The Sappington House Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is responsible for restoring and preserving two historic architectures, the Thomas Sappington House Museum and the 1816 Joseph Sappington Log House.
Preserving the past
In an ever-changing world, historic organizations struggle to stay relevant. Fortunately, the Sappington House Foundation, because of an unparalleled opportunity, is now moving forward with its first major preservation project since the mid-1960’s – disassembling and relocating the 1816 Joseph Sappington Log House. The Crestwood Board of Aldermen approved the Foundation’s request to reassemble the log house in the city park at 1015 S. Sappington Road 63126, the site of the Thomas Sappington House Museum, Library of Americana and Decorative Arts, The Barn Restaurant and Loft Gift Shop.
Interior of the 1816 Joseph Sappington Log House
In addition, Crestwood aldermen overwhelmingly voted to reimburse $100,000 of the move cost and contribute $25,000 toward utility relocation. Thus far, Foundation supporters have donated $150,000 separate from the City’s contribution.
The Foundation’s “Save Joe” campaign will raise the remaining $350,000 to restore and repurpose the log house in Sappington Park. The log house will provide needed interior space for expanded educational programming, exhibits and meetings. Also, it will be updated to include a full-length porch for performances, a breakroom and ADA-compliant restrooms. It will be more than a museum. It will once again be a living, breathing gathering place! The goal is to be ready to serve our growing community by mid-2025 as a multi-purpose site.
Both built in the early 1800’s, the Sappington first cousins’ houses will offer a contrast from the current Sappington House Museum, Thomas’ 1808 brick home, almost a mansion in its day, to Joseph’s 1816 traditional log house in exceptional condition. Joseph (1786-1848) was son to James, brother to John Sappington. Joseph married Elizabeth Wells and they raised 13 children in this five-room log home. Now it will provide another setting where history can come to life, engaging school children and life-long learners alike.
Too many buildings of the past have been lost. Now is the time to come together to safeguard this historic structure as it becomes a useful and vibrant venue for our community. The non-profit Foundation is asking residents and businesses to add their support and give financial aid for the 1816 Joseph Sappington Log House renovation as a learning center.
Our American heritage is a worthy legacy, and if it is to endure, we must take action to preserve and maintain it. Please join the “Save Joe” campaign by making contributions to the Sappington House Foundation, 1015 S. Sappington Road, St. Louis, MO 63126 or phone 314-822-8171.
Return to this site for updates as we document the log house’s revitalization.
Drawing of the 1816 Joseph Sappington Log House as it will appear at Sappington Park in 2025
Laying the foundation
In 1808 during the presidency of Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Sappington built this exquisite home, now a house museum, for his bride, Mary Ann Kinkead. The house was erected with sun-dried bricks made on-site. Wooden pegs were used to secure the frame of the building constructed on a limestone foundation. The house almost unchanged was lived in until the late 1950s. The initial restoration began in 1963, and the house opened for public tours in 1966.
Restoration continues. Overall the structure is stable, but some bricks must be replaced due to rainwater infiltration through the porous, exterior brick walls. To mitigate this problem, historically accurate gutters were installed as part of a major grant funding from National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. In addition, roof eaves and the foundation drainage systems were upgraded. Ongoing restoration and repairs are expensive; however we agree that preserving the Thomas Sappington House for generations to come is well worth the cost.
A way for you to invest in the future is by joining our Brick-by-Brick fundraising campaign to replace the aging brickwork of the garden pathways. Click herefor a brick form to download and complete with your personal message to be engraved as a lasting testament of your commitment to keep history alive.
Charting the course
Telling the story
We are all about telling stories, not only about the prominent, pioneer Sappington family, but also the native Americans and African Americans who shared their wilderness experience. To spread the news, we partner with many groups: other Historic Saint Louis sites, Lindbergh and Webster Groves school districts, homeschoolers, Archaeological Institute of America (St. Louis chapter), Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, Missouri Humanities Council, Missouri History Museum, the State of Missouri and the Smithsonian magazine, just to name a few. Advanced reservations are required for group or special interest tours and can be made by calling 314 822 8171. A speaker service is also available.
We live in trying times, but now, as over the past 200 years, Historic Sappington House (HSH) stands strong and proud. We have weathered many challenges, both natural catastrophes like tornadoes, the New Madrid earthquake of 1811 and pandemics, and man-made calamities like wars, economic depressions and social upheavals. Through the decades, Sappington House represents more than red bricks, mortar and artifacts from yesteryear. We are a vibrant organization with a mission to bring history, the repository of events, places and people’s memories, to our neighborhoods and the world. In line with that mission and standards of practice, we are excited to bring educational programming and special events to you, our friends. The Thomas Sappington House Museum, the Library of Americana and Decorative Arts, The Barn restaurant and the Loft Gift Shop as always need your support to conserve this beautiful 1808 historic site. As we go forward together, the foundation board members of this small non-profit and I steadfastly desire to serve the St. Louis community. Please visit us, attend our activities and help us serve you. Thank you.