The Twichell and Twain Walk, Re-Enacted

10/14/1995 |


Steve Courtney, John Boyer, and James Kidd re-enacted Joseph Twichell and Samuel Clemens’s famous walk from the Mark Twain House to Talcott Mountain today.

  1. Their route:
    • the Mark Twain House up Woodland Street to Albany Avenue
    • along Albany Avenue to Bloomfield Avenue
    • along Bloomfield Avenue to Simsbury Avenue (Route 185)
    • along Simsbury Avenue the rest of the way to Talcott Mountain State Park.
  2. Along the way:
    • they stopped at Auer Farm for lunch
    • they got caught in the rain.
  3. At Heublein Tower, they were greeted by Lisa Johnson and Pat Heublein, who had cider, hot chocolate, and donuts waiting for them.
  4. They drove back to Hartford, and on the drive they read aloud “1601: Conversation as it was by the social fireside, in the time of the Tudors,” which Clemens said he’d tried out on Twichell during one of their walks.

  1. The excursion was organized by Courtney, and he recruited Boyer, who was, and Kidd, who was senior pastor at Asylum Hill Congregational Church, to take the walk with him. He also invited Johnson, the curator of Heublein Tower, but she decided to meet them at the Heublein Tower.
  2. Courtney describes “1601: Conversation as it was by the social fireside, in the time of the Tudors” as a ribald tale with a final line that remained unpublishable in the Courant in 1996.

Courtney did not specify the date of this walk in his January 1996 article – he said only that they took the walk two days before the Million Man March, which occurred on October 16, 1995.  Hence, this post goes under October 14, 1995.

  1. Steve Courtney worked for the Hartford Courant, at this point as a deputy editor for Northeast Magazine. He has published several books, including “Joseph Hopkins Twichell:  The Life and Times of Mark Twain’s Closest Friend,” and he currently works for the Mark Twain House and Museum.
  2. John Boyer was the director of the Mark Twain House.
  3. James Kidd (1933-2012) was the minister at the Asylum Hill Congregational Church.

Courtney, Steve, “Walking to the Tower,” Hartford Courant, January 14, 1996, retrieved online September 16, 2020.


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