Joseph Sappington Log Home
Historic structures send us into our past by allowing us to walk through the day-to-day lives of our predecessors and learn from their stories and struggles. But St. Louis's history is vanishing as our historical buildings fall. Help save a wonderfully preserved log home today so it will enlighten future generations.
Historic structures transport us into our past where we wrestle with the complicated reality of our society’s origins but St. Louis's historic buildings are disappearing. Whether in service to civic development or due to decay and disuse, structures that provide a window to the past are increasingly rare. The Sappington House Foundation and the City of Crestwood have preserved and shared the 1808 Thomas Sappington home for 55 years. Now we have the opportunity to save a pristine log home dating to 1816; one of only a few left in the region.
This home will complement its cousin structure (literally, the owners were first cousins: Thomas and Joseph Sappington) inside Sappington Park in Crestwood. While it is optimal for historic buildings to remain in their original location, that is not possible in this case. The Foundation is relocating it to be preserved in perpetuity and open to the public. The Sappington House Foundation is raising the final $500,000 needed to make this project a reality.
The Sappington House Foundation is a cultural anchor and is responsible for restoring and preserving two historic architectures: the Thomas Sappington House Museum, built in 1808, and the Joseph Sappington Log House, built in 1816. The Foundation promotes education and history programming with one staff member and a team of volunteers. Every year thousands of visitors tour the Thomas Sappington House Museum and participate in other events. Tens of thousands see this beacon of our past while commuting on the main thoroughfare, Sappington Road, and up to 2,000 pedestrians and cyclists per day on Grant’s trail.
The Thomas Sappington House is located inside Sappington Park. The park and the original home are owned by the City of Crestwood. The city maintains the outside of the current building as well as the grounds and the fountain inside the park. The Foundation maintains the inside of this building and the gardens surrounding it. The Foundation itself will maintain the Joseph log home while Crestwood will continue its current role with the grounds and the original brick home.
While the Foundation is responsible for both historic buildings, currently only one is functional and open to the public. The Thomas Sappington House Museum remains on its original site and is an outstanding example of Federal architecture,
rare in Missouri.
Thomas Sappington had a cousin named Joseph, who built a log home for his family about five miles away. The log home was preserved by private owners for years until their deaths.
The Foundation acquired approval from the City of Crestwood to move the log house to Sappington Park. It is in exceptional condition and provides a unique opportunity to tell the story of our past via a family whose members built two vastly different homes in the same period. Both the log and brick houses were built in the Louisiana Territory before Missouri became a state in 1821. At the time, about 300 residents lived in St. Louis City and, the county was a wilderness.
Currently surrounded by Grant’s Trail, Father Dickson Cemetery, Sappington Cemetery, US Grant National Historic Site, and Hawken House, Sappington Park serves as a hub for this culturally significant historic district. In addition, Sappington Park is next door to the new Crestwood Crossing development, boasting Dierbergs, restaurants, and 81 single-family homes. This relocation of the Joseph Sappington log home will provide a new cultural resource for this dynamic, growing community.
Sappington Park's Future
"We must remember our story so that we can learn its lessons and build an even stronger community going forward."
The Foundation has a mission to tell our stories, not only about the prominent pioneer Sappington family but also about the Native Americans and African Americans who shared their wilderness experience and are an important part of our region’s complex history. We must remember our story so that we can learn its lessons and build an even stronger community going forward. The power of walking through historic structures is a sensory experience that illuminates the past. By bringing history to life, school children and life-long learners are engaged and gain a deeper understanding of our shared past.
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 pieces are in place to move forward with this project. 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.
Architectural plans and “MEPS” (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing designs) have been approved by the City of Crestwood and St. Louis County. Part of the rebuilding will include updating the log home with ADA-compliant restrooms, a breakroom, and a porch that will be an attractive addition for events, concerts, and plays at the base of a natural amphitheater.
With the completion of the Joseph Sappington log home the indoor space available will triple. There will be an expansion of educational activities, exhibits, and special events. The main floor will house the museum space, a welcome center to sell tickets, a small gift shop, and a meeting room. The second floor will serve as office and storage space. The basement will function as a storage area for playhouse props, lighting, etc.
The house is currently in storage, while the Foundation is raising the funds needed and the contractor, Antique Logs Unlimited, is preparing the logs and stones to reassemble the house at its new location. It will be more than a museum. It will once again be a living, breathing gathering place.
Phase 1: Disassembly. Complete. The logs were numbered and detailed studies of the original structure were made. The house was carefully disassembled. Stones were saved from the fireplaces and foundation for reuse. This was finished by Antique Logs Unlimited in August 2023.
Phase 2: Rough-in. April 2024- November 2024 This phase includes clearing the land inside Sappington Park, rerouting utilities, pouring the foundation, and the meticulous reassembly on the grounds of the park.
Phase 3: Finish work. November 2024 -Mid-2025 The 1816 log home will be discreetly updated with modern HVAC, electric, and plumbing. It will be transformed into a safe and functional space for visitors of all ages.
Budget - $800,000
Phase 1: $200,000 to disassemble the home.
Phase 2: $450,000 to move, reassemble, and restore the home in Sappington Park.
Phase 3: $150,000 to renovate the home for public use.
* the City of Crestwood has agreed to reimburse the Foundation $125,000 when Phase 2 is complete in November 2024
A longtime Boone Village Interpreter William Ray says, “Anyone who sees hand-hewn logs has a transformative experience.” Seeing them in real life reveals that we are not just talking about obscure historical facts, but about people like themselves who built homes and lives for their families during trying times.
When the 1816 Joseph Sappington log home is repurposed, we will not be writing on dry parchment, but opening the pages of history to a new, exciting chapter for Crestwood and all of St. Louis. The Foundation has raised over $300,000 and completed Phase 1. We are now raising the final $500,000 needed. Please donate to save this log home that will enlighten future generations in the lessons of the past.
The 1816 log home was listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.