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:
THE COLOR CAMERA AT THE CAMPBELL HOUSE,
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 http://www.campbellhousemuseum.org/