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In 1984, the Elmira College Center for Mark Twain Studies initiated a lecture series, The Trouble Begins. The title came from the handbill advertising Mark Twain's October 2, 1866 lecture presented at Maguire's Academy of Music in San Francisco. The first lectures were presented in 1985.

The lectures are now held annually in the Fall and Spring of each year. By invitation, Mark Twain scholars present lectures in the Barn at Quarry Farms in Elmira, NY. Each lecture is digitally recorded after the event and made available in audiofile MP3 format.

Link to lecture series schedule

Directions to Quarry Farm for local attendees:

  1. From Elmira College, head east on Washington across the Clemens Center Parkway to Sullivan Street
  2. Turn right on Sullivan
  3. Turn left on East Avenue
  4. Turn left on Crane Road
  5. Quarry Farm will appear on your left

Please park on the grassy area behind the Barn. Quarry Farm is a fragile, natural environment. Please exercise care.

If using a GPS, enter: 131 Crane Road, Elmira, NY 14901.

The Trouble Begins at Eight is made possible by the support of the Mark Twain Foundation and the Friends of the Center.

Elmira College
Center for Mark Twain Studies
(607) 735-1941

Director of Mark Twain Studies, Dr. Joseph Lemak
Center for Mark Twain Studies Secretary, Patricia Cordell
Quarry Farm Caretaker, Steven Webb