Tag Archives: Civil War

Monday Update » 4.23.12

A draft of one of Lind­sey’s pan­els. Come by in two weeks to see the whole exhib­it in per­son. (Believe me, she’ll be REALLY hap­py if you do.)

Wel­come to the down­hill slope of Mon­day, every­one. It’s been a marathon around here the last few weeks, and this is what we have to show for it:

New Civ­il War Exhib­it
Out with the old and in with the new.….Weekend Man­ag­er Lind­sey is putting the fin­ish­ing touch­es on her new exhib­it, A Fam­i­ly Apart: The Camp­bells Dur­ing the Civ­il War Years. She’s pulling some of Vir­gini­a’s dress­es and jew­el­ry out of stor­age, along with some excep­tion­al old let­ters. Come by after May 8th to see the sto­ry of the Camp­bells dur­ing this tur­bu­lent peri­od in Amer­i­can history.

Mag­i­cal Spring Thing
Sam Clark’s big show — the Mag­i­cal Spring Thing — on April 14th was a huge suc­cess. We’re still recov­er­ing from it, but we raised a few dol­lars for new envi­ron­men­tal pro­gram­ming and spe­cial projects around the house. Big thanks to Sam and all the vol­un­teers and board mem­bers who helped pull off anoth­er spec­tac­u­lar show with Union Avenue Opera, St. Louis Bal­let, stu­dents from Web­ster Uni­ver­si­ty’s Leigh Ger­dine Col­lege of Fine Arts, St. Louis Rag­timers and the Ball­room Dance Acad­e­my of St. Louis.

Web­ster Groves High School stu­dents work­ing on an over­grown area at our fence. The yard looks won­der­ful thanks to their hard work.

Web­ster High School Lends a Hand
Our gar­den vol­un­teers (read: Moms and Dads of the CHM staff) are espe­cial­ly grate­ful for the group of ten Web­ster Groves High School stu­dents and par­ents who came by on April 10th to do some heavy lift­ing in the gar­den. The enthu­si­as­tic teens knocked out an impres­sive amount of weed­ing, trim­ming, mulching and plant­i­ng, and it was a plea­sure to have them at the house.  The gar­den looks FABULOUS because of all their help. <please come back!>

The Mys­te­ri­ous Gus Meyer
Between dig­ging up scoop on Lucas Place and the Camp­bell Fam­i­ly, there isn’t much Intre­pid Researcher Tom™  can’t find. Last week, he start­ed the quest to uncov­er more infor­ma­tion about Gus Mey­er, a devot­ed ser­vant who began work­ing at Camp­bell House as a gar­den­er in 1901, and he even­tu­al­ly worked his way up to be Hugh Camp­bel­l’s per­son­al assis­tant. After Hugh died in 1931, Gus stayed in the house and took care of Hugh’s broth­er Hazlett until he died in 1938. Gus con­tin­ued to live in and man­age the house until it final­ly opened as a muse­um five years lat­er. He signed the Muse­um’s guest book on its open­ing day, and we lost track of him after that. Intre­pid Researcher Tom™ has found infor­ma­tion on his fam­i­ly and what hap­pened to him after he left his job of over 40 years at Camp­bell House. We’ll make a blog post with all of his find­ings shortly.

Bring Mom to Camp­bell House for Moth­er’s Day
Stumped for what to get your dar­ling mom on Moth­er’s Day? Easy, bring her to our house for Arias in the After­noon, a gar­den par­ty we’re co-host­ing with Union Avenue Opera. Spend the after­noon relax­ing in our gar­den and lis­ten­ing to a spe­cial one-hour con­cert while enjoy­ing tea and nib­bles from our neigh­bors, the Lon­don Tea Room. It’s going to be a great event and if you bring your mom, you’ll be her favorite son or daugh­ter. We promise. Click here for tick­ets.

Urban Explor­ing 2.0: Muse­um Build­ing at the Mis­souri Botan­i­cal Garden
After the over­whelm­ing pop­u­lar­i­ty of the post on our recent trek through the St. Louis Tran­sit Com­pa­ny Elec­tri­cal Sub­sta­tion, we’re going to try mak­ing Urban Explor­ing a reg­u­lar fea­ture. This week­end we had the chance to get inside the Muse­um Build­ing at the Botan­i­cal Gar­den, a struc­ture that’s closed to the pub­lic. A blog post fea­tur­ing pic­tures of the Muse­um Build­ing and Tow­er Grove House is com­ing this week.

