The Captain James Campbell House, Boonslick Road

Update: This is the Captain James Campbell House, and it holds an important place in St. Louis regional history. The famous story of Archer Alexander, an escaped slave whose story was later chronicled by William Greenlead Eliot, apparently helped build this house before the Civil War. To read more about Campbell and Alexander’s link to this house, see this post by Dorris Keeven-Franke at St. Charles County History. It seems to be one of the oldest houses in the region, dating to perhaps 1830.

I don’t remember exactly where this house was, but I believe it was along Boonslick Road, where there was pretty much no good place to stop and take a picture. It’s a stunning example of the Greek Revival, however, with the central portico and symmetrical design. This was is rough cut stone ashlar, too, making it all the more interesting and rare.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Steve Mamanella says:

    This house is on Highway N in O’Fallon. I’m a big fan of it too….. 🙂
    https://www.google.com/maps/@38.7570003,-90.707069,3a,75y,184.92h,101.84t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s-15tlUHbQn6l3dvIN2pWWQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    1. cnaffziger says:

      Ah, thank you! Wasn’t Highway N originally the old Boonslick Road in the past?

      1. Steve Mamanella says:

        I think this may be tricky….. There is currently a Boone’s Lick Road in St. Charles City. It crosses Fifth Street and takes one down to Main Street St. Charles:
        https://www.google.com/maps/place/631+Boone's+Lick+Rd,+St+Charles,+MO+63301/@38.7733013,-90.4976203,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x87df2efc8ecf2517:0xf8d62cf410c195a7!8m2!3d38.7733013!4d-90.4954316

        But then there’s also the historic Boone’s Lick Road or Boone’s Lick Trail that is the Highway N that you’re referencing — the one that goes thru Cottleville too. A couple of links: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boone%27s_Lick_Road and https://www.booneslickroad.org/

  2. Steve Mamanella says:

    PS – That last link I shared above notes that the house you’re referencing is the James Campbell House, probably circa 1830….

  3. Steve Mamanella says:

    It looks like maybe the post prior to my “PS” did not appear. I meant to post that the whole Boonslike Road thing can be confusing. There’s a Boone’s Lick Road that crosses Fifth Street in St Charles and heads down to historic Main Street. And then there’s the Boone’s Lick Road or Boone’s Lick Trail that’s also historic and extends much further — and for some of its route travels along the same path as present-day Highway N. See: https://www.booneslickroad.org/ and note the map that page links to, which includes a marker on the house you have called out today, noting it’s the Campbell House. There’s also this page, which has the house’s backstory: https://stcharlescountyhistory.org/2021/06/02/captain-campbells-house/

    1. cnaffziger says:

      Thank you!

  4. The Booneslick Road starts on Main Street of St Charles, and crosses St Charles County (mainly on Hwy N) and then proceeds thru Warren County, Montgomery, Callaway, Boone, to Howard County. The Booneslick region including Arrow Rock was the fastest growing in 1818 thanks to to the Booneslick Road.

  5. Captain James Campbell’s house was built by slaves working with the Pourie Brothers that were stonemasons from Scotland. They were nephews of the Lindsey family who had built all the buildings we call Stone Row on St. Charles Main Street. The Campbell home was completed in 1837 and is almost identical to the earlier McCluer house that was built in 1829 (about a mile away). During the Civil War arms and ammunition were stashed in Campbell’s ice house by the local secesh.

    1. cnaffziger says:

      Thanks for all this information, Dorris! What a fascinating house!

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