Six historic homes await you at Weston, Missouri:
McNair Home, 720 Fourth Street Built in 1906, by William Calvert, this three-story, adapted four-square home was considered a retirement home in the “city.” Mr Calvert was a polished gentleman farmer and an outspoken Democrat. He and his wife, Nora Calvert, raised three children, Lewis Cass, Fannie and William George. Lewis Cass would go on to become one of Weston’s most noted doctors. He continued his practice into the 1950’s. In 1936, President Harry S. Truman spent the night in what is now the dining room. Mr Truman was in Weston to support the local school superintendent in his campaign for the county office. As you enter through the oak front door with the oval beveled glass porthole, notice the white oak and yellow pine floors with six-inch casements and woodwork. The front entry way displays an English handmade rocking horse with genuine horse hair. This unique piece is crafted of 18 different woods carefully plied together. The 1880’s walnut hall tree and umbrella stand are local treasures. In the living room, a Persimmon wood and marble mantel is a piece rescued from a Quality Hill mansion. This warm and friendly room also displays an early 1800’s Victorian game table with beautiful hand-carved legs and an 1850 English mirrored buffet. Ms. McNair will also display her collection of over 40 bobbins and spools, collected from various parts of the United States. The dining room, a favorite part of the home, will reflect a cheery Victorian Christmas. A hand-tatted tablecloth gracing the center table belonged to Ms. McNair’s great-grandmother. This room also features a late 1800’s English chiffarobe converted to a wine cabinet. The kitchen has undergone extensive renovations. What was once a stubby dark pantry has been opened into an interesting bay that extends from the ground level up to the third floor. As you leave the home through a side door, continue to your right into the driveway. Gazing upward, you will notice the semi-circular stained glass window on the north wall. This wonderful piece was salvaged from a Victorian era church in Fayette, Missouri.
Lindemeyer-Blunt House, 627 Blackhawk Street In 1846, this land was purchased by W.G. Noble, an early merchant and one of Weston’s original City Fathers. The land was granted by President Polk with a purchase price of $5.00. In 1848, he brought his bride to Weston and built this lovely home. In the late 1870’s it was purchased by Henry C. Turner. When he passed away in 1912, his wife, Missouri Tennessee Turner, inherited the property. It remained in the Turner family for many years and was later purchased by Fred and Ruth Lindsey Lindemeyer. They resided in the home until Ruth’s death in 1972. Following “Mr. Fred’s” death the home was purchased by their great-niece. The present owners, Doug and Sue Blunt, are only the fourth family to won the property since its construction in 1848. The original Federal-style, two-story house was built with the front facing the Missouri River to the southwest. The original front porch has been remodeled and is presently being used as a sunroom. The back porch was enlarged and is now a second bathroom and utility room. Sidewalks lead the way from either porch to the “summer kitchen.” It remains in its original state to the west of the hand-blown glass cuts. The ceiling and floor braces are 2 x 8 inch hand-hewn ash. The walls are four-brick thick and were made in the brick factory in Weston. In the early 1870’s the front portion of the home, facing the street, containing the present living room, master bedroom and dressing room were added on as a “parlor” and living room being divided by French doors. The two front doors are original to the structure with the exception of the leaded windows crafted by a local glass smith. The Blunt’s are avid collectors and will present “Christmas in the 1800’s” with interesting antique items throughout the home.
