The Garth Woodside Mansion, built in 1871, was once the summer home for John and Helen Garth, two childhood friends of Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain.

Twain stayed in contact with him throughout his life and visited them on multiple occasions.

Today, the mansion in Hannibal is an Italianate-style bed-and-breakfast with six historic rooms and three cottages. It can be an ideal location for a wedding or a weekend getaway.

The historic rooms are decorated with Victorian-era furniture, and nearly all have fireplaces. Many of the antiques date from the period just after the conclusion of the Civil War. 

The Samuel Clemens Room was the one most-often  used by the author and has three 10-foot windows, a queen-size half tester bed with a lacy coverlet and a Carrera marble fireplace. The John Garth room, with the family's original furniture, is considered the honeymoon.

The cottages, while containing less Victorian charm, offer more privacy. All rooms within the mansion are located on the second and third floors, while the cottages are more modern and all one story in height. The Dowager House, perhaps the most expensive, is also the largest.

There is a two-night minimum on weekends and holidays, according to their website.

Visitors can enjoy the surrounding scenery from a wide, wrap-around porch featuring benches and rocking chairs, or they can explore Hannibal and other Mark Twain-related features such as The Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum and Mark Twain Cave, among other attractions.

Check in is 4 p.m. and checkout is 11 a.m. for all rooms and cottages except the Dowager House which is 3 p.m. and noon respectively. Breakfast is served between 8:30-9:30 daily.

  • Community reporter, Spring 2019 studying Photojournalism Reach me at, or in the newsroom at 882-5700

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