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History in the Upper Mississippi

By Linda Tancs

The Upper Mississippi River runs from the headwaters of Lake Itasca in Minnesota to Cairo, Illinois, a distance of about 1,250 miles.  Along that mighty trek, you’ll find Hannibal, Missouri, Samuel Clemens’ inspiration for St. Petersburg, the fictional hometown of his most famous character, Tom Sawyer.  Better known by his pen name Mark Twain, Clemens’ boyhood home in Hannibal was granted National Historic Landmark status in 1962.  Part of a city-owned array of museum properties (including Judge Clemens’ Justice of the Peace Office, Grant’s Drug Store/Pilaster House, and Tom and Huck Statue), the boyhood home on North Main Street is one of the oldest historic preservation projects in the country.

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