ROCKCLIFFE MANSION in HANNIBAL, MISSOURI

Hannibal, Missouri was my destination for a weekend get away in November, 2021. Hannibal is best known for being the boyhood home of author Mark Twain ( born Samuel Clemens).
First on my agenda was a guided tour of the fascinating history and incredibly built Rockcliffe Mansion. Rockcliffe was built from 1898- 1900 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The mansion sits, overlooking the Mississippi River and the town of Hannibal, on a limestone bluff. This mansion was built for a lumber baron, John J. Cruikshank, Jr. It was built with double brick interior construction, had a total of 13,500 square feet, 30 rooms (of which 9 are bedrooms and 7 bathrooms). There are 10 marble and tiled fireplaces, 125 windows, hand carved and ornate woodwork, custom-made gas/electric-combination lighting fixtures, and the finest plumbing fixtures and hardware. It was decorated in Late Victoria and Art Nouveau and full of Tiffany chandeliers, lamps and stained glass windows. Most of the original furnishings and fixtures were still in the house when it was bought for restoration. . The Cruikshank family lived there for 24 years. In 1902 during Mark Twain’s last trip to Hannibal, Twain entertained hundreds of people from the grand staircase at Rockcliffe. When John died in 1924, John’s wife moved in with one of her daughters and the house was locked up, as is, and sat unoccupied for 43 years. Under threat of the house being demolished, 3 local families bought the house and the restoration process began. Restoration is on-going based on original photos found in the home and also operates as a Bed and Breakfast where you can sleep in an original bedroom/bathroom and it’s furnishings.
I have toured many mansions, castles and old homes in my years, but this tour was definitely the most interesting, entertaining and thorough of them all. We toured all 3 floors, from the Music Room to the kitchen and butler pantries on the 1st floor, to the 2nd floor, where all of the bedrooms formed a circle , each room with 3 entrances/exists in case of fire, and the 3th floor with its ballroom, servants and nanny ‘s quarters and a classroom as the children were taught at home. If you are a fan of old buildings, I highly recommend making the trip to Hannibal to tour Rockcliffe Mansion . The lighting in the house was kept dim to preserve the interior so many of my photos do not do Rockcliffe justice. But you can look up : https://www.rockcliffemansion.com/history.html
to see more photos of Rockcliffe. More posts to follow about Hannibal’s sights.
Thank you for reading!
Hope you enjoyed!

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Judy.ludwig@sbcglobal.net
    Jan 03, 2022 @ 12:25:37

    Jeannie after my many many years of travel both with work and on my way to our birthplace of Minnesota, this was never an option so this was great! Also the little girl next door, she is 11, was reading a book and the word Corset came up and I was asked to explain. I will show her your blog. What I do remember most as a kid though, was a spook house in downtown Hannibal. The experience was passed on to my niece while traveling through. She screamed while I laughed when the snakes wrapped around our legs walking through the spook house. I do like the town always loved Mark Twains words of wisdom too. Thanks!

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