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Quote from the book White Town Drowsing by Hannibal native and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Powers

Hannibal, Missouri is nestled on the western shore of the Mississippi River 100 miles north of St. Louis. Known best as the hometown of Mark Twain and the setting for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Hannibal is also the birthplace and childhood home of Titanic survivor Margaret Tobin Brown (aka The "Unsinkable" Molly Brown). During the latter half of the 19th century Hannibal was a very cosmopolitan town, its wealth

derived from the success of the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad and the prosperity brought by various industries, most notably lumber -- throughout the late 1800s sixteen major lumber firms in Hannibal were producing a combined total of more than 200 million linear feet of lumber per year.



The wealthy Lumber Barons and their families lived the epitome of the Gilded Age between 1870 - 1900. Fifth Street, the most fashionable address in Hannibal, became known as "Millionaires' Row", and many of these magnificent Victorian homes have been lovingly restored and are still with us today. Grand civic structures were also constructed,  such as the Hannibal Jail and Police Station (1878), the Federal Building (1888), and the Hannibal Free Public Library (1902) all of which are still part of Hannibal's Central Park Historic District.

Hannibal lumber baron William Dulaney c1890

Circa 1880:  A Steam engine pulls lumber from the Mississippi using a patented invention for loading floating lumber cribs by Hannibalian Sumner T. McKnight

Hannibal embodies all that is Steampunk, with authentic Victorian architecture found throughout its five historic districts, a rich history of industry and invention (inventors from Hannibal have patented hundreds of creative inventions and gadgets over the last 150 years), and, of course, the legacy of Mark Twain, whose books The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today and A Connecticut Yankee in King Aurthur's Court are widely embraced as inspiration for the Steampunk lifestyle. As you walk down Hannibal's Main Street, you are literally walking in the footsteps of Mark Twain and Molly Brown. The trains still blow their whistles as they drive through Hannibal; the riverboats still play their steam-powered calliopes to announce their arrivals and departures; horse-drawn carriages still clip-clop down the street past authentic buildings built between 1840-1900. Immerse yourself in Victorian America and step back in time to the Gilded Age at the Big River Steampunk Festival!

Federal Building

Completed in 1888

Molly Brown Birthplace and Museum.

Margaret Tobin Brown was born in Hannibal in 1867 and lived here until

the age of 18 when she left to seek her fortune in Colorado in the spring of 1886.


Main Street Historic District, one of the five historic districts in Hannibal, Missouri

Hannibal Free Public Library

Completed in 1902

Hannibal Jail

Completed in 1878

Home of  lumber baron

David Dubach

221 North Fifth Street

Completed in 1871

Sponsored By:

Click on logo to visit their website

Big River Steampunk Festival is Presented By:

Hannibal History Museum Foundation

200 N. Main Street

Hannibal, MO 63401

(573) 248-1819

a 501(c)(3) Missouri non-profit corporation

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