Campbell House First Opens 70 Years Ago!

Sev­en­ty years ago today the open­ing of the Camp­bell House Muse­um was report­ed with lav­ish full-col­or (it was 1943) pho­to sto­ry in the Post-Dis­patch. Here it is:

St. Louis Post-Dis­patch, Sun­day, Feb­ru­ary 28, 1943


A pic­ture of life as it was lived in St. Louis a cen­tu­ry ago is afford­ed vis­i­tors to the Camp­bell House, sit­u­at­ed at 1508 Locust street, which through the efforts of the Camp­bell House Foun­da­tion, has been restored to its orig­i­nal ele­gance and opened to the pub­lic. The house was built in 1851 by Robert Camp­bell, who made  a for­tune as a fur trad­er, and in it were enter­tained many vis­it­ing celebri­ties of the day, includ­ing Gen­er­al Grant.


After the death of the last of the three Camp­bell sons, none of whom  mar­ried, the house was inher­it­ed by Yale Uni­ver­si­ty. The Camp­bell House Foun­da­tion, a group of inter­est­ed cit­i­zens who want­ed to pre­serve the house as a land­mark, start­ed rais­ing funds for the pur­pose. Stix, Baer and Fuller Com­pa­ny pur­chased the house for the Foun­da­tion, and funds con­tributed were used to restore it. The orig­i­nal fur­nish­ings and authen­tic dec­o­ra­tions have served com­plete­ly to restore both the appear­ance and the char­ac­ter of the house.”


Today of course 70 years of research has revealed that Robert Camp­bell did not build the house (he and his fam­i­ly moved in three years lat­er) and the “orig­i­nal ele­gance” referred to in the arti­cle was real­ly just a 2oth cen­tu­ry con­cep­tion of a mid-19th cen­tu­ry inte­ri­or (just as an exam­ple, all that bright white wood­work would have nev­er worked in a coal soot filled house). Click the images to read the orig­i­nal cap­tions and enjoy a look back at the first rev­e­la­tion of a real St. Louis treasure.

Make 2013 your date to vis­it Camp­bell House, be it for the first or the tenth time, there is always some­thing new and inter­est­ing to learn from our superla­tive docents and stu­dents. Find our hours and more info here