In a modern world where historic buildings are demolished daily to make room for hip new watergun stores, museums are more important than ever. Today’s Groupon gets tenacious time-travelers and dedicated diorama builders a $3 admission to the historic Campbell House Museum, a $6 value. The first house in the elegant Lucas Place neighborhood, Campbell House was the home of influential fur trader and entrepreneur Robert Campbell. After a recent five-year-long restoration to the tune of $3 million Earth dollars, Campbell House is one of the most accurately restored 19th-century buildings in America and home to the period paintings, furniture, light fixtures, clothing, old-fashioned LaserDisc player, and the correspondence of its previous tenants.
From the moment you step into the lavish Victorian parlor, fitted with ornate mirrors, chandeliers, and furniture bereft of lumbar support, you're transported to 1885. This century-striding visit is perfect for vampire lovers, vampires, and closeted vampire-loving-vampires yearning to relive the 1880s. Unlike the garish parachute pants and Echo & the Bunnymen hits of 1985, 1885 brought the world elegant top hats and timeless hits from Brahms, Borodin, and Tchaikovsky. More effective than séances, time machines, and time-traveling post cards, a visit to the Campbell House Museum is the best way to learn what St. Louis was like in the 19th century.
Whether you go to learn the history or take in the aristocratic home-and-garden eye candy, Campbell House Museum will delight the five senses and tickle your sixth sense. Because three out of four of the Campbell children perished in childhood, children 12 and under are allowed free admission. Beware close encounters with Hugh Campbell's moustache, which flaps its razor-sharp wings in the faces of all who catch his eerie reflection in a gilded mirror. Let your inner history buff run wild through the delicate halls whenever you like on Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
- Replica textiles, original lighting fixtures, authentic furniture, and lots of decorative arts create a scene of century-old opulence, offering a glimpse into St. Louis's early days. – 10 Best
- They have beautifully and lovingly restored this house back to what it once was and is a step back in time to what it was like to live as a city dweller 100 years ago. – VAGABONDBRIT, TripAdvisor
- This is a museum full of history and the best part is that most of what you are looking at is what was there when they first built it. Tour through the house then outside to the carriage house nd through the beautiful rose garden and have a seat on the gazebo. – Mary S., Insider Pages
Haunted Houses and How to Tell
The rich history of the Campbell House naturally invites speculation that it may be haunted, and as amateur ghost-chasers ourselves, we encourage you to keep an open mind about the supernatural. What are some signs that a house may be haunted?
Residue: Haunted houses, especially those that have been neglected for a long time, tend to accumulate a powdery "ghost residue," which compounds in layers on shelves, the tops of books, furniture and pottery, and even floats freely in the air, illuminated by an afternoon sunbeam. While many write this off as dust, this explanation does not account for its preternatural taste.
Mysterious Sounds: Often attributed to old plumbing or the neighbors' television, neither of these explains why I hear my daughter's boyfriend's Cherokee pulling up to my house at 1 a.m., when she has already specifically told me that she is going to bed early to rest up for her big gymnastics exam.
Poltergeist Activity: Poltergeists (German for "noisy geist”) are restless spirits who try to drive the living crazy by misplacing their keys, causing light bulbs to die periodically, or taking the form of a passing breeze and moving a curtain slightly. If confronted, the poltergeist may even amp up its mischief by taking the form of your brother-in-law, Brennan, maddeningly telling you to "calm down" and "stop trying to punch the wind."
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Campbell House Museum
When it was first established in the early 1850s, the neighborhood known as Lucas Place was a piece of farmland on its way to becoming the first clearly defined wealthy suburb of St. Louis. Much has changed since then, as the city has expanded around the neighborhood and many of the elegant buildings have made way for more modern incarnations. One building, however, has largely stayed the same.
Built in 1851, the Campbell House was the home of renowned fur trader and businessman Robert Campbell and his family. The Campbells would continue to occupy the house until 1938, acquiring furniture, paintings, clothing, and other period artifacts to fill the house over the years. The family also took a detailed set of interior photographs in the 1880s that were only rediscovered in the late 20th century. These photographs would prove to be of great historical importance, as they formed the basis for a massive renovation project that would result in the opening of the Campbell House Museum.
Today, the Campbell House Museum attracts visitors from St. Louis and beyond, many of whom come to get a glimpse of what the city was like before modern conveniences such as electricity. The house retains many of the family's original possessions, as well as library books and state archives that offer a further glimpse into 19th-century American life.
Downtown St. Louis
1508 Locust St
St Louis, Missouri 63103Get Directions