Celebrating 40 Years!


Picture from Model Retailer Magazine with Dennis Babbitt at Mark Twain Hobby Center in the fall of 1997.

Mark Twain Hobby Shop opened it’s doors to the public on December 5th , 1976 in the outside lower level of the Mark Twain Mall in Saint Charles Missouri. Since that time, products have changed, customers have changed but in reality every thing has remained the same. The same great service, the same great pricing, the same great place to find your dreams.

Don Babbitt opened Mark Twain Hobby Shop as a dream to owning a business. As a sales tax auditor for the state he did not feel a desire to spend the rest of his career in that position. An avid model builder for years, Don wished to spend time helping others enjoy that same passion. So the story begins. It took over a year before Don could work full time at the store, utilizing part time help during the day and working in the evenings and weekends with his brother Dennis who went from part time to full time in 1980.

As times and people changed,the store changed and grew, leaving the mall in 1987 to a location at the the corner of Fifth Street and Boonslick Road. Dennis bought out Don’s interest in 1990 and Don started his second, or was it his third career as a college teacher eventually retiring in 2016.

Dennis has continued to build the business with the help of many great employees and managers including Darren Vancour, who started out part time as a college student. Darren has been with the company for nearly 26 years. Others with many years of experience include Kevin Thompson, Bret Babbitt, Bill Holmes, Dan McEntee and too many more to mention. The business would not be here today without the great employees.

Mark Twain Hobby Center moved to a larger building on West Clay Street at Zumbehl in October 1996, expanding again in 2000, 2006 and 2011. Each expansion has help position the business for helping our customers better in the future. With a mail order business that ships worldwide MTH has the ability to serve customers from the United States to nearly every country in the world.

This year we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Mark Twain Hobby Center, thanks to all of our many loyal customers and employees.

Dennis Babbitt

3 Comments on “Celebrating 40 Years!”

  1. kenneth.gerler@prodigy.net says:

    I remember the shop on the lower level of the Mark Twain Shopping Center. I have been using Mark Twain as a source for supplies and models since the beginning.

    Ken Gerler

  2. David Miller says:

    One of the last great hobby shops in the area! Been going there since I was in high school pretty much around the time they opened. Can’t wait to get back again to “check things out”!

  3. Congratulations on 40 years and nice art too by the way! Will be celebrating my own retirement soon…maybe get back to that hobby we both loved as kids. Remember when we could buy those small plane models for 29 cents at Mrs. G’s….but then we had to cut grass for 50 cents to afford them.

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