Benner House Bed and Breakfast, 645 Main Street The Benner House Bed and Breakfast was built in 1898 by Mr. George Shawhan, owner of the Shawhan Distillery, known today as McCormick Distillery. Listed on the National Register of historic Places, this lovely Victorian home is a fine example of steamboat Gothic architecture. In the 1900’s the home was purchased by Mr. Charles Benner, a gentleman farmer, who preferred to live in the “city.” The home remained in the Benner family until 1986 when it was purchased by Ken and Karen West and converted into a bed and breakfast. The present owners, John and Julie Pasley, have continued with the traditions of the early 1900’s . The home is beautifully decorated with antiques and turn-of-the-century pieces. Upon entering the home, one immediately steps back in time. The double wrap-around porches, gingerbread detail and large windows overlooking the verandas, enhance the spaciousness of this lovely old home. Original hand-carved oak and beveled glass grace the front doorway along with brass lighting fixtures leading the way up the hand-carved oak staircase. To the right is the sitting room with a ? bath. All the rooms have ten-foot ceilings, six-foot windows, oak woodwork and pine floors. To the left is the parlor with the original tile fireplace and gas logs that are dated 1902. The pump organ is dated 1911, and if one pumps hard enough, it works. The dining room is furnished with a beautiful Eastlake oak table and marble sideboard. The kitchen has oak cabinets with blue-stained glass panels. The original wainscoting has been used as a backsplash. There are four guest rooms upstairs, all with private baths. Descending the staircase, note the dust catchers in the corners, the housekeeper certainly appreciates these. The hall bathroom on your right contains a beautiful claw-foot tub, pedestal sink and water closet. The back bedroom has a old white iron bed with a warm cozy quilt made by John’s grandmother. The next bedroom has a lovely three-piece bedroom set made of chestnut and boasts the color pink. The front bedroom provides an overview of downtown Weston. Lending to the comfort of this cozy room is a yo-yo quilt and oak bedroom set. Across the hall, an unusual brass bed has become a favorite with guests. This room overlooks Main Street. In the hallway you will find a lovely cherry love seat and an oak printer’s desk that belonged to John’s parents. All of the photographs in the home are members from both sides of the family. Note the hallway photo of Julie’s mother, who served in WWI. She brought the sword home as a souvenir. As you exit the house through the kitchen, the beauty of this wonderful old home extends into the backyard gardens, where a hot tub and deck have been added. To the side of the home is a beautiful water garden.
Kemmerer-Wilson House, 635 Main Street Built in 1843, this Greek Revival cottage, at 633 Main Street, has been owned by several of Weston’s notable families. Early on the home was owned by Lorenzo Dow Bird, one of the town’s first attorneys and an original city father. For more than 60 years it was home to the Kemmerer family. “Miss Rose” Kemmerer was a favorite school teacher and a noted musician. Fashioned of rock, hand-hewn Missouri walnut logs and clapboard siding, the simple saltbox is distinguished by an expansive columnar porch and a multi-paned, transom entry way. Anchor stones at the front walk were original carriage stepping stones. Originally designed in the “dog trot” style…a center hall running from front to back with rooms on either side, reveals the periodic updates of the families who resided here. The Greek Revival window and door millwork add a classic to the formal living areas. An original converted gas lamp in the front hall displays a fleur-de-lis design that is repeated in decorating touches throughout the cottage. The Master’s bedroom on the right presents an interesting effect with a mahogany four-poster bed, an antique mahogany wishbone dresser, an Americana trunk and small “tuck-away” closet. Gracing the scene is a Dresden Plate quilt and pillow. A warm and friendly parlor features a carved walnut love seat in vintage red silk. Silver and china accessories are displayed on antique walnut and mahogany tables. As visual reminders of Weston’s river port days, this room also displays a hand painted fire aboard with tobacco leaf motif, a small pine trunk decorated with an early Weston scene and the Ernst Ulmer print of Weston…The Landing on the Missouri. An early center hall reconfiguration created the present-day dining room. The circa 1840 cherry drop-leaf table is set with English china and American silverplate in anticipation of the family’s Christmas Eve supper. Hickox chairs await the diners. The circa 1870 built-in corner cabinet displays hand painted china. The study, kitchen and a small bedroom were reclaimed from the open porch that extended the full length of the house. The floors of the porch, which originally sloped to encourage drainage from rain and snow, remain as reminders of this long-ago configuration. The Kemmerer-Wilson cottage invites guests to enjoy “A Dickens Christmas.” In 1843, the year the house was built, Charles Dickens wrote his celebrated classic, A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being a Ghost Story. Natural and man-made materials that were available in that time period have been used to interpret the holiday season. Each room also features the quaint German tradition of the decorated tree with an unique theme.
