When you spend your life driving, audiobooks end up becoming your best friend. At least for me they have. Over the past year, I have spent hundreds of hours reeducating myself in philosophy and American History, as well as revisiting some of the classics that have sprung from American Literature. Of course, that means I have spent a little bit of time with Mark Twain. Arguably one of the most important authors of early Americana, his tales of adventures spanning crossing the entire nation are inspirational to say the least.
A couple of months ago, I was able to visit his cabin all the way across the country in California. Today, I was brought to his study and grave, located in Elmira New York, where he would summer at his inlays house and write to his hearts content.
The study is no longer in its original location, having been moved to the local college campus. It once stood on his in-laws farm, a octagon sitting in the wilderness, and it is there that he wrote many of his most inspirational works including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court just to name a few. Interestingly, it was originally built for him by his sister in-law to keep his pipe smoke out of the house.
Not far from the college, lies Woodlawn cemetery where he was buried, along with his wife. The gravesite is littered with mementos left for Twain. A writing journal placed next to the headstone, a pen laying on top. I could imagine sitting down under a tree for hours, laptop in hand, ready to let the energy of the grave inspire my writings. Or maybe I would leave the laptop at home, relying solely on pen and paper just like he would have.
Closest Supercharger: Erwin NY 19 mi
125 Victory Hwy, Painted Post, NY 14870
Mark Twain Study
800 Park Pl, Elmira, NY 14901
Mark Twain Grave
1200 Walnut St, Elmira, NY 14905