Hannibal City Council approves relocation of Molly Brown House to corner of Hill and Main

Trisha O'Cheltree

Hannibal Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Trisha O’Cheltree speaks during Tuesday's Hannibal City Council meeting. | Shane Hulsey

HANNIBAL, Mo. — It’s official. The Molly Brown House is moving.

The Hannibal City Council approved during Tuesday’s meeting the relocation of the Molly Brown House from its present location at 600 Butler to the corner of Hill and Main.

“This feels amazing,” Hannibal Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Trisha O’Cheltree said. “We have a lot of work ahead of us, but I think it’s going to be the best thing for the home and for Hannibal.”

O’Cheltree felt confident heading into the meeting that the council would approve the move.

“We’ve spent a lot of time talking to citizens and haven’t had anybody oppose it once they hear the reasons for it,” she said. “I felt like that’s a sign that we have a pretty good plan and why we need to do it. Yeah, there’s always a question of you’re not sure, but I felt like after talking to citizens that everybody was in agreement that this was the best thing to do.”

The other option was to shut down the home entirely. Hannibal Mayor Barry Louderman said that simply wasn’t in the cards.

“I think the traffic through it will justify the move,” Louderman said. “It gives people the chance to learn about Molly Brown and all she did and for Hannibal and the United States. I think it’s a very important thing for the city of Hannibal.”

The house has been closed for this tour season because of mold and foundation problems. Its location has caused a host of other issues.

“There’s no parking, there’s a huge hill to get up to it, it’s not ADA accessible,” Louderman said.

Louderman described the process of physically moving the home.

“We’ve already contacted a house mover. They said they don’t think they’ll have a problem,” Louderman said. “They’ll take it off the foundation it’s on now. We’ll have a new foundation set up for it with all the utilities and all that. They’ll bring it down, set it up, and hook it up. We have a lot of local contractors that are willing to do the work to help both move it and help seed it on the new foundation.”

O’Cheltree outlined the next steps.

“We need to get appraisals, try to find contractors, get bids on moving the home, all those things that you have to deal with,” O’Cheltree said.

O’Cheltree hopes the home will be ready for tourists to visit by next summer.

“Hopefully by next tourist season, we’ll be in good shape and ready to go,” O’Cheltree said. “We don’t really have an exact timeline right now. We were waiting for a decision first.”

The council also approved Phase III of the North Street Storm Sewer project. S&A Equipment & Builders are on Phase I of the project, which will replace the storm sewer from the alley east of Main to the old bridge approach. Phase II, approved on March 19, will extend the project from the old bridge approach west along Mark Twain Avenue to just west of the 5th Street overpass. Phase III will extend from this spot to the box culvert near Grand Avenue that was installed as part of the Mark Twain Memorial Bridge Project. This portion of the project is expected to be advertised for bid in late winter or early spring of 2025 with construction completed before the end of 2025.

In other news, Louderman:

  • Approved the reappointment of Greg Baugher to the Airport Commission.
  • Approved the reappointment of Steve Viorel to the Hannibal Parks and Recreation Board. 
  • Approved the appointment of Rose Ghattas to the Planning and Zoning Commission.
  • Approved the appointment of Darrell McCoy to the Board of Public Works.

The council:

  • Heard a recommendation for the appointments of Jessica Gilmore, John Davis and Kevin Knickerbocker to the Library Board.
  • Approved the purchase of a 2024 CAT backhoe for the Hannibal Street Department.
  • Approved the annual materials for the Hannibal Street Department.
  • Heard a recommendation of appointment of Emily Reagan to the Parks and Recreation Board.
  • Approved and adopted Bill No. 24-015, an ordinance amending the city of Hannibal fiscal year 2023-24 budget.
  • Approved and adopted Bill No. 24-016, an ordinance to pay officers and employees of the city of Hannibal for fiscal year 2024-25.

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