Whether glamorous or modest, all of these homes are now a remnant of another time in our state’s history. Some of the former residents were more famous than others, but each home has been preserved to tell a bit of Missouri’s story.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Vaile Mansion, Independence
Interior of the Vaile Mansion
The famous author, David McCullough (author of Truman), called the Vaile mansion "the showiest house in Independence" and said that although Harvey Vaile "was not the richest man in town, he certainly lived as though he were." Built in 1881, the 31 room mansion contained 9 marble fireplaces, intricate painted details on ceilings, a 6,000 gallon water tank with indoor plumbing and a 48,000 gallon wine cellar. Colonel Vaile was accused of mail fraud in 1883 which resulted in the suicide of his wife by an overdose of morphine. Story is, he had her put in a glass coffin and buried in his front yard, which upset the neighbors, so it was later moved. After his death five years later, the home was turned into an inn. In the early 1900's it was an asylum and later a nursing home and rest home.
2. Daniel Boone Home, Defiance
Although Daniel Boone himself never actually lived here, it was the home of his youngest son and he spent a lot of time there, especially near the end of his life. He died in the home in 1820. It overlooks a preserved village from the time, including a general store, school house and grist mill. Located at 1868 Highway F in Defiance. For more information visit www.DanielBooneHome.com.
3. Grant's Farm, St. Louis
The farm house is actually part of the attraction Grant's Farm, which is the former home of the Busch family in St. Louis. The farm itself was preserved by the Busch family and was the former residence of Ulysses S. Grant. In fact, he had worked the land. Besides Grant's Cabin, you can also visit Deer Park, Tier Garden, and the Bauernhof, as well as the over 900 animals from over 100 different species that find refuge there. Located at 10501 Gravois Road. For more information visit www.grantsfarm.com.
4. Corinthian Hall, Kansas City
Corinthian Hall is now part of what is known as The Kansas City Museum, along with a Carriage House, Conservatory, Gate House, and Gardener's Tool Shop & Planting Shed. It was built in 1910 and was once home to the R.A. Long family. The family lived in the home until the death of Mr. Long in 1934. His daughters eventually donated the home in 1939 to the Kansas City Museum Association. Located at 3218 Gladstone Blvd.
5. The Glenn House, Cape Girardeau
Completed in 1883, The Glenn House was the residence of Mr. David Glenn and his family until 1915. It has been restored to serve as an example of the Victorian-era lifestyle. Located at 325 South Spanish St in Cape Girardeau. For more information go to www.glennhouse.org.
6. The Jesse James Home, St. Joseph
Located at 1202 Penn Street in St. Joseph, this modest home was the location where Jesse James was shot and killed by Robert Ford for a bounty of $10,000. It features artifacts from Jesse's and his brothers' lives and deaths, as well as the actual bullet hole from the shot that killed Jesse.
7. Scott Joplin House, St. Louis
This home, located on 2658 Delmar Blvd in St. Louis was the home of famous composer Scott Joplin from 1900-1903. It was declared a U.S. National Landmark in 1976.
8. Mark Twain Boyhood Home, Hannibal
This home in Hannibal was home to Samuel L. Clemens, AKA the author Mark Twain, from 1844-1853. It was the inspiration for many of his stories, including the white wash fence from Tom Sawyer. Located at 120 N. Main St, the home was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1962.
9. General John J. Pershing Boyhood Home, Laclede
General John J. Pershing lived in this home at 1100 Pershing Dr in Laclede from the age of 6 until adulthood. Also onsite is the preserved one-room school house, Prairie Mound School, where Pershing taught for a year before attending West Point. It was acquired by the state of Missouri in 1952 and officially dedicated in 1960 during a centennial celebration of the General's birth. It has been in the National Register of Historic Places since 1976.
10. Harry S. Truman Farm Home, Grandview
Former POTUS Harry S. Truman originally lived at this residence from 1906-1917, but also enjoyed the property at times during and after his presidency. It is also known as Solomon Young Farm. Today the home is part of the Harry S. Truman National Historic Site, which includes both the farm home and his home on Delaware. For more information, visit www.nps.hstr.com.
11. Laura Ingalls Wilder House, Mansfield
Whether you are a fan of the books or the television show, you may want to visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home & Museum. Also known as Rocky Ridge Farm Historic Home & Museum, it is the location in which an adult Laura wrote the Little House books. Located at 3068 State Highway A in Mansfield, both the farm house (built in 1864) and the Rock House (built by her daughter in 1928 for her parents) feature all kinds of Little House memorabilia. Find out more at www.lauraingallswilderhome.com.
12. John Wornall House, Kansas City
The John Wornall House now contains reminders of Kansas City's part in the civil war. Missouri was considered a border state and John Wornall, being originally from farther south, was also right in the middle during the Civil War. Built in 1858, the home, where Wornall once owned slaves, had been occupied by both the North and South during the War at some point. Located at 6115 Wornall Rd. For more information go to www.wornallmajors.org/explore/wornall-house.
Have you visited any other these historic homes? Are there others that were not mentioned? Comment below.