PGAV Destinations, a global leader in the planning and design of unique destinations, has announced that the Pilaster House Exhibits and the Justice of the Peace Office Interpretation at the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum in Hannibal, MO, will be officially rededicated on Friday 9 July.
“The Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum is delighted to have been able to take a building that was named to the 2009 top 10 endangered properties list and have it restored,” says James Lundgren, CEO and Executive Director of the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum.
“Having this important resource open allows us to present new interpretation on the formative years of Sam Clemens. We thank PGAV Destinations for their efforts on this important project.”
Enhancing the visitor experience
PGAV Destinations has worked with the attraction since 2005 and has created enhanced visitor experience and exhibits as part of the overall tour of sites related to the famous author in Hannibal. The most recent of these opened in 2020 just before the outbreak of COVID-19 and is now celebrating its official rededication.
The Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum has completed an extensive renovation of the Pilaster House, which was the site of Grant’s Drug Store and the Grant Residence, located just down the street from the Mark Twain Boyhood Home.
For a brief time in 1846-47, The Pilaster House was Clemens’ home, as the Grant family invited the Clemens’ family to move in above the pharmacy in a time of financial hardship. This is also where the writer was living when his father passed away.
The second-floor exhibits demonstrate the cramped conditions, as well as celebrating Jane Clemens, Sam’s mother, and her struggle to keep the family together. They also show the influences that Sam discovered during his stay here.
Meanwhile, on the first floor, the importance of the pharmacy and its role as a centrepiece of small-town life is shown. Interactive exhibits communicate the fear of losing a child in one of the outbreaks of disease, and how death, while it was more common, was no less feared. The young writer’s experience was touched by death on several occasions and his works reflect the fears, attitudes, and resignation of the people he grew up with here.
“We have been given yet another opportunity to interpret the rich stories of Sam Clemens and this place,” says Diane Lochner, PGAV Vice President. “The creativity of our team and the collaboration with leadership provided the synergies to showcase these unique stories and shed light on the event that shaped Sam’s life.”
Earlier this year, PGAV Destinations announced that it is creating a new digital media experience for the Missouri Botanical Garden at its new Jack C. Taylor Visitor Center.