"It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare."

Friday, August 22, 2008

Archaeologists Excavate Farm of Twain's Uncle

As a child, Sam Clemens spent a lot of time at the farm of his uncle, John A. Quarles. He wrote about it at length in his autobiography, describing for example, how much he loved playing marbles there. Now, according to Hannibal.net, scientists are hard at work excavating the site in Florida, Missouri where the farm once existed. And they've found some of those marbles, among many other things.

Twain called the farm "a heavenly place for a boy," and described irises and day lilies growing there, which the archaeologists have also found, still growing. While the log cabin that served as the main house is long gone, there are many remains to be found--the diggers were even able to determine where the fireplace once stood, based on discoloration in the soil.

The dig is headed up by retired teacher Karen Hunt, who owns the site and has been studying it for over 20 years, digging there for the past two. Her plan is to eventually rebuild the Quarles house on the site, and turn it into a "living history farm."

No comments: