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.

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MEET THE NEW WEEKEND MANAGER » LINDSEY

You’ll find a brand new face walking the halls of Campbell House this weekend. We’re very pleased to introduce our new Weekend Manager Lindsey Marolt, a St. Louis-born-and-bred museum professional and educator. In this position Lindsey will run the Museum on weekends, keep the garden looking great and reside in the second floor Carriage House apartment at CHM. We’re glad to have Lindsey on board and had a few questions to introduce her to Campbell House Museum’s friends and followers… here are her answers!

Weekend Manager Lindsey!

Weekend Manager Lindsey!

What did you study and where?  I studied history with a minor in English at Truman State in Kirksville, MO. Then I spent the best two years of my life to date getting my MA in history museum studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program in Cooperstown, NY.

Why Campbell House?  I had admired Campbell House from afar for a while, so I jumped at the chance to be a part of it.

When you aren’t slaving away at campbell House, what else are you up to?  Well, I also work at the Missouri History Museum as a K-12 educator, Barnes and Noble as a bookseller and I pick up some tutoring work here and there. Otherwise, I like to spend my time cooking, indulging my internet addiction and watching Very Dramatic Spanish period dramas on Netflix. (Note the capitalizations. Those are some dramatic dramas.)

What’s your favorite thing about CHM so far?  I’ve really enjoyed meeting everyone who works and volunteers here and hearing their favorite stories to tell about the house and family.

iPhone or Android?  iPhone all the way.

Little known fact about you?  I often prefer stormy days to sunny ones.

Favorite color?  My wardrobe would suggest black and navy, but I think my favorite color is actually red.

Favorite book?  This question is too hard, so I’m going to go with the cliche but still 100% my favorite: Pride and Prejudice.

Favorite period of history?  That time in the 19th century when tiny New England towns experienced multiple vampire panics. It’s great, look it up. Also colonial through early federal American history is really fun because you can see some of the seeds of modern American culture but in a time that seems incredibly foreign.

And, most importantly, if you could be any flavor of lollipop, which would you be and why?  Lemon cake pop. (enough said.)

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A Fond Farewell

As you may have read here several weeks ago, we’ve been on the hunt for a new Weekend Manager at the Campbell House. This means two things: 1) we’re really excited to welcome a new face and a fresh perspective to the Campbell House on the weekends (more on that in the coming days…), and 2) we’re saying goodbye to Weekend Manager David.

unnamed-3If you’ve been to CHM on a Saturday or Sunday in the past three years, you’ve probably encountered David. He gives top notch tours on the weekends and displays incredible enthusiasm for the story of the Campbell family, this house and 19th century St. Louis history. As the live-in, on-site groundskeeper for the Museum (his apartment is on the second floor of the Carriage House), he’s also kept our garden looking its best, making sure the grass is cut and plants are debris-free.  Last year his hard work was recognized with a Hospitality Hero award from the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission – a special distinction which recognizes front line employees who best exemplify the St. Louis community’s ongoing commitment to great service. On top of all this, David works as a park guide at the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site at Whitehaven, does Civil War reenacting and is a crazy good musician. You might have seen him and his band Typhoon Jackson at last year’s #DrinkupTweetupSTL (good news! They’re returning to play for the event again in September!)

Basically, David’s an all around great fella and he’ll be very missed, but we’re very excited to follow his career in the years to come and to introduce you to our new Weekend Manager in the coming days (sneak preview: she’s ALSO a history buff). As we gear up for his final weekend here at CHM, we hope you’ll join us in thanking David for his service over the past three years and swing by for one of his last tours. From Robert, Virginia and the whole Campbell House crew – thank you and best wishes, David!

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