Holliday Hill, as it is known as in Sam Clemens’ writings, is undergoing a face lift. By autumn, a house with a magnificent view of downtown Hannibal, its surrounding bluffs and the Mississippi River will be accessible though the stately windows of a house currently under construction on what is now known as Cardiff Hill.
Angus W. McDonald, who would become a brigadier general in the Confederate army during the Civil War, was one of Hannibal’s earliest settlers. He built a house on the northern bluffs overlooking Hannibal for his sister, Mrs. Richard T. Holliday, thus the name of Holliday Hill in Clemens’ writings.
The new house under construction a fruition of the long-term dreams of Linda O’Donnell, and her late husband, Jimmy O’Donnell.
“Jimmy and I saw this property” many years ago, Linda said. “He knew the ladies who lived there,” and thought it would be a good property to build on “someday.”
When he died a decade ago, the dream went on the back burner.
“When the property did become available, I didn’t act immediately,” Linda said. “My girl friends saw it long before me, and told me that it is the direction I need to take.”
Kristy Trevathan helped her buy the property, and Jim Mulhern has helped her with the design.
“He’s the only person I talked to about building this house. He saw the vision. The right people came into my life to move this (project) forward. He took me by the hand and helped me with the process.”
It has been two years since Linda purchased the property.
“The most important thing is that it fit in with downtown,” she said. The outside will blend it with the surroundings. She said the house will have some stone on the exterior and will feature white clapboard.
“It all sets into the hillside the way it should. I can’t wait to sit out on the deck and watch life go by. It will be a good transition for me from where I’m at now to the next phase of my life. And I’m happy about that.
“I love this town and have lived here my whole life.” She said this move is the only move she would consider from her current residence, which is now up for sale.