A couple days ago, when I posted about the Arrow Rock Quilt Camp, I mentioned that we had taken a tour of a pre-Civil War mansion during camp.
Today, I’m back to tell you more about the tour. The estate is called Prairie Park, and it’s just outside the village of Arrow Rock a couple miles.
We had perfect spring weather for touring, and the house is absolutely gorgeous. The house was built in 1849 by William B. Sappington, the son of Dr. John Sappington, who invented the quinine cure for malaria.
The current owners have restored the house to its original glory, even having some of the fixtures refurbished and/or recreated to be original. There are a few pieces of furniture in the house that were original to the house. The rest are period pieces that fit right in.
There are no photos allowed inside, but I took several around the outside to show you.
One of my favorite features is the glass-windowed “lookout post” on top of the house. It is said that the owner could climb into the tower and survey most of his land from this position. How cool is that?
This shows the back corner of the house:
The smaller brick section with the skinny chimney used to be detached from the house, and was the summer kitchen. It was later joined to the house and an indoor kitchen was added on. A very skillful addition and made to fit right in without detracting.
Directly behind the house sits this little playhouse. This building is not original to the estate, but was brought in from elsewhere to be a playhouse for the grandchildren of the owners. Wouldn’t you have loved to have this when you were a kid?
William B.’s father lived in a more modest home down the road in one direction from this house, and William B. had a brother who built another home in the other direction, so they all lived close and worked the land together. Their chief crop was hemp, used for making ropes and bags. Since they lived right on the river, their crop was transported out by boats and barges.
William B.’s brother’s name was Erasmus Darwin — isn’t that a cool name? Imagine naming your son Erasmus Darwin!
The house is open for tours year-round, and you can find out more about taking a tour of Prairie Park by clicking HERE.