The interesting and charming historic mansion in St. Louis Missouri, The Lemp Mansion, was once famous for producing the best beer in the country. The house, built in 1868, has undergone various renovations and has lost much of its ornate charm. It is thought to be still inhabited by dead Lemp family members, many of whom committed suicide in the residence.
Local legend says that the mansion is haunted by the people who used to live there. It has been included in Life Magazine’s most haunted hotels in America. It is said that one of William’s (previous owner) son, Zeke, who was born with Down Syndrome and was hidden from the public in the attic, is still seen in the house until today. He was cruelly dubbed the “Monkey-faced Boy.”
Various residents of the mansion have complained about hearing ghostly knocks and phantom footsteps. Because of these stories, it was very hard to find tenants when the mansion was turned into a boarding house. Whilst contractors were working on the mansion’s renovation, workers complained about strange sounds, apparitions, their tools disappearing and strange feelings of constantly being watched by unseen eyes.
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A lot of workers were frightened by their experiences and they left abruptly without finishing their work.
Current employees of the Lemp Mansion have reported strange experiences, including voices and apparitions. Glasses in the bar were also reported to fly off from the shelves by themselves. Doors lock and unlock by themselves, and lights turn on and off.
The Lemp family history is long and tragic. The family’s patriarch was Johann Lemp, also called Adam. He was born in 1778 in Germany and became naturalized in 1841. He eventually settled in St. Louis. Aside from selling groceries, Lemp also sold beer and vinegar. He then started focusing solely on manufacturing and selling beer. He was among the first persons in the United States to produce German lager.
When Johann Lemp died, his son William returned from the army to take over the family brewery. Under his supervision, the brewery became the largest in the country. He had four sons. Frederick, one of his sons, had significant health problems and he died of heart failure. After the death of his son, William Sr.’s mental health declined, shortly after his best friend Frederick Pabst died, leading William further off the rails. Shortly after his best friends’ death, William put a gun to his head and ended his emotional torment.
After his father’s death, William Jr. took over the business. His wife, Lillian, was called the “Lavender Lady’ because of her fondness of the color. They had a turbulent marriage which ended in divorce. During Prohibition, the brewery service was severely affected and it was sold to the International Shoe Company. On the 29th of December 1922, William Jr. shot himself in his office. Elsa Lemp, William Jr.’s daughter, she shot herself in the head while in bed at 13 Horten’s Place.
Charles Lemp was the last Lemp to live in the mansion. He lived in the mansion with a married couple who were also his servants. On May 10, 1949, he shot his dog and then shot himself in the head.
The mansion has five classic and opulently designed suites that are named after five of the mansion’s previous occupants.
The Lavender Suite was named after William Jr.’s wife, Lillian. It is a three-room suite that comes with a bathroom, bedroom and breakfast sitting room. The William Lemp suite has all the splendor of America’s Gilded Age. The Charles Lemp suite has some of the most beautiful furnishings which come from the post-depression periods, as well as the art deco period. The Elsa Lemp suite has a great view of the Mississippi River and the St. Louis skyline and it can be found on the mansion’s top floor. Lastly, the Frederick and Louis suites were once servants’ quarters. They have been remodeled and they are now mirror images of each other.
The Lemp Mansion’s Grand Hall is a banquet hall that still has the original hard Maple floors. It is located on the corner of Cherokee Street and Lemp Avenue. It would make a great place for various events. The beautiful patio and gazebo would make an ideal place for an outdoor wedding. Both facilities can hold as few as 20 people or as much as 300 guests. Lemp Mansion has many wedding packages to choose from.
The mansion is also now offering the Loft for private parties. It can easily seat a maximum of 150 people. The loft was once used for the breweries’ Percheron horses.
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Things to Do
If you are staying in the Lemp Mansion, there are various things in the surrounding area which are worth trying and visiting. Soulard Farmer’s Market has some of the most amazing produce and spices. They have everything, from fresh game to exotic meats. Soulard’s is one of the oldest and most diverse farmer’s markets in the United States.
People who would like to gamble should check the Lumiere Place Casino. This award-winning casino has 55 tables, 2,000 slots and 13-table poker room. The Lumiere has a live theatre, several gift shops, and six restaurants. The Fox Theatre, dubbed as “The Fabulous Fox”, was built in 1929. It was once a movie palace that has now become a center for performing arts. The architecture of the building is amazing and it has hosted countless concerts, Broadway shows, and other special events.