Tag Archives: Campbell House

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).

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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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Celebrate National Donut Day with Virginia Campbell’s Recipe!

What better time to share Virginia Campbell’s delicious recipe for homemade “Dough Nuts” and promo our upcoming publication of The Gilded Table Campbell cookbook and food history than on this most auspicious day of celebration – National Donut Day! Mrs. Campbell’s dough nuts look and taste a little different than the donuts you might pick up at the corner gas station (they look more like donut holes than donuts, actually), but they’re still a tasty way to start your day!


Virginia Campbell’s handwritten recipe for Dough Nuts. Don’t worry, we’ve got an updated recipe for you to go off of below.

Here’s her updated recipe, pulled from her ca. 1840 handwritten recipe book and revamped for modern kitchens by our cookbook author and food historian extraordinaire, Suzanne Corbett.

Dough Nuts: Ingredients

1/4 cup butter, melted

2 cups whole milk, warmed to 125 degrees

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons dry yeast

5 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

zest of an orange

1 teaspoon vanilla or 1 tablespoon rosewater

1 quart oil or lard for frying

1: Combine butter, milk and sugar.


Virginia Campbell’s Dough Nuts (pictured center). Also pictured are VC’s gingerbread and soft muffins recipes, all pulled directly from her handwritten recipe book and featured in Campbell House Museum’s upcoming publication of “The Gilded Table”.

2: Sprinkle in yeast and 1 cup of the flour.

3: Stir in salt, spices, vanilla and orange zest.

4: Stir in enough of the remaining flour a stiff dough.

5: Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface.

6: Knead dough until smooth or about five minutes, adding more flour as needed to prevent it from sticking to work surface.

7:   Place dough in back into the mixing bowl. Cover and allow to rise until doubled.

8: Once dough has doubled punch the dough down and place back on a floured work surface.

9: Roll dough out to a about an inch thick; then cut into rounds.

10: Heat oil in a large saucepan to 400 degrees. Fry rounds in hot oil until golden brown on each side. Drain on paper towels.

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen 3-inch donuts.

*  Doughnuts, donuts or do nuts – as the spelling of these crisp fried pastries evolved so did their signature hole in the middle, which appeared in the mid-1800s. The hole was pinched in the center of the dough rounds to help eliminated the undercooked centers.  Like most 19th century doughnuts/donuts receipts instructions weren’t given to deep fry. Instead, one was instructed to “boil them in oil”.

The beautiful photo you see above was taken by Mr. Jim Corbett. Jim did all of the photography for our upcoming publication and we can’t wait to show off some of the other incredible images he captured!

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