Mark Twain Hotel Museum

The historic Mark Twain Hotel is on West Gray Street, facing Wisner Park in the heart of Downtown Elmira. She's a grand old lady, a holdover from Queen City days, after the glory days of Elmira the canal town, yet during a time it was known as a profitable stop along the Vaudeville route that snaked up to Buffalo.

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In the days before we were the River Dog and the River Hag.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Welcome to the Mark Twain Hotel Museum

Welcome, dear Hometown Tourist. If you're arriving from "Walking Tours" or "Pat's Pond." you may have been expecting this site for some time. I've been hinting since I started blogging that I would tour the Hotel Museum.

This is the perfect stop for a rainy day. There are some eateries nearby and all my downtown walking tours start two doors down, at the Community Bookstore. Most days there is plenty of parking, although the Wisner Park Farmer's Market clogs things a bit Thursday mornings in the summer. You can always pay to park at the adjacent garage, but, hey, you're here for a walking tour. Check out my other sites and connect-the-dots, so to speak, on your way over.

Scroll down and let's get started. By the way, I tried not to use a flash, due to the display case glass. These snapshots do not do the place justice; the lighting is much better to the naked eye. My visits were cheerful and pleasant, with people strolling through and exchanging friendly greetings with me. It's a nice community.

Little Pond

Update Thursday July 7, 2005. Spoke with the curator today. Mr. George Farr, another one of us lovely locals, is actually a local historian. And has tons of sites we can visit. You, my Hometown Tourist, may start here at Mark Twain Properties! And this site will take you all over town and then some. Just start following the links. This guy does some serious blogging, although I don't think he considered all those sites blogs. To be truthful, many are commercial sites, but they still have some wonderful photography. More links later.

Little Pond

Hidden Gemstone

If a hotel resident had not pointed me to the museum, I would not have known. A perfect gemstone of a museum, thanks to its civic-minded owner. The elevator will take you to the second floor. Posted by Picasa

Colorful Montage

The first indication of what's to come. A lot of information in a small space. This is in the hallway on the first floor. Keep your voices low, this is a functioning hotel, where people live and work, not just a stopover for travelers. Posted by Picasa

The Museum

This is quite an extensive collection. At first I thought "Too bad it's hidden." But its able to be well-maintained and is carefully watched by the hotel residents, who just stroll through constantly. These shots seem deserted; the Mark Twain most certainly is not.
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So back to the beginning. These photos are clear and immediate. Makes me wonder about the engineering feats that today seem miraculous for the times, but then were just everyday construction projects. Posted by Picasa


Two seats and a table across from this mural formed the setting for my morning with Louis. He's a local resident and an absolute walking encyclopedia of the Twentieth Century. We had a lovely talk that ranged from local interests, the wars, Entertainment and its personalities, the physical and the familial. The Mark Twain is lucky to have him; he's quite a guy. Posted by Picasa


This has to be the most festive and yet still elegant place setting in Chemung County. Posted by Picasa

Mark Twain

Let's not forget the namesake. Nearby Elmira College is a repository of artifacts, information, societies and scholars dedicated to preserving all things connected to Mark Twain. Posted by Picasa

Stamp Machine

Time was when a decent hotel made sure every amenity was available to patrons. After all, the post office was more than a block away... Posted by Picasa


Silver service, with crystal and dinnerware. Posted by Picasa


Here's a Glory Days rendition. She's still quite the lady, even today. Posted by Picasa


Baby boomers can recall Robert Kennedy's visit to the area. Local democrats were thrilled, Republicans less so. Nothing much changed since those days. Posted by Picasa


Wish you were here. There was a time when Elmira was a destination city. Still is, if you're interested in everything Mark Twain. Posted by Picasa

Inspection Report

Just to keep things Kosher, here's an inspection log from the Glory days. Posted by Picasa

The current owner of the Mark Twain Hotel is the founder of the Museum. They are still looking for more items of interest. Posted by Picasa

Contact Info Posted by Picasa