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Five Things I Didn’t Know About Hannibal Until I Read the Visitors Guide

I’m a Hannibal native. Born in America’s Hometown, grew up in America’s Hometown. Moved away, but came back (a couple times). Since I’m a local, I should know most everything about the town, right? It turns out I don’t.

Hannibal, Missouri Visitors Guide
Kurt Parsons

The Hannibal Visitors and Convention Bureau dropped off some of the 2013 Visitors Guides at the KHMO studios in downtown Hannibal. It looked like a publication that was very nicely done, so I decided to thumb through it. Here are five things I didn’t know until I read the Visitors Guide.

1. There are 15 original Norman Rockwell paintings at the Mark Twain Museum.

This one is a little bit embarrassing. I wen to art school. I’m a member of the Hannibal Arts Council. How did I miss this? I knew that the museum owned Rockwell paintings, but I always thought that meant they had two or three. I had no idea the collection was so large.

2. Alpaca babies are called crias.

Dogs have puppies, cats have kittens. Alpacas have crias. The Starlight Alpaca Ranch in New London is home to over 100 alpacas, which give birth in the spring and fall. Cria is also the term for a baby llama.

3. There are 244 steps to the lighthouse.

If you’ve ever walked up to the lighthouse, you know there are a lot of steps! 244 is the official total. If you can’t handle all the steps, it is possible to drive up to the lighthouse, where parking and handicapped-accessible parking is available.

4. Wi-fi is available at the Mark Twain Cave Campground.

There are some modern conveniences it’s just not worth leaving behind when you’re camping. How else would you be able to check your Facebook updates? Roughing it doesn’t have to be so rough.

5. Heartland is Missouri’s largest dairy.

The dairy at the Heartland community, near Newark, MO, is the largest dairy in the state. There are over 6,000 cows and 1,500 goats. The Heartland Dairy has a 60-cow carousel, and they are capable of milking 360 cows in an hour! Tours of the dairy are available.

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