The quiet elegance of the three-story Campbell House Museum, located at 1508 Locust Street in downtown St. Louis, is nearly overshadowed by today's modern skyscrapers and a bustling warehouse loft district along Washington Avenue.
In the mid 1850's, this area was part of St. Louis' first suburban neighborhood. Lucas Place was a very expensive, upscale residential neighborhood with very large homes. From 1854 to 1938, the house was the home of wealthy entrepreneur Robert Campbell and his family. The house was also one of the centers of St. Louis society, hosting notable Americans as President Ulysses S. Grant, General William Tecumseh Sherman and Sioux Chieftain Red Cloud.
Campbell bought this house when he was fifty years old. Campbell had come to St. Louis thirty years earlier as a young immigrant from Plumbridge, a small village in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. Campbell's birth place is preserved as a museum, as part of Ulster American Folk Park.
Campbell initially found work as a fur trader and headed west to the Rocky Mountains with close comrades including Jim Bridger, William H. Ashley, Jedediah Smith, William Sublette. His career as a fur trader was legendary. In terms of opening up the West, Campbell would literally build, with help of course, Fort Laramie, which became one of the most important stops on the Oregon Trail.
After settling in St. Louis, Campbell began an important business career which included the fur trade, dry goods, steamboats, banks and real estate. He also helped develop places like Kansas City and El Paso, Texas. At the end of this career, Campbell owned the Southern Hotel, the biggest hotel in St. Louis.
Docent-led tours at the Campbell House Museum now provide a memmoriable experience for visitors. Many of the rooms within the seven levels of the house feature meticulous displays of furniture, paintings, objects and clothes once worn by the Campbell family and even their servants. The exhibits offer a wonderful glimpse into what life was like in St. Louis in the nineteenth century for one particular family.
Campbell House Museum 1508 Locust Street St. Louis, MO 63103. For more information, call 314-421-0325. (The Campbell House Museum closed until further notice.)
Many of the rooms within the seven levels of the house feature meticulous displays of furniture, paintings, objects and clothes once worn by the Campbell family and even their servants.
Beautiful table setting in the intimate dining room at the Campbell House Museum, located at 1508 Locust Street in downtown St. Louis.