Friday, October 9, 2015

Faust Historical Village

This village is located in Faust Park.  The park was created by Leicester and Mary Plant Faust in 1968 with the intention to preserve the Thornhill house.  The Faust estate, now the home of the Community Music School of Webster Groves, is also on the grounds of the park.   An interesting side note here, Leicester Faust was the grandson of Adolphus Busch, founder of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery.
The Thornhill house, pictured above, was built from 1815-1820.  Frederick Bates was appointed Territorial Secretary of the new Louisiana Territory by President Thomas Jefferson in the early 1800s.  He was later, from 1824-25 Missouri's second governor.  In 1819, at the age of 41, Frederick Bates married his sixteen year-old neighbor from back home in Virginia.  They settled here at Thornhill and raised four children.  Unfortunately the house was not open for us to tour, but we still enjoyed walking around the estate and looking at the original out-buildings which include several barns, a distillery for the peach brandy they made, smokehouse and a corn granary.  There is also a small peach orchard and maple grove.
In another area of the park is the historic village which have homes built between 1840-1919.  They have been moved to the park from various areas of St.Louis County.  They vary from modest homes of immigrants to two-story more sophisticated buildings owned by established landowners.  A German immigrant and brick maker, Henry Hoch, built the above home in 1876.  Part of the rear is a wood framed structure.  Besides four rebuilt homes, the village also has a schoolhouse, carriage house, barn,, a mercantile, and a blacksmith shop.  Outside some of the buildings are various artifacts from the 1800s, as the dog mill for churning butter, which is pictured below.  A sign near this mill notes that the settlers used dogs for a variety of chores, besides churning butter dogs were also useful for turning the fireside spits.
Another interesting artifact which we saw in a barn was a guillotine, invented by Dr.Joseph Guillotin in 1792.  It was widely used during the French Revolution, and considered  more humane than drawing and quartering people!  Dr. Guillotin was part of a small reform group to abolish the death penalty.
We had a beautiful fall day for touring the park.  Mother Nature is still pretty with her colorful leaves which are now changing their colors, and many flowers are still in bloom as a frost has not happened as yet here in Missouri.  The trees pictured above have red berries on them, not cherry blossoms- wrong season for that!
Time for us to head south, but that will not be possible for a couple more weeks.

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