Rural Missouri Magazine

Holiday Hospitality
Hannibal's Garth Woodside Mansion

by Bob McEowen

Woodside was originally built in 1871 as the summer home of Hannibal tobacco baron Col. John Garth. The Garths often entertained overnight guests, including Samuel Clemens, a childhood friend of Garth.

Today, the tradition continues. The Garth Woodside Mansion has operated as a bed-andbreakfast inn since 1987. Two years ago John and Julie Rolsen, left, purchased the mansion and continue to entertain guests in the same rooms that once hosted Mark Twain.

The mansion just south of Hannibal has been rated the top bed and breakfast in Missouri and one of 10 best in the Midwest. The home is filled with 19th-century antiques and features a three-story flying staircase.

Like inns across the state, Garth Woodside is preparing for Christmas with holiday decorations and activities planned for guests and visitors alike. During December, Garth Woodside will be open for tours, with admission proceeds going to Girls Town of Missouri.

For more information about Garth Woodside Mansion contact the Rolsens at 1-888-427-8409 or on line at For information about other bed and breakfast inns in the state contact Bed and Breakfast Inns of Missouri at 1-800-213-5642 or on the Internet at

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