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Property Details: Horace Bixby Steamboat Captain House in St Louis
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Historic real estate listing for sale in St Louis, MO
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Click for a larger image! Historic real estate listing for sale in St Louis, MO Click for a larger image! Historic real estate listing for sale in St Louis, MO
   
Property Information
Horace Bixby Steamboat Captain House in St Louis
1532 Mississippi Ave
St Louis, MO
Find it with Google™ Maps!
Price: Contact agent for more details
Bedrooms: 5
Bathrooms: 2.5
Square Feet: 3,985
Lot Description/Acreage:
25 X 150
Year Built:
1877
 
Contact Information
Name: Larry D Heugatter
Phone: 314-683-8517
Email: Send an email...
 
Property History

Built 1877 by Horace Ezra Bixby, renowned steamboat pilot, co-owner of the St. Louis - New Orleans Anchor Line and mentor of Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain). We have many Anchor Line related photos, art work,, the cub's wheel from Bixby's first boat, and a copy of a letter from Bixby to Clemens in 1882 that mentions the house ("now I have one of the nicest on Lafayette Park"). The house sits across from the middle gates to Lafayette Park, in the Lafayette Square neighborhood which is a gem of St. Louis.

 

 
Property Description

French Second Empire home built in 1877 by steamboat captain Horace Bixby, mentor of Mark Twain. Their apprenticeship is chronicled in Twain's 'Life on the Mississippi.'
House will be for sale possibly in early 2024 when we retire to Spain. Timing is flexible though, and the house sale will dictate when we obtain visas and make the move. This listing is to reach out to possible buyers who are interested in preserving the history and will love the house the way we have for 22 years. Contact larryheugatter@gmail.com

Improvement projects to 1532 Mississippi (partial list):
Kitchen total remodel, 2016.Incorporated 19th century French antiques, high quality cabinets, quality appliances. Movable island/bar made from antique French sideboard.Butler’s pantry restored with period cabinetry.$86,300 to build.  Appliances $6377.  Antique hutch, sideboard for island, light fixture, and corner wall cabinet approx. $5000.

Deluxe oversize two car garage with rooftop deck, 2017.Garage is tall to accommodate a car lift if desired, and fully finished on the inside including vintage cabinets.Water pipe to rooftop for watering.  $154,247

Complete replacement of sewer under house and to alley, done prior to garage. $22,075

Solar panels on entire roof, 2019. $39,800

Sprayed-on polyurethane roof, recoated in 2019.

Zoned high efficiency HVAC systems new in 2016.Mini-split unit serves third floor.

Third floor bathroom remodeled to include travertine shower stall, antique copper tub, and heated floor.

Two front bedrooms had been open to each other via double doors. Closed off the opening to make a closet in front bedroom. Moved closet doors to face into second bedroom.

Refinished hardwood floors in kitchen, butler’s pantry, first floor hall, and second bedroom, 2022. $2800.

New hardwoods installed throughout first floor and part of second floor +/-15 years ago.

Marble installed in first floor entry hall +/-15 years ago.

Built Murphy bed in second bedroom, 2022.

Converted spiral staircase to third floor to traditional stairs, with repurposed antique newels, balusters, and handrail.

Replaced electrical service before 2010.

Five new windows (third floor dormers, two in kitchen, back bedroom large window alone was $2800)

Built historic brick/stone and antique iron fence in backyard, approx. 2013. $3278 in materials.

Tuckpointed back wall and upper 8 feet of north wall in 2022. $7692

New city water line included switching to the ‘new,’ higher pressure water main.

Foundation in back corner of house was piered in early 2000s to stop slow subsidence, and part of back brick wall relaid. Possibly $20K or so.

Features – First Floor (note no changes to original layout since 1877)
Front parlor:
Original pocket shutters that fold into the wall
Original windows, rebuilt. Storm windows on all original windows.
Original marble fireplace (coal burner so non-functioning)
Original pocket doors between front parlor and middle parlor.
Original run-in-place paster molding.
Original wood molding, all doors, windows, baseboards
Original floors beneath new hardwoods (installed early 2000s). They were pine and not meant to be exposed.
Chandelier added by previous owner dates from early days of electrification.
All window treatments made by owner.
Parlor and dining room ceilings faux painted by artist who did Dennis Rodman’s house and notable venues in Los Angeles area.

First Floor Halls and Stairway
Marble floor, installed early 2000s.
Hardwoods in back hall new in 2016 with kitchen project.
Wooden storage bench in back hall made from repurposed pantry doors.
Scroll molding hand-crafted and added on stairs.
Front door transom etched with Anchor Line logo.
Stair runner installed in 2021 with brass stair rods. Stair treads painted due to original condition.
Half bath added off of hall as part of kitchen and butler’s pantry project.
Bead board paneling in back hall and up back stairs is original.
Wall sconces in first and second floor hallways were originally gas. Etched shades are original.
Oil lamp on newel post added.

Middle Parlor
Large glass front cabinets made from repurposed pocket doors between parlor and dining room (removed by previous owner when adding structural support).
Faux painted iron fireplace. Original marble one (matching front parlor) was removed when a boarding house.
Original ceiling medallion and plaster molding.
Period chandelier added in 2015.

Dining Room
Octagonal shape with corner glass-front closet.
Original Tennessee granite fireplace. Have not seen a similar one around the Square.
Large ceiling medallion and plaster molding.

