The quaint village of Kimmswick lies on the edge of the Mississippi River, thirty minutes south of St. Louis. It was founded in 1859 by Theodore Kimm, a dry goods merchant and German immigrant. The town was successful until the early to mid-1900s when the automobile became popular. People began passing by the tiny river town.

Lucianna Gladney Ross, heir to the 7-UP fortune, visited Kimmswick in 1970 and was shocked to see historic buildings deteriorating with some being torn down. She became the driving force in restoring the town beginning with old homes and turning them into shops and restaurants. She passed away in 2012 at the age of 96 and is credited with saving this small Missouri town.

Today, there are more than 25 restaurants and shops to explore in the town where just 152 people reside. Plus, it is home to the Windsor Harbor Road Bridge, the oldest known wroughtiron bridge in Missouri. It’s an especially lively area during the month of October when the Apple Butter Festival and Witches Night Out attract thousands of visitors. Although these events have been cancelled this year, townspeople expect they will resume in 2021.

Lodge at The Greenhouse Inn, a charming cottage that was once a working greenhouse. The farmhouse decor welcomes guests and the homey feeling makes them want to stay. It can accommodate up to four adults. While The Greenhouse Inn is the only place to stay inside of Kimmswick, the Lodge at Grant’s Trail in St. Louis is just twenty minutes outside of the town. Each room has a unique theme.

The Greenhouse Inn

Dine at The Blue Owl Restaurant & Bakery that celebrated its thirty-fifth anniversary in August. Standout menu items include the breakfast quiche, open-faced roast beef, and the awardwinning cream and fruit pies. Daily specials are also available.

The Dough Depot is another great spot for lunch. A large variety of delicious pretzel bread sandwiches are served with a soup of the day on the side. Or try a pizza and a salad with homemade dressing. After your meal, take a look around the gift shop where handmade dough ornaments are sold.

Visit the Anheuser Estate built in 1867. It was the home of Fred and Mabel Ruth Anheuser. Fred’s great grandfather, Eberhard Anheuser, was the founder of Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company, and Fred was the vice president. After Fred’s death in 1984 and Mabel’s in 2000, the home was donated to Kimmswick and now serves as an estate and museum with family heirlooms, portraits, and two hand-carved World’s Fair beds. Plus, many of the Anheusers’ belongings are on display, including clothing, dinnerware, and book collections. It is open for tours and private event rentals.

You can also browse an array of shops, like Kimmswick Keepsake, The Stamp Pad, and The Spicery of Kimmswick. Mastodon State Historic Site is two and a half miles outside of Kimmswick and is one of the most important archaeological and paleontological sites in Missouri. It was here that scientists first discovered proof that humans and mastodons coexisted in North America

Photos // Jeannie Capriglione, The Greenhouse Inn