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Celebrating Twain’s Life & Legacy Redding & The Mark Twain Library. June 18, 1908. April 21, 1910. My Top Ten Reasons Twain’s time in Redding is of Importance…. The Mark Twain Library

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Celebrating Twain’s Life & Legacy Redding & The Mark Twain Library

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Celebrating Twain’s Life & LegacyRedding & The Mark Twain Library

June 18, 1908

April 21, 1910

My Top Ten Reasons Twain’s time in Redding is of Importance…

The Mark Twain Library

To the best of my knowledge- The Mark Twain Library is the only library in the World that Mark Twain personally founded, funded and filled with books.

The Chapel that was used as the first Mark Twain Library

Angelfish attendMark Twain Library dedication in style

525 Guests at MTL Benefit Concert

“On September 21, 1909- Detachments and squads and groups came from everywhere; some in motor car, some in buggies and carriages, and a swarm of farmer-young-folk on foot from miles around.

The artists were received with great welcome and it woke them up, and I tell you they performed to the Queen’s taste! The program was an hour and three-quarters long and the encores added a half-hour to it. The enthusiasm in the house was hair-lifting.”-Twain’s recap of the event


A personal favorite as it shows Stormfield and the Library

Early view of the Jean L. Clemens Memorial Building’s interior.

Hannibal Public Library

Twain’s father was one of

the founders of this library

and that may have

played in a role in Twain’s

wishes to found a public

library for Redding.

Note the fireplace framed

by the windows with the

portrait in the center.

Robert Hirst of the Mark Twain Papers

Twain’s legacy is alive and well here in Redding,

where we do our best to promote his final years

and the only library he founded, funded and

filled with books.

My Top Ten Reasons Twain’s time in Redding is of Importance…

Clara’s Wedding & Nina’s Birth

Clara was the only of Twain’s daughters to wed and give birth. Both of these events took place at Stormfield in Redding.

October 6, 1909 Clara & Ossip exchange vows at Stormfield

Joe Twichell officiated, Jean was the bridesmaid and Jervis Langdon was the groomsman.


Bride and groom leave in style

Nina Clemens Gabrilowitsch

My Top Ten Reasons Twain’s time in Redding is of Importance…

Albert Bigelow Paine and Twain’s Biography

Paine brought Twain to Redding, wrote his biography and from 1910 until his own passing in 1937, was (along w/Clara) the literary executor of Twain’s pages & manuscripts.

My Top Ten Reasons Twain’s time in Redding is of Importance…

Twain put Redding on the Map

Many of Twain’s closest friends visited his Redding estate and the press Worldwide reported on him just about every day. William D. Howells, Rev. Joe Twichell, Laura Hawkins Frazer, Billy Burke and Helen Keller to name a few visitors.

Clemens Redding house was reported on (almost daily) by

newspapers and magazines Worldwide.

October 13-15, 1908

“Becky Thatcher” visits


In his Guestbook he


“My first sweetheart

(65 years ago, when

She was 5 and I was

7 years old.)”

Helen Keller Visits in January 1909

The most important room in the house

Dan Beard

Beard had illustrated a

Connecticut Yankee in King

Arthur’s Court for Twain and

lived just down the hill from

Twain on Great Pasture Rd.

There were unwelcome

“Guests” as well…

Danbury Evening News, Friday, September 18th, 1908: "Crooks carry off Humorist's Silverware. Caught while

fleeing by train. One jumps from car while other uses revolver."

12 midnight Burglary, 7:30am Captured, 9:00am Arraigned, 12 noon Off-to-Jail

That’s swift justice…moral of the story? Don’t mess with Twain!

My Top Ten Reasons Twain’s time in Redding is of Importance…

The Open Space Preserved

From 1906 to 1909, Twain purchased roughly 320 acres in Redding which eventually whittled down to 268.21 acres. Of those 268+ acres, 160 acres were preserved as Open Space and hiking trails.

The Lobster Pot- Twain’s initial Redding property 1906

160+/- Acres

of Open Space

My Top Ten Reasons Twain’s time in Redding is of Importance…

Jean’s Return

Jean L. Clemens had suffered with Epilepsy since she was 15 years of age. Following her mother’s death in 1904, her condition worsened and in 1906 she left the family for remote treatment. In April of 1909 she returned to live in Redding.

Jean Comes Home

On April 26th Jean wrote her name in the Stormfield guestbook. Her Doctor had finally agreed, full of apprehension, to allow Jean to make a one-week trial visit to Redding.

She would never leave again.

An adjoining 125 acre farm became hers complete with barns and livestock.

After her passing- the farm would be sold to fund this building

and later (via the Hermes) benefit the library’s endowment.

Jean Dies at Christmas

Clemens wrote in “The Death of Jean”:

“Possibly I know now what the soldier feels when a bullet crashes through his heart.”

“… How poor I am, who was once so rich! Seven months ago Mr. Roger died--one of the best friends I ever had.. Jean lies yonder… She lies there, and I sit here--writing, busying myself, to keep my heart from breaking. How dazzlingly the sunshine is flooding the hills around! It is like a mockery.”

