Picture Yourself in St. Louis History—#PictureYourselfSTL

LouisThe Campbells didn’t have smart phones, and of course never took selfies. But we bet Robert and Virginia would pull out a selfie stick now, especially since they could win some great prizes by doing so in their own house! This Labor Day Weekend kicks off a special collaboration between the Campbell House Museum and eighteen other cultural institutions, and all you have to do to take part is visit us and photograph yourself.

The new Missouri History Museum exhibit, “A Walk in 1875 St. Louis,” links area historic sites that share a mission of preserving and telling the story of St. Louis.

Each participating location has two picture frames for hand-held use by visitors. Five locations will receive a larger “hub” picture frame and two hand-held versions – the Missouri History Museum, the Forest Park Visitor Center, The Old Courthouse, the Susan Blow Kindergarten and the Missouri Botanical Garden.


Hanley House

Visitors will be invited to take their pictures in and around the frames showing a distinctive background inside the attractions, and distribute their images via social media. An Instagram hashtag, and a web page on the Missouri History Museum site will be available where visitors can post their “historic” pictures with #PictureYourselfSTL or @missourihistorymuseum. Visitors can also email their shots to

That’s it! There are monthly prize drawings, with rewards including hotel stays, attraction tickets, and more. One grand prize winner at the close of the contest wins a tintype portrait session!

The contest is open until February 14, 2016. You can visit each of the nineteen sites and take selfies at each to increase your chances, or to just enjoy a journey through 1875 St. Louis with “Louis” as your guide.

Here are the participating locations:


Ulysses Grant’s White Haven

So open up your phone’s selfie mode, and take part in all the fun and experience St. Louis in 1875!

Read more about the program in the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch.

The “Picture Yourself in St. Louis History” project has been developed and is financially supported by the Museum Innovators Group organized by the Missouri History Museum (MHM).

Tagged , , , ,

#DrinkupTweetup returns to the Campbell House!

#DrinkupTweetupSTL (1)

What do you get when you combine General Ulysses S. Grant, an awesome local rock band and FREE beer and food from some of St. Louis’ best brewers and restaurants? Why, #DrinkupTweetup of course! We’re putting out the call once again to the St. Louis twitterverse to converge on the garden of the Campbell House Museum on Friday, September 25 starting at 5:00 p.m. for an evening of fun focused on St. Louis history through the lens of beer, wine and spirits. We’re partnering with Distilled History – an award winning and all around excellent blog written by Campbell House docent Cameron Collins to bring you up to speed on the ins and outs of booze’s role in the growth and evolution of St. Louis as a major Midwestern city.


Typhoon Jackson. They’re awesome.

In addition to FREE beer (provided by our pals at Urban Chestnut and Schlafly) and food, we’ll be raffling off a series of great packages including St. Louis brewery tours, six-packs of special edition Campbell House-themed home brew and history-themed outings. The grand prize? A shot of the winner’s choice from a sterling silver cup once owned by General Ulysses S. Grant – PRESENTED to the winner by Grant himself (AKA an excellent historical interpreter who will be attending in full character and costume).

Typhoon Jackson, our resident Americana/folk/blues/rock band will play the entire night, making our little corner in downtown St. Louis the place to be. This is not to be missed – help us spread the word and share your attendance using #DrinkupTweetupSTL on Twitter and “attending” our event on Facebook. Let’s make this the best one yet.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Missing Pieces

St. Louis Star-Times article from 1941. Click to view larger version.

St. Louis Star-Times article from 1941. Click to view larger version.

Part of what makes the Campbell House Museum so special is its collection of thousands of original furnishings and personal items left behind by the Campbell family. CHM’s originally-furnished interiors are nearly unparalleled in the United States – it’s a special place. But it’s important to note that we don’t have everything. In fact, we’re missing quite a bit. Large pieces of furniture, beautiful works of art and countless papers, books and knick-knacks have left the halls of the Campbell House over the years. The big reason? An auction of the house’s contents that happened in 1941.

Hazlett Campbell died without an heir in 1938, leaving behind a sizable family fortune and an 11,000 square foot townhouse full of beautiful things. While the money was eventually split between distant family members, the house posed a larger issue. Cousins who had inherited the interior furnishings and fixtures of the building opted to auction them off through local auction house Selkirk’s. At this point, the story becomes familiar. A dedicated group from the community banded together, raised funds and purchased back hundreds of items as they passed across the auction block. Most of what you see on tours of the Campbell House today is only here due to the dedication and financial support of these fine folks. But they didn’t get everything. While many of the pieces that “got away” did so because of the group’s financial constraints, others were allowed to be purchased by others because they didn’t neccesarily fit with the foundation’s vision for the Campbell House Museum (still two years away from opening to the public). In the years since, few items have left the house and some have even returned. Here are some of the things that got away…

Click the gallery below to view the slideshow.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,466 other followers