Traveling with Twain

In Search of America's Identity

Small Jamestown, Tennessee makes the most of Mark Twain

Skidmore Garrett, attorney and owner of the Mark Twain Inn

While Mark Twain never visited or lived in Jamestown, Tennessee, the town makes the most of its claim that Mark Twain was conceived somewhere, sometime within its borders.

Skidmore Garrett, attorney and owner of the Mark Twain Inn, 104 South Main St., tells us a bit of history about race in Jamestown (its population of 2,000 is 98.3 percent white), while outside uniformed representatives of the Mark Twain American Legion Post 137, stationed in the middle of Main Street, collect money from the drivers of passing cars and pickups.

Across the street, in front of town hall, the Mark Twain Post erected a monument in 1931 to “fallen comrades” killed in World War I. Down the street, next to Mark Twain Avenue, and across from Mark Twain Apparel, sits Mark Twain Park with a Mark Twain spring and a carved wooden statue of Mark Twain.

Dan Tham’s video captures our interview of Garrett on the connection of Mark Twain’s family to Jamestown and a geography-challenged local sheriff.

Loren Ghiglione

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