Portrait of Jean-Susan B. Durkee

My Top Ten Reasons Twain’s time in Redding is of Importance…

The Lyon-Ashcroft Scandal

One of the most intriguing mysteries from Twain’s time in Redding involves Isabel Lyon and Ralph Ashcroft. Were they plotting to steal Twain’s fortune or did Clara have a grudge against them? This continues to be debated.

Twain and his “entertainers”

February- Isabel falls ill, Ashcroft

is in England, Paine is in the


Clara arrives &

applies some

pressure on Sam to review

the finances.



Hubris…the root of all downfalls

Ralph Ashcroft made three mistakes.

He challenged Clara. Before he left for England, Clara suggested to him that an objective person review her father’s books. He replied: “Are you sure you want to, since it will reveal your expenditures?”

He bragged about his power of attorney.“I can sell his house, over his head, for a thousand dollars, whenever I want to!”

He lied to Sam. In a move to make Clara look unreliable he lies about the butler being fired.

The Ashcroft-Lyon Scandal

Ashcroft agreed to turn over the ledgers in April, 1909. Sam turned to Henry Rogers hoping he might find something less damning than Clara’s suspicions, a discovery that would relieve Sam of having to hate two people he had loved only six weeks before.

In mid-May, Sam went to NYC to meet with Rogers and discuss his ledgers. At Grand Central Clara met him with horrible news: Roger was dead.“The expression of grief in Father’s face was pitiful to behold” Clara wrote.

My Top Ten Reasons Twain’s time in Redding is of Importance…

Twain’s passing at Stormfield

Because Twain’s funeral was held in New York City and Twain had lived in New York City prior to moving to Redding, many presumed he had lived in NYC the entire time.

On April 21, 1910, Samuel L. Clemens

died in Redding, Connecticut at the age

Of 74.

The New York Times, April 22, 1910

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, "Mark Twain,"

died at 22 minutes after 6 tonight.

Too weak to speak clearly, "Give me my glasses,"

he had written on a piece of paper. He had received

them, put them down, and sunk into unconsciousness

from which he glided almost imperceptibly into death.

Mark Twain born, Nov. 30, 1835. Last perihelion of Halley's comet, Nov. 10, 1835. Mark Twain died, April 21, 1910. Perihelion of Halley's comet, April 20, 1910.

Bouton & Son Funeral HomeWest Church Street, Georgetown, CTApril 23, 1910Mahogany Casket $450.00Mahogany Box $100.00Professional Services $50.00Embalming $50.00Hearse at Redding $8.00 Hearse at New York

GCD to 37th Street $6.00Hearse from 37th Street to

D,L,W $7.00Transferring Box to Hoboken $3.50Four Porters at $3.50 each $14.00Coach from 37th Street to

22nd Street $4.00Conveyor for Flowers $3.50Corpse Ticket Redding to

New York City $1.20Corpse Ticket New York City

to Elmira, NY $6.10Total: $703.30

My Top Ten Reasons Twain’s time in Redding is of Importance…

Little Known Tie-ins to Redding

Did you know Mark Twain’s Estate was annually settled here in Redding until 1964? Or that his last will & testament states… “I, Samuel L. Clemens, of Redding, Connecticut…”

I didn’t think so…

The New York Times, February 22, 1964Humorist's $867,565 Is Put Into New Trust Fund 54 Years After His DeathREDDING, Conn., Feb. 21 - The 54-year-old estate of Mark Twain received its final accounting today before a probate judge who was a small boy here when the famous author was the town's leading citizen.Judge Hjalmar Anderson approved the termination of a trust fund created by Twain before his death here in 1910. The estate of Samuel L. Clemens, as it is termed legally, was closed out as the result of he death on Nov. 19, 1962, of Twain's daughter, Mrs. Clara Clemens Samossoud of San Diego, Calif. The new trust was established by Mrs. Samossoud's will.

My Top Ten Reasons Twain’s time in Redding is of Importance…

Redding was Twain’s Final Residence and he loved it here.

“Give me a breath of Redding air once more and this will pass.”

-Twain on his final trip home to Redding

No further explanation needed.

Platform where he arrived

West Redding Station & General Store circa 1920(I used this photo because it included a view of the platform)

Park across the street from the station, likely where people lined up to view the arrival of Clemens.

How Sam would have seen the house upon his arrival

Horse Carriage

Twain & Lounsbury

Isabel Lyon during Construction

Stormfield Under Construction

“It is a perfect house—perfect, so far as I can see, in every detail. It might have been here always.”

Dining Room entrance

Dining Room

Front Hallway

Living Room/Library

Twain’s Bedroom

Bed oddly positioned

so he could look out

the window from


“I was never in this beautiful region until yesterday evening.

It is charmingly quiet here. The house stands alone, with nothing in sight but woodsy hills and rolling country.”

Samuel L. Clemens letter to Dorothy Quick dated June 19, 1908

Two 1,000 Gallon Copper Water Tanks in Attic

Clara’s Cage

Views of Redding Center from the back terrace

Sold in late 1922, Stormfield burned to the ground July 25, 1923

The “New” Stormfield was rebuilt upon the original

Stormfield foundation in 1925.

This presentation is over for now, I thank you all for watching!! Someone please have a whiskey at

The Roadhouse for me.

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