The Clemenses filled it with the finest fixtures, furniture, carpets and bric-a-brac that money could buy. A window above one fireplace mantel allowed them to watch snowflakes and flames at the same time; the conservatory, brimming with exotic flowers and plants, brought the outdoors in; the billiards room doubled as Twain’s study.
Clemens entertained constantly, lavishly. He employed a nursemaid, a housemaid, a laundress, a cook, a butler and a coachman; waitresses and nurses were added as needed.
Not bad for a man born in a two-room clapboard house in Florida, Mo., a village of 100 people.
Extravagance and bad investments eventually bankrupted Mark Twain.
But his beloved home, filled with family treasures, remains … one of the best in the world.
Danville native Kevin Cullen is a former Commercial-News reporter. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.