The Welshman's Cottage was originally located at 517 Mark Twain Avenue (at the corner of Denkler's Alley). It is thought to have been built prior to 1839 with slave labor. The building has served many different functions over the years: an armory for the Union army during the Civil War, a saloon, a private residence, and as the site of the first soda water factory in Hannibal. When a plan to expand Highway 36 (Mark Twain Avenue) commenced in 1957, several homes along the south side of the street were auctioned for demolition. Marion County Historical Society members bought the old house, then simply known as the Old Stone House. Volunteers dismantled the house stone by stone, numbering each stone so that it could be rebuilt with accuracy. The Hannibal Women’s Club donated $1,700 to MCHS in 1958 for the restoration. The City of Hannibal allowed the home to be rebuilt on city property at 509 North Third Street, and when completed, MCHS opened the home as a museum and historical landmark. The dedication ceremony took place on July 1, 1963 (during that year’s National Tom Sawyer Days). A key was presented to Mayor Harry Musgrove as special guest Mrs. Frank Klever, granddaughter of Hannibal’s first mayor, James Brady, looked on.


Today, the Welshman's Cottage is owned by the City of Hannibal and is currently the home of Jim's Journey: The Huck Finn Freedom Center, a museum and repository for the collection of the Hannibal African American Life and History Project.

Welshman's Cottage

Click here for more information on Jim's Journey: Huck Finn Freedom Center

(Top) The building in its original location on Mark Twain Avenue (then called Palmyra Avenue), c1930s


(Left) Kate Ray Kuhn (at left holding the paint can), then president of the Marion County Historical Society, oversees volunteers as they number each stone of the cottage in preparation for relocation to Third Street, c1959


(Below) The cottage reassembled at its new location at 509 North Third Street, c1965