intersection, and then by foot up a long, steep flight of stairs from the Rock Street parking area. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Hannibal MO 63401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Mark Twain Memorial Bridge (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Hatten House
Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse (<i>view from near marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, September 14, 2015
3. Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse (view from near marker)
(about 600 feet away); Hannibal (about 700 feet away); "Huckleberry Finn House" Reconstruction (about 700 feet away); The Jail in "Tom Sawyer" (approx. 0.2 miles away); Mark Twain (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Mark Twain (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hannibal.
 
Also see . . .  Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse. The Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse sits on 10 acres of park atop Cardiff Hill, a favorite play area of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, and the gang. (Submitted on April 9, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse Staircase (<i>view from Rock Street parking area</i>) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, September 14, 2015
4. Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse Staircase (view from Rock Street parking area)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 10, 2019. It was originally submitted on April 8, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 452 times since then and 66 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 9, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Apr. 19, 2024