Now that the hustle and bustle of the holidays are past and we’ve settled into the swing of 2015, we finally have a chance to take a look back at last year and share some news with you about what CHM has achieved over the past 12 months. In short, 2014 was one of the most successful years in the Campbell House Museum’s history. It was gangbusters and often exhausting, but we couldn’t be more pleased as we’ve crunched the numbers over the past few days. Here’s some of what made 2014 such a banner year.
Docent and Board of Directors member Dennis takes a group through the Museum in December 2014.
In 2014 the Campbell House Museum saw its highest levels of attendance since the mid-1970s, welcoming 4,852 lovely people like you through for tours. For some perspective: the last time our attendance topped 4,800, gas was 44¢ a gallon, the Vietnam War was ending and NBC was debuting a newfangled game show called Wheel of Fortune. While this figure might not seem like a lot at first glance, consider that almost every single one of our nearly 5,000 visitors in 2014 received an hour-long, guided tour led by one of our expert docents. That’s not too shabby in our book.
At the time this post went to press, CHM was ranked as one of the top five St. Louis museums on TripAdvisor, way ahead of many of our big-budget (and wonderful!) friends throughout the city. Over the past several years, the Campbell House has increased its local profile as a must-experience site for St. Louisans and out-of-towners alike and its national profile as a leader for scholarship and research in the Fur Trade, Westward Expansion and Victorian Interior Design. This is reflected not just in our excellent TripAdvisor reviews but in publications like the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade Journal and the Winterthur Portfolio. (p.s. if you haven’t reviewed us on TripAdvisor yet, we’d greatly appreciate some kind words!)
The lucky raffle winner of a shot of bathtub gin from a cup once owned by President U.S. Grant at 2014’s #drinkuptweetupSTL
2014 was a great year for special events at CHM. Kicking off in February with our celebration of STL250 and continuing through the year in our collaborations with Union Avenue Opera and #drinkuptweetupSTL with Distilled History and wrapping up with the enormously successful St. Louis Holiday Historic House Tour a few weeks ago, more people than ever are experiencing St. Louis history in unique, engaging ways.
Education, Education, Education
Nearly 500 students, ranging from third graders at the St. Louis French Immersion School to college students studying history, music and museum studies from universities across America stopped by to say hello and learn about the Campbell family and their home in 2014. CHM adopted a new mission this year, to “enliven the history of St. Louis and Westward Expansion through the story of the Campbell family and their home,” and a primary goal of this mission is to engage and involve students and the community. We’re off to a solid start.
But enough of us tooting our own horn.
None of this would have been possible without the incredible STL community, our supporters, members and volunteers. You came to see us, helped us accomplish our mission and supported local history. As we move into 2015, CHM asks for your continued support. We might not be the biggest fish in the pond, but we have an important story to tell and your attendance at our events, your financial support, even the simple act of reading this blog post demonstrates your commitment to making this small institution a big player in the preservation of St. Louis history. Thank you.
Students from Oakville High School visited the Museum and participated in a historic documents workshop in September 2014.