EARLY HOMES AND BUILDINGS
1810 – 1940 ARCHITECTURE
Cooper County has an abundance of lovely, well maintained older homes and buildings representing many different architectural styles, ranging from simple wood or stone houses to elegant Victorian, Italianate, and “Queen Anne,” mansions.
A walking or driving tour in downtown Boonville will introduce you to many of the beautiful historic homes and buildings in the area. Main Street still retains many well maintained, early buildings, and most are still being used. And, outside of Boonville Township there are other impressive homes and buildings that are worth the trip to see. Maps and information on historic Cooper County homes and buildings are available at: Cooper County Historical Society; Boonville Area Chamber of Commerce; River, Rails and Trails Museum; Friends of Historic Boonville; and the Frederick Hotel. River, Rails and Trails Museum has a colorful and informative booklet for a self-guided tour of Boonville homes and buildings.
Historic Homes & Buildings to look for in Boonville
Take walking tour of Boonville, or a drive on the following streets from beginning to end:
High Street: Frederick Hotel, (Main & High Street) 513, 603, 611, 616, 617, 622, 703, 724 Bell House with , Bell’s View Park across the street
East Morgan Street: 719, 711, 707, 629, 614, 519, 515; Old Jail
East Spring Street: 716, 630
Sixth Street: 630, 612, 615, 711, 720, 1308, 1307, 747; Sixth & Locust – Early school for girls
Main Street: 1304, 745 (GG Vest Home); 821 (Roslyn Heights – state DAR headquarters)
Commercial buildings from the 1800’s and early 1900’s.
Fourth Street: 412 Hain House; 510 Sombart; Christ Episcopal Church; 607- Pre-Civil-War School;
Center Street: 309 – built 1859; 303 – built 1870
Third Street: (600-700) former Kemper Military School, now State Fair Jr. College; Boonslick YMCA; and soon to be Boonslick Regional Public Library; House 600; - also 601 Hitch House
A colored map with pictures is available from the Cooper County Historical Society, and other locations, which feature homes and buildings in Boonville
There are also many lovely older homes in Boonville and Cooper County that are not on the Historic Register, but are well worth viewing.
Interesting Homes and Buildings out in the County
Blackwater hotel, telephone museum and Depot; Pilot Grove - old Jail and Mt. Nebo Baptist Church; Pleasant Green - Burwood, Crestmede and Pleasant Green Plantation; New Lebanon - Cumberland Baptist Church and one room school; Cemetery and Uncle Abe’s Store; Cotton - Dick’s Mill and school Bellair - Ravenswood Mansion; Bell Air Methodist church and Pauley House, and Old Stage Stop and St. John’s United Church of Christ in Billingsville; Rural Boonville - Gross Brothers Home on Highway 98
Ravenswood near Bell Air
Pauley House near Bell Air
Pleasant Green Plantation in Pleasant Green
Gross Brother's Home in rural Boonville on Route 98
Restored Crestmead Home
Photo from Wayne Lammers Collection
Many of the older buildings in Cooper County are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In fact, the Cooper County area boasts area over 400 sites on the National Register of Historic Places
How to Find Cooper County Homes and Buildings
Listed on National Register:
Go to: SHPO Inventories (State Historic Preservation Officer)
Select State - Missouri
Select Missouri National Register Listings
Select County (Cooper)
Click on the individual site name to see the full report, bibliography and photos.
BOONVILLE RECYCLED, REVITILIZED AND REPURPOSED HISTORIC BULDINGS
Old Commercial Buildings with new lives
Thespian Hall 1855; is the oldest theater west of the Alleghanies, now a home for the arts
Frederick Hotel was a hotel in 1905, then became a retirement home; now restored a modern hotel with its 20th century charm; also features a restaurant
River, Rails & Trails Visitor’s Center and Museum: Former Wholesale Grocery built in 1902
Mitchel Car Museum once was a chicken hatchery
Hamilton Brown Shoe Factory is now Selwyn Senior Apartments
Kemper Military School is now the Boonslick Heartland YMCA, State Fair Community College, and the future home of the Boonslick Regional Library.
Turner Hall was originally a Baptist church in 1847; then a place for German gymnastics and musical groups, now a venue rental.
Ballentine House –a hotel in 1822, and now houses business offices
KATY Train Depot now the Chamber of Commerce building with an old MKT caboose and train signal lights
Boonville Trail Depot at night
Left: River, Rails and Trails Museum, formerly Shryack - Givens Wholesale Grocery
Right: Selwyn Senior Apartments, formerly Boonville Shoe Factory
Balentine House, formerly a hotel, now business offices
Hotel Frederick, formerly apartments
Downtown Boonville 1930's
This is a photo taken by James McCurdy about 1873. The workers are raising a large bell to the top of the roof of the Central National Bank in Boonville, owned by Joseph L. Stevens. Workers are raising a large bell to the roof of the bank. Today the bell is in the front of LSE School.
These bronze mastiff statues were originally in front of the Central National Bank near the entrance, which is now Snapp's Hardware. In the mid 1880's, Jay Gould gave the two large mastiff statues to Joseph L Stevens in gratitude for Steven's support in bringing the Katy Railroad to Boonville. The mastiff statues were placed on the front of the bank near the entrance.
Today the mastiffs are on the roof of the LSE school above the northwest entrance, and the bell is on the lawn in front of the school.
Central Bell and the 2 Mastiff statues at LSE on Main Street. Photo by Wayne Lammers