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Mark Twain Library LbNA #76439

Owner:Honest Abe
Plant date:Mar 1, 2023
Location: 439 Redding Road
Found by: toolie bird (3)
Last found:Apr 12, 2024
Last edited:Mar 3, 2023
The Mark Twain Library was founded in 1908 by the most popular American author of the time, Samuel Clemens, best known as Mark Twain. No other library in the world can claim this unique distinction! As Twain reached his seventh decade he began to reflect more on his life and the need to document his remarkable journey. He chose the biographer and Redding resident, Albert Bigelow Paine to write his biography. Paine had a significant impact on Samuel Clemens’ final years. In 1906, on Paine’s recommendation, Twain purchased a total of 240 acres in Redding, and arranged to have an Italianate Villa built and named it Stormfield. In June 1908, Twain moved to his new home, where he lived with his wife, Olivia, and two daughters until his death on April 21, 1910. The house was called Stormfield because the proceeds from the writer’s book Extract from Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven helped finance it. His youngest daughter Jean who dearly loved animals came to live with him and was delighted to find a farm house on the northeast corner of the estate. Within five months of moving to Redding, Twain joined with his new neighbors to form the Mark Twain Library Association, which still governs the library to this day. An unused chapel (now a private home) on the corner of Diamond Hill and Umpawaug Road was pressed into service as the first library with books donated by the writer and his many friends formed the first collection.

Twain enjoyed raising money for a new library building and predictably did so in his own unique style by employing his famous wit. He charged his houseguests to retrieve their luggage and held a benefit concert featuring his older daughter Clara, who was an opera singer. A local farmer Theodore Adams was persuaded to donate the land where the library now stands. (Twain announced that the farmer was donating land and so Mr. Adams of course agreed!) But it was a tragedy that provided the final funds needed to complete the building project. On Christmas Eve, 1909, Twain’s daughter Jean died from what is believed to be an epileptic seizure. Twain sold the Jean’s Farm after her tragic death; the $6000 proceeds from this sale was directed to the erection of the Jean L. Clemens Memorial Building – the original Mark Twain Library.

The newly constructed library was opened in late 1910 after Twain’s death and served the Redding community well for almost 60 years. In 1972, the library quadrupled in size with the construction of a circular addition. The library was renovated in 2000 and a new children’s wing was added. The original building now serves as a meeting room which houses what remains of the books Twain donated to the library–200 in all. Since then, the Mark Twain Library has continued to grow as a vital community resource providing public library services to the town of Redding, CT. Although Twain only lived a short while in Redding, his gift to the community is a lasting legacy.

Before heading to the Mark Twain Library please check their business hours here -

These clever Letterboxes are disguised as books. Please read the clues to find the books you are looking for in the area of the library described below. This letterbox series is a collaboration with the library so the library staff is aware of them and can answer question if you have any. Searching the internet for the answers of the book titles is the best way to figure them out. Mark Twain Library offers free wifi.

BOOK 1 The name of this book is also the name of the astronomical event that happened in BOTH the year Mark Twain was born and the year he died. This event happens roughly every 76 years. You'll find this book in the ADULT FICTION section of the library under the name of the astronomical event (not the authors name like the rest of the library). Head past the circulation desk to the rotunda area (the circular area of the library). Head North East from the compass you find on the floor. Look on the bookshelf ends to make sure you are in the adult fiction section. Now look under the name of the event in this section (example, if the name of event starts with an "H" then look in the "H" section of the authors) Remember to not worry about this books' authors name, just look for the name of the book. You are on the right track if you are near the bronze bust of Mark Twain, in fact, the gaze of this Mark Twain bust is slightly above where you will find this book. Once you've logged your treasure please re hide where you found it on the shelf’s for the next treasure hunter.

BOOK 2 The name of this book is long considered Mark Twain's first success as a writer. This "big break" was originally a short story and distributed in papers across the country. It was published under three different names but alas they all have one thing in common. The exact name of the short story I'm using for this clue, is actually the second title, not the first or the last. A quick internet search will make it clear. You will find this book right next to a wooden steamboat. To find this boat head back to the entrance of the library, right before the exit look to your right and you'll find the steamboat against the wall on top of a bookcase. Log your treasure and re hide where you found it.

BOOK 3 The name of this book is about the adventures of Huck's BEST FRIEND and peer. He's also the main character of other Twain novels and the leader of the town boys in adventures. He is mischievous, good hearted, and "the best fighter and the smartest kid in town". To find this book you'll need to go back to the circular rotunda and before you reach the southern most part of the compass on the floor turn left and walk 7 paces to the TEEN FICTION (labeled on top of shelves) collection. This book will be found where the other Mark Twain books are in this section. When you find Twains' books, look for the one with this title. You're in the right place if you are on the far right side of the teen fiction bookshelf’s. Please re hide for the next treasure hunters.

Good luck on finding all three.

While visiting this library feel free to visit the "old" part of the library which is upstairs. There is an elevator for those who need assistance. This part of the library is Mark Twain's original donation of books to start the library. Enjoy this treasure of a place where all 200 books Mark Twain originally donated are still resting.

We hope you enjoyed your tour around The Mark Twain Library.

More information on why Samuel Clemens used the pen name Mark Twain can be found here -

Hike length: 0.1 miles