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Becky Thatcher House Will Reopen on June 29

The Becky Thatcher House, under restoration since 2008, will reopen to the public June 29.

The Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum will host a noon ribbon cutting and other events at the house throughout the day.

Becky Thatcher Home, Hannibal, Missouri
Kurt Parsons

“We are excited to once again have the Becky Thatcher House open to the public,” museum executive director Henry Sweets said. “This will help us provide additional interpretation on Hannibal’s history in the 1840s and 1850s.”

The ribbon cutting ceremony will include raffles and giveaways, followed by an opportunity to tour the building and enjoy activities in the restored home all day long.

Inside the Becky, Gladys Coggswell will perform and tell stories at 1 and 1:30 p.m. Museum executive director Henry Sweets will give a guided tour at 2:30 and talk about the real Becky, Laura Hawkins, who lived in the historic home, and actor Jim Waddell will perform Twain’s Civil War recollections at 4 p.m.

The house will contain temporary exhibits and items from the museum’s extensive collection until funds can be raised for the fabrication and installation of the permanent exhibits.

The temporary exhibits include the story of the real-life Becky, a retrospective of the Tom and Becky Program, a photographic exhibit of the museum’s 100th anniversary and more.

“We’re thrilled to add even more exhibits and another building to the museum experience for our visitors,” marketing manager Brenna McDermott said. “And we hope that our local supporters will bring their families down and see what’s new at the Becky Thatcher House, too.”

The permanent exhibits will be installed when funds are raised. They will contrast childhood in Hannibal during the 1840s and 1850s with modern times. Visitors will learn about how class, race and gender affected children’s lives, seen through the experiences of the fictional characters Tom, Becky, Huck and Jim.

Visitors will learn what was expected of each child as they prepared for adulthood, attended school and went about their daily lives.

The Becky Thatcher House will be included in the museum tour. Visitors purchase one ticket and can also see the Museum Gallery, Interpretive Center, Huckleberry Finn Home, Mark Twain Boyhood Home and the J.M. Clemens Justice of the Peace office.

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