That’s just some of what is hap­pen­ing at Camp­bell House. Check back with us for some excit­ing news on house paint­ing (!), the 2012 Free­dom’s Gate­way Sig­na­ture Event, and our Spring Mem­bers Par­ty. From the Camp­bell fam­i­ly to yours, have a stel­lar week!

Letter of the week, June 21, 2010

Here’s a short let­ter Robert wrote to his niece Mar­garet Mac­Cul­loch in Ball­yarton, Ire­land.  He sent Mar­garet 5 pounds Ster­ling, which is just over $500.00 today.  Robert’s youngest child that he refers to is Robert (the third child who had that name, inci­den­tal­ly) who would have been five years old dur­ing their sum­mer trav­els.  He died the fol­low­ing sum­mer of diph­the­ria.  And par­tic­u­lar­ly time­ly is Robert’s para­graph about his finan­cial woes dur­ing the Civ­il War — depre­ci­at­ing prop­er­ty val­ues, peo­ple in debt — sound famil­iar?  Times real­ly haven’t changed much.

*********************************************************************************************************

St Louis
June 21 1861
My Dear Niece,

Hav­ing net with the enclosed bill of exchange of the Nation­al Bank at Roscom­mon in the Nation­al Bank of Lon­don for Five pounds ster­ling I pur­chased it and con­clud­ed to send it to you as a present, and at some time to drop you a line to show that I have not for­got­ten you.  I have had fre­quent talks with my brother’s fam­i­ly about you and all our fam­i­ly in Ire­land and was grate­ful to hear such good account of them.

I had a let­ter yes­ter­day from your sis­ter Mary Clark in which she men­tions all her chil­dren who seam to be very promis­ing and affec­tion­ate to her. She has named her youngest child Hugh Camp­bell I think it is some four­teen months old and she says is a very large, fine boy- her daugh­ter are of great assis­tance to her.

Char­lotte is very com­fort­ably sit­u­at­ed at Kansas city and when I was last there had got into a very excel­lent house which John had just built and she felt quite com­fort­able- She had two fine boys and since then has added a daugh­ter to her fam­i­ly of which of course you have been advised. Your broth­er Robert B is in the gold region of the Rocky Mnts and through oth­er par­ties I hear that he is well, but I have not had any let­ters from him.

Your uncle Hugh lives but a short dis­tance from my res­i­dences and my chil­dren feel as much at home there as at their own home. They call it “ the oth­er house”. I was about to have left with my fam­i­ly for New Port, Rhode Island where we have passed the last two sum­mers but my youngest child has been unwell and we will not leave before tomor­row or day after as the child in improv­ing and we like to have it well before we start, my broth­er will fol­low with his fam­i­ly ten days or so later.

The “Oth­er House,” Hugh & Mary Camp­bel­l’s home on Wash­ing­ton Avenue. The Ely Walk­er Loft build­ing is now on the property.

You have seen by the news­pa­pers that our coun­try is in a very deplorable con­di­tion, and no imme­di­ate prospect of a change busi­ness is almost sus­pend­ed and rents great­ly reduced and such …. ……. To be the case until peace is returned. We are unfor­tu­nate­ly in a con­di­tion to feel these changes less than most peo­ple as we are entire­ly out of debt.  But we will be losers by the gen­er­al depre­ci­a­tion of prop­er­ty in val­ue and many who are indebt­ed to us will not be able to pay for some time and oth­er debts we will lose.

We have not had a let­ter from sis­ter Ann for some months and she was then just recov­er­ing from a severe attack of ill­ness. I trust that she is now quite well again as we all love her very much. I was glad to learn that your father and moth­er were in good health at last account. You will remem­ber me kind­ly to you hus­band and chil­dren and to your Father, moth­er Aunt and sis­ters- in short to all our relatives

I know you as a good child of some three years, and I like still to rec­ol­lect you, as such

Affec­tion­ate­ly Your Uncle

Robert Camp­bell