The Baker Building, 519 Main Street ?On tour for the first time is the second floor apartment at 519 Main Street. Built in an alley way in approximately 1879, this three-story brick building, is a nicely restored example of Georgian Colonial Revival architecture. The beautiful arched windows were very popular after the Civil War. The building still features hardwood floors, 12′ ceilings and walls three bricks thick. Although more commonly known as the Baker Building, it has been speculated that this structure was designed by Jacob Mettier as an extension of his building next door. The first well documented owner was Julian Baker in 1889. Mr. Baker operated Baker’s harness and Saddle Shop at this location for 45 years. The second floor was originally designed as an apartment and later served as a lodge hall. In the 1930’s this became the Murphy’s Apartments with living quarters on all three floors. In 1987, the building was renovated and the main level and basement were once again turned into store fronts. The upper two stories remained apartments. The current residents, Gary and Elizabeth Wenig, are following the traditions of early merchants by living above their shop. True to the time period of the structure, an elegant Victorian theme prevails throughout the apartment. A back bedroom, with magnificent arched windows, also provides a lovely view of Weston’s City Park. Front room window seats furnish a cozy spot overlooking the downtown historic district. This has also become a favorite resting place for the family pets, Ginger, Peach and Turbo. For this special tour, the entire apartment will be decorated to reflect a real Victorian Christmas. on display will be period clothing and vintage laces from Elizabeth’s private collection. Entering the property through a small alley, you will notice the winter version of the lovely backyard water gardens. Follow the luminaries next to the historic Methodist Church on Main Street.
French’s Loft, 420 Main Street Located in the downtown historic district, and new to this year’s tour, is the pre-Civil War loft at 420 Main Street. Owners, Russel and Terri French recently renovated the building that also houses the McCormick Country Store on the main floor. In the mid-1800’s many of Weston’s early merchants were German immigrants. The downtown area, which was considered quite stylish for its time, resembled the villages in Germany and other parts of Europe. With limited transportation, most of the business owners also resided in the downtown area. Second and third floors were often used as apartments and offices. Prior to the Civil War, this spacious 1800-square-foot loft was the home of B.F. Freeland, an early merchant, who conducted a dry goods business on the main floor. In 1866 A.H. O’Dowd purchased the building and extensive changes were made to the original structure. Mr. O’Dowd dealt in furniture and provisions with undertaking as a specialty. Through the years the second floor loft also provided living quarters for several grocery store owners. Today, restored to its original form, exposed hand-hewn ceiling beams and original brick walls add warmth and charm to a mixture of traditional and collectible furnishings. Entering the loft, up an original oak staircase, you’re welcomed by a friendly kitchen joined with a cozy sitting area. A wood-burning parlor stove adds a pleasing effect to an already delightful atmosphere. Light and airy with white glass cabinets and clever cinder block walls, the kitchen also provides a bird’s-eye view of the towering steeples of the historic Holy Trinity Catholic Church. A short hallway descends into a chic, yet simple dining room where soft lighting, muted tones and traditional artwork compliment the beauty of rustic walls and ceilings. Crown molding, topping a quaint bedroom enclosure, enhances the unique style. A large, raised living room, with lush neutral carpeting, classic striped sofas and paned glass windows, creates a soothing environment distinguished by a variety of plant life. A small balcony joins the front of the loft to provide a romantic overview of the historic downtown area. Left behind by the southern influence of Weston’s early settlers, a picturesque alley way with a New Orleans flavor, provides an entrance to the loft. Follow the luminaries to Thomas Street, east of Main Street.
Source: Christmas in Weston brochure, 1997 Candlelight Homes Tour, Sponsored by Weston Development Company