One of the many historic buildings on Locust is the Campbell House, a nineteenth-century mansion-turned-museum that also happens to be the home of David Newmann, Joe’s bandmate and the building’s new caretaker.
Of course Joe and I had to stop by and check out his new digs on our epic walk down Locust.
The first word that comes to mind to describe the interior of the house is opulent. Robert Campbell made a fortune in fur trading and the family was close with, among other notable figures, General/President Ulysses S. Grant. So, as you can imagine, the place is chock full of rich fabrics, hand-painted china, and such a wealth of luxurious detail it can be hard to take in all at once.
The history of the Campbell family itself is also fascinating. Robert Campbell was a self-made millionaire and his surviving sons, one of whom was schizophrenic, had such reclusive habits that the Campbell house became known as the “Ghost House” during the later years of their lives (no one was ever seen to go in and out, but lights would turn on and off and curtains would move from time to time).
I don’t want to spoil the experience by giving away any more than those few tidbits, so I’ll just say that you can check out the Campbell House for yourself here. A tour is only $7, and it’s well worth it if you’re interested in the history of St. Louis or of the Civil War, if you just enjoy looking at fancy things, or if you would just like to get a sense of how the 1% used to live.
If you go on a weekend, you may even get a tour from Newman himself!
Speaking of, Newman’s apartment over the carriage house (the former residence of as many as six stable hands at a time) is pretty cool too. I especially enjoyed the little port-hole windows along one side, which formed part of the architect’s scheme to make each side of the carriage house reflect a different style.
While we were there, I got to play with Newman’s awesome pet snake and Joe spent some time really getting into period character. All in all, visiting the Campbell House was a great way to cap off our Locust adventure!