2019 Anniversary Tour travel blog

Parked along the river bank waiting for the fog to lift

Looking down river through the fog

Buses waiting to take us to Hannibal

America docked to let passengers off for the buses

View from Rockcliffe Manor

Hearing about the history from one of the owners

Some of the stained glass windows at Rcokcliffe

Some of the "modern" innovations in the mansion

In the mansion

In the kitchen

Rockcliffe Manor

Afternoon snack in Hannibal

Octoberfest in Hannibal

Main St. in Hannibal

Tom Sawyer's fence

The story of the fence

Returning to the boat docked across the river from Hannibal

View of Hannibal from across the river


We left Davenport and headed to Hannibal, MO late Saturday afternoon. The weather continued to be overcast and threatening rain as we went to bed. I woke up early (0530)on Sunday and looked out the window to find us pushed up on the bank of the river and fog so thick that all river traffic was halted. We finally got underway by mid-morning when a lot of the fog had burned off. The fog delay played havoc with our scheduled visit to Mark Twain's town of Hannibal. Because we were still 40 or so miles upriver and a couple of locks and bridges from Hannibal, American Cruise Lines arranged for busses to meet us and drive us to Hannibal, about 45 minutes away by highway.

We got an interesting tour of the city before they dropped us at the turn of the century Rockcliffe Mansion that is being restored by the new owners. It was built in 1898 by John J. Cruikshank, Jr., a descendant of Scottish immigrants, who made his fortune on lumber. It gets its name from its location on top of a rocky bluff overlooking Hannibal and the Mississippi River. It's a huge 13,500 sq. ft. Colonial Revival/Georgian Style mansion. John J. Cruikshank built the house and his family moved in in 1900 and lived there for 24 years. Once Cruikshank died his wife moved out and the house sat vacant until 1967. A group of investors saved it from being torn down when they bought it and restored it to its original appearance with the donation of many original artifacts by Cruikshank's daughter which she had carefully stored for decades. Rockcliffe still has its original furniture, wall coverings, lighting fixtures, bathroom fixtures, books, clothing and personal artifacts of the Cruikshank family. The ongoing restoration is intended to maintain the mansion in its original turn-of-the-century state. The current owners operated it as a Bed and Breakfast. It is surprising how many "modern" innovations were installed by Cruikshank when he built it for a reported $125,000.

After the mansion we went into Hannibal to see some of the Mark Twain sites. But before touring, we had to have a fresh brewed root beet at the Mark Twain Family Restaurant. I had a float and Sue had a plain root beer along with some onion rings.

We left Hannibal for Alton, IL late Sunday afternoon. This will be our last day of cruising. We'll be getting a tour of St. Louis on Monday and our cruise of the upper Mississippi River will come to an end on Tuesday. We'll be transferring back to Winnie to continue our "voyage" in the upper mid-West. Stay tuned.

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