From there we went to Twain’s house, another small affair, so small that rather than walking inside and through it, they had cut holes on the alley side of a grand stone building to shelter gawkers and the curious. We peered into each room, frozen in time behind clear plastic panels showing the small quarters Twain grew up in. Some who had seen Twain’s mansion in Hartford were astonished by the small quarters he was raised in; apparently it did not occur to them he was quite a self-made man. In each room, amidst the artifacts, stood a ghostly white manikin, representing Twain with a notable quote from him about the situation there in Hannibal. Compared to Huck Finn’s house, it is quite elegant.
After the obligatory gift shop stop in the stone building, we went out into the pedestrian walkway; Becky Thatcher’s house is under repair and thus is closed; the law office of Twain’s Father was a bare-bones mess inside that made the teeming metropolis of a north woods community such as Upton Maine (population: 63) look positively cosmopolitan, with its shipping box furniture and rough-hewn interior. A drug store, a prefab house from Chicago where Twain lived for a time was also closed and being repaired.