Kitchen and Butler’s Pantry
Butler’s pantry had been converted into a full bath in boarding house days. Restored the butler’s pantry to a period look using repurposed 19th century materials, including leaded glass windows on both sets of cabinets. Six large drawers were salvaged from downtown St. Louis Library periodicals room.
Copper speaking tube from kitchen to second floor is original. Repurposed mouthpiece was added.
Hutch, light fixture, and corner cabinet are 1800s Brittany French. Brittany furniture typically incorporated a ship’s wheel in the design. Bagpipes also indicate Brittany. Figures carved into the hutch are likely custom carved to represent family members.
Island is custom constructed from an 1800s German buffet/sideboard, adding an extension and footrail for a dining spot. Island has wheels so is movable to place at an angle or even move into another room.
Stained glass windows in kitchen were salvaged from an English canal boat merchant’s house. We obtained them in 2003 to keep with a riverboat theme.
Original brick chimney in kitchen led from the summer kitchen in the basement. A salvaged fireplace summer cover was cut to fit a similar surround to make the lower cabinet door. It’s a nice focal point in the kitchen.
Hat rack in the butler’s pantry is made from an original kitchen cabinet door that was stored in the basement.

Back Stairs
Bead board is original. 
Original treads are painted, as they are pine.  Wonderful wear patina on them.

Second Floor, Front Bedroom
Room spans the width of the house.
Closet was added in 2022, where a passageway between the first two bedrooms was.
Original speaker tube by door transmits to the kitchen (but is non-functional).
Ceiling molding and fans added in 2010.
Original marble fireplace

Second Floor, Second Bedroom
Queen-size Murphy bed with two built-in desks and bookshelves, constructed 2022-23.
Closets are original, but doors were moved to face into the bedroom (vs. the original passageway between rooms). Some original wallpaper is preserved inside the closets.
Note that AC vents are original. The house had an early central heating system, although fireplaces were probably the primary source of heat.
Original marble fireplace

Second Floor, Octagonal Bedroom
Large room, with door to the bathroom.
Triangular closet.
Wood-look tile floors.
Large antique cabinet from an old shop in St. Louis currently used as entertainment center. It stays.
Original marble fireplace

Second Floor Bathroom
Large clawfoot tub is original from 1877.This was one of the first houses in the Square to have indoor plumbing. Step-ups in the bathroom were there, presumably to aid drainage.
Repurposed antique dresser serves as vanity, with marble top.
Plumbing backs up to laundry room.

Second Floor Back Bedroom
Originally the servant’s quarters. Small fireplace was previously sealed off.
Bookshelves added beside fireplace.
Floor to ceiling closets were added, with great storage space.
Laundry space incorporated into closets in 2019. (Machines were previously in the hall)
Back window replaced in 2022.

Second Floor Hall
Chandelier on second floor landing is original. Was probably a gasolier.
“Fairy box” by stairs to third floor added to delight our grandson when he visits.

Third Floor
Converted spiral staircase to third floor to traditional stairs, with repurposed antique newels, balusters, and handrail.
Closet was added where spiral stairs previously were.
Large floor to ceiling closets in bathroom, with Elfa closet hardware.
Large travertine shower stall with seat and wall niches added around 2017.
Travertine bathroom floors are heated.
1800s copper and walnut tub salvaged from a Central West End home, in front of antique fireplace surround.2018-ish.
His & her bathroom areas include very high quality drawer stacks and vanity by Christopher Cabinets St Louis.
Cooled by mini-split AC/heat. Heat supplemented by baseboard heaters.
Covered porch off of third floor is best place in town to watch fireworks at the Arch. It also has a mini-split AC unit because we once planned to enclose the porch but changed our minds.

Basement
Stained glass windows in front windows added in 2005.
Multiple built-in and portable shelving units in basement.
Deep basement makes handling long items easy.

What Remains with the House (negotiable, value of some items to be considered)
All window treatments
Stained glass kitchen windows
Historic photos and documents
Ship’s wheel from the Hungarian, the first boat Horace Bixby worked as a cub pilot.
All light fixtures
Front entry arched hall tree. It was added in 2014 and a custom base built to fit the arched niche perfectly.
Kitchen hutch and island
Original cabinet door with hooks in butler’s pantry
Pictures of Annie and Rev. Samuel Palmer
Silver pitcher from Lafayette Park Presbyterian Church (now the Abby). Samuel Palmer was minister there for many years.
Photos of Anchor Line boats
Painting of the Horatio G Wright, Horace Bixby’s last boat.
Prints by John Stobart featuring Anchor Line boats (riverfront, New Orleans, and Laclede’s Landing), negotiable
Spoon from Anchor Line boat
Stair garland with wooden anchors lasered with every boat that Bixby served on – a favorite on house tours. Other holiday garlands and décor as well.
Christmas tree skirt embroidered with Mark Twain quote.
Anheuser-Busch stein and metal tray showing Anchor Line boats.
Electric tools, possibly, and salvage molding, etc. – to be discussed.
Piano (negotiable)
Miscellaneous furniture pieces (negotiable)
Some rugs

 

 

 
Additional Notes

We have owned the house since 2001, constantly preserving and renovating it in keeping with its historical significance. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch did two articles on us and the house:
https://www.stltoday.com/life-entertainment/local/home-gardening/at-home-with-larry-and-andrea-heugatter-in-lafayette-square/collection_14b9862c-10cf-5981-a63e-2d4cbfbed728.html
and
https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/st-louis-riverboat-pilot-friend-of-twain-brought-to-life-for-descendants/article_27a5e745-4fc9-515e-908c-49667e588e65.html

 


Last Updated: September 5, 2023
All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified.


 
 

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