Ed & Marilyn 'The Happy Wanderers' travel blog

Turning in the long drive


One of the cottages

Another one

And the third

Woodside Restaurant with Mansion behind





Inside the restaurant

John beside the small bar

It was so good that it was half gone before we took...

Inside the Mansion







Yesterday evening, Marilyn & I were the guests of John & Julie, owners of the Garth Mansion and Woodside Restaurant.

We had been invited to enjoy a fine dinner at this very exquisite restaurant, in return for a favor we did for these nice folks.

We had originally planned to go on the evening of our 47th wedding anniversary, but Marilyn wasn’t feeling up to it, so last night was the new date.

We have pictures to show you because we arrived a bit early, to allow time for walking on the grounds and taking some pictures.

In addition to the Mansion itself, there are three guest cottages. All were occupied at the time so we didn’t see inside. We’ll save that for another day.

The original name for the mansion was the Garth Woodside Mansion, and it played an important part in the history of Hannibal, Missouri and in the life of Mark Twain.

Marilyn and I entered the very comfortable and inviting restaurant and were met by John, who chatted with us for awhile.

We were seated at a table for two, facing the huge windows, with a wonderful vista of the trees and beautiful landscaping.

The service was excellent as we were served with ice water immediately, and offered a glass of wine to begin the dinner.

A fresh Caesar salad and hot home made bread began the meal.

We selected the salmon for dinner, served with an awesome sauce, and accompanied by asparagus sprinkled lightly with sea salt, and orzo pasta with a creamy cheese sauce.

The food was excellent, the service could not have been any better, and of course, I enjoyed the company. LOL

A second glass of wine accompanied the meal and then a delicious crème brule’ was served, along with a cup of fresh brewed coffee.

It was a wonderful experience and we must say “Thank You” to John & Julie, once again.

After dinner we were shown around the mansion, which has eight guest rooms on the second and third floors. John explained some of the history of the Mansion as we explored the main rooms of that magnificent building.

Julie took a few moments to give us a couple of her home baked chocolate chip cookies, which have become quite a hit among the guests who stay there.

Now, I would like to share with you, more of the history of this delightful place.

The Mansion was built by John Garth and Helen Kercheval, in 1891, on a farm about 3 miles southwest of town. They named this Mansion “Woodside” and it was built as a summer home. They raised shorthorn and Jersey cattle on the farm.

In May, 1882, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) traveled the Mississippi River, refreshing his memory while writing “Life on the Mississippi”.

When he reached Hannibal, he spent his first night at the “Park Hotel”, but quickly became a guest of the Garths. He wrote to his wife, Olivia, “I spent my night with John and Helen Garth three miles from town in their spacious and beautiful house.”

John Garth died in 1899. When Samuel Clemens visited Hannibal in 1902, he again visited Helen Garth and her daughter. They took him by carriage to Mt. Olivet Cemetery to visit the graves of his family and that of John Garth.

Later they hosted a dinner at the fifth street house, which included another childhood friend, Laura Hawkins Frazer, the model for Becky Thatcher.

So, that is just a bit of the history of this wonderful place. The neat thing is that you can also stay here and enjoy the peace and serenity of this country setting, along with dinner, which is absolutely enjoyable.

Look at the web site for additional information:


Now, I’ll get this posted and add some pictures for you to enjoy.

You’ll have to wait until the next post to see what adventures this day had in store…..

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