"Pilot's Mark" is in reference to Samuel Clemens' riverboat captain's experience. His pen name "Mark Twain" came from the depth measuring technique for riverboats. An measured rope line with 6 feet intervals was thrown off the bow of the steamboat to measure for secure depth's of navigating the Mississippi River. When two of the 6 foot intervals were measured, a distance of 12 feet, the riverman would yell to the river boat pilot: "Mark Twain (Two intervals)."
"Private's Retreat" is in reference to Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) serving for two weeks in the Missouri (southern sympathetic) volunteers at the outbreak of the Civil war in 1861. He was a volunteer private in Company "F" from Monroe and Ralls Counties, called "the Salt River Tigers". The Missouri Confederate volunteers camped in the river bottom at Florida, Mo. far from the Union controlled railroads (now under water by Mark Twain Lake). He "skedaddled" thinking "war is hell" following a two week stent, after he developed a boil on his rear end from riding a mule named "Paint" and burning his leg in a camp fire. He wrote of this experience in a short story called The Personal History of a Campaign that Failed" in Century Magazine in 1885.
"Florida Girl" is named in memory of our beloved, deceased co-founder and manager Sharlene Smith Hagan. Sharlene was a state of Florida native, hence the name "Florida Girl". She was an avid Florida State University fan, and resented the arch rival University of Florida. That is why the beautiful little Seminole princesses is riding the controlled Gator. Her husband Warren promised Sharlene that if she married him she would never have to leave Florida. Warren just never told her he meant "Florida", Missouri. Sharlene died of cancer in fall of 2021 living peacefully both in Florida, Mo. and near her home in Crawfordville, Florida. May God forever hold Sharlene in the palm of His hand.
"Judge's Choice" is also a favorite "people's choice". The Judge is Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)'s father, Judge John M. Clemens. Judge Clemens was a merchant in Florida, Mo of a general goods store, a land owner/ farmer, and a capitalist with many attempted enterprises in Monroe county. He formed the Salt River Navigation Company in 1836 as well as the Florida Paris Railroad corporations. Neither was successful. Judge Clemens advised the county on many things including designing roadways and bridges around Florida, Mo. The family of seven moved to Hannibal in 1842.
This label shows an older Mark Twain in deck chair on a ocean going passenger ship on his world-wide tour of humorous speaking engagements. Nearly bankrupted for the second time, Mark Twain's engagements were highly financially successful.
"Colonel Cellars" is a phonetically similar sound to a character from Mark Twain's book the Gilded Age: Colonel Sellars. This fictitious character was a get rich scheming glad hander that wanted to make real estate profits from Land Development. He bribed the state U.S. Senator to dam a river to make a lake. Sellers and his investors would have already purchased the land prior to the lake's development. This story is the favorite of one of the co-founders, Warren Hagan. It has some resemblance to the schemes and dreams of many Missourians as the Mark Twain Lake was developed in in mid 1980's as the U.S. Corps took land by condemnation in the 1960's. Mark Twain's attire of a tuxedo as he sniffed the bubbling wine in glass shows the social status this small boy from a "Nearly Invisible Village" of Florida Mo. (as Mark Twain described his birth site).