Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Discovering Buffalo with Daniel Leopold

As a Buffalo native, my pride for the once prominent city has become a large part of my life since moving away to Bonaventure. What was once America’s 8th largest city is still home to a plethora of artistic venues, beautiful architecture, and incredible museums. One such museum, the Mark Twain room, is housed within the walls of the Central Buffalo Library, located downtown.

The Southern author spent eighteen months in the city, writing for local newspapers while working on fiction pieces on the side. Many of the artifacts of his life are on display in the room, including a restored mantelpiece of his mansion on Delaware Avenue and a steamer trunk that held forgotten Twain documents.

The centerpiece of the museum are leaves from the original handwritten manuscript of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, one of Mark Twain’s most well-known works. Filed around this unique piece of history are English and foreign language editions of the novel. Norman Rockwell prints for the 1940 edition of Huckleberry Finn hang on the wall adjacent to bookshelves containing illustrations and other works relevant to Twain.

While small, the Mark Twain room captures a great deal of Buffalo history. Admission is free, and more information about the museum and library can be found at http://www.buffalolib.org/content/grosvenor/mark-twain-room. The room is truly a mark of the resurgence of Buffalo, connecting the vibrant downtown area and central library with a remarkable segment of local history. It is definitely worth a visit.

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