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Murals of Hannibal, Missouri


Photo-realistic murals on city walls seem to be a trend these days in numbers of midwestern cities, and Hannibal, Missouri has taken up the project with a will, honoring not only native son Mark Twain and some of his characters, but also a variety of other local figures and businesses.

Here's a collection from a road trip I took last summer, which also included a stop for another set of murals in Chillicothe, Missouri.

Molly Brown (yes, the Unsinkable Molly Brown) was from Hannibal, too, and has a mural. She might have bought shoes at the fashionable La Mode shoe store, or traveled on the Diamond Jo steamers.


Riding the rails is another mural theme...


Patriotic themes are to be found (and by the way, all that cement in the image below is just part of the painting; the building is brick.


One unusual long wall features portraits and bios of six unusual people with Hannibal connections. They include the first woman to vote after the 19th Amendment was passed, the man whose felony trial established the right to counsel, and more. To read the individual texts, click on the thumbnails at the end of the article.


Some more scenes from Hannibal's past...


But the murals aren't all set in the past, or at least not in the distant past. There are a good number, some sponsored by the businesses they adorn, that show a more recent view. Here are some of those...


A couple of real works of art... and a very clever tavern sign.


The last two here don't really qualify as wall murals, but you can't leave Hannibal without a few good Mark Twain quotes, and you have to admire the potter whose store sign has a kind of Twainian twist to it...



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The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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