Mark Twain Avenue, Reno, Nevada


If the words "Mark Twain House" make you picture either his boyhood home in Hannibal or his Victorian retreat in Hartford, then Reno has got a story for you. 

That's because Reno has this...or used to have it, anyway...the cabin where Twain lived in 1862 when he and his brother Orion bought shares in the area's silver mines.

It's where Twain became Twain, when Samuel Clemens chose Mark Twain as his pen name and began writing for the Virginia City Enterprise. His experiences around Aurora, Nevada (and just a hop over the state line in California) led to his story The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and his book Roughing It, which launched his career. Nevada is proud of that heritage. The Travel Nevada site proclaims: "Forget what you've heard, Nevada is the true birthplace of Mark Twain."

By the time Twain died in 1910, everyone wanted to have some claim to him. Aurora had become a ghost town (the mines kept flooding), so Reno appropriated Twain's cabin for their 1924 Transcontinental Highway Exposition and put it in Idlewild Park. Unfortunately, it was eventually destroyed by souvenir hunters. 

Reno had to settle for naming a street after him instead. He shares the neighborhood with other authors of that time and place: John Fremont, Joaquin Miller, and Bret Harte. If you're looking to stake your own (however tenuous) claim to Twain, you might be interested in this updated Tudor home on Mark Twain Avenue built in 1950:

It has four bedrooms and four bathrooms and 2,772 square feet.

It's all spic and span and move-in ready. Now for the fun part.

When Mark Twain wasn't roughing it, he lived in this grand Victorian in Hartford, Connecticut:

His library in that house looks like this:

So, naturally the living room of the house on Mark Twain Avenue...

needs to look like this:

Or, like this remarkably similar room:

Both options have the rich golden browns and blues of Twain's cozy library. I can't decide which I like better! Which do you prefer?

If you're interested in styling your living room like that of a literary hero, the listing is here.

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