With its low self-esteem and high urban blight, Hartford is the ultimate underdog city. Sad City Hartford documents the joys, sorrows and eccentricities of New England's Rising Star.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mark Twain Revelations

Mark Twain is probably Hartford's most famous resident ever. His house in the West End is one of Hartford's most popular tourist attractions. Recently, with the passing of the 100th Anniversary of Twain's death, his autobiography was released. Now anyone who insists that his autobiography can't be released until 100 years after his death must have many salacious revelations to make. Well we could read the book to find out, but that would take a long, long time and besides, reading is crazy boring. Let's just speculate what revelations must be in this impressive tome instead.

Mark Twain Autobiography Top 10 Revelations:

10. Twain conceived of the rafting scene in Huckleberry Finn after doing some urban rafting in Hartford’s “Hog River”.

9. Twain enjoyed mixing his scotch with grape soda; a precursor to Four Loko.

8. On Wednesday “2 cent pint nights” Twain and neighbor Harriet Beecher Stowe enjoyed drinking at the Half Door and then racing their horses home down Farmington Ave.

7. A great fan of science and technology, Twain and Nikola Tesla spent their time in Tesla’s laboratory working on a device that today is known as a "Vaporizer."

6. Along with good friends, the Keney brothers, Twain enjoyed scaling to the top of the Keney Memorial Clock Tower late at night to smoke a pipe and enjoy the view.

5. Thought to be from bad investments, Twain actually went broke in Hartford playing “Let It Ride” with a Peqout named Joe, who later became the inspiration for Injun Joe in Tom Sawyer.

4. A known prankster, Twain enjoyed using the world’s first public payphone to call local businesses and yell “Baba Booey Baba Booey Baba Booey Baba Booey”

3. Twain loved eating ice cream late at night and insisted that the horse drawn ice cream buggy continue make rounds of Hartford streets well into the night and winter, a tradition that is still carried on today.

2. During snowy winter nights, Twain and his cohorts enjoyed taking mattresses off the sidewalks and then going sledding down Mt. Trashmore on them.

1. Mark Twain firmly believed that the best writers and humorists reside in Hartford and write under pen names. 

Well there you have it folks. Sad City's take on what sort of revelations Mark Twain makes in his autobiography. Now since you don't need to read the book, fell free to return to your XBox. You are welcome.

"Of all the beautiful towns it has been my fortune to see, this is the chief... You do not know what beauty is if you have not been here." - Mark Twain on Hartford, CT


  1. This made me laugh out loud over my coffee this morning all the way down here in Memphis. Oh how I miss Hartford!


  2. The Twain House is in Asylum Hill, not the West End.

  3. Love the literary references Hakaan- has anyone considered doing Twain tours where you visit all the sites in Hartford he mentioned in his writings. They have them in Dublin for James Joyce fans.

  4. @ Anon. Have no idea if it's ever been considered but I actually went on that Joyce tour a couple of years ago.

  5. Whoa, that is stunning. Imagine all of the reading through along with composing you could do... Cold during the cold months even though. Buy D3 Items