The hauntings began in the 1980's, when the River Road Historical Society began to make great progress in renovating and restoring this plantation, giving it some of the TLC it badly needed. The entities, while having their personal issues, are pleasant, complete with gentile southern manners of hosts, willing to share their home with the living, probably thrilled that someone fixed the place up finally!
Disembodied voices have been heard by staff and visitors.Staff have had odd experiences with the resident entities.Tourists taking pictures are surprised to see apparitions, orbs and mists in their photos that weren't there when the original photograph was taken. The staff has put such photos on display for all to see when amazed tourists send these pictures to them.A white, misty form has been seen sitting in its favorite chair, crossing the driveway and peering out a second floor window.A rocking horse in one of the upstairs rooms, would rock back and forth vigorously by itself, freaking out the workers restoring the rooms. The rocking horse was finally removed from the room.An apparition of a woman has been seen standing on the back staircase.
Main Spirits: Entity of Stephen Henderson and his young wife, Marie Eleonore "Zelia" Destrehan Henderson
Apparitions of both Stephen and Marie Eleonore have been identified by both staff and visitors.The apparition of John Lafitte has also been seen by some.
It is a historical house, and also the site of three suicides all by Lemp family members.
The house was built in 1868 by St. Louisian Jacob Feickert. William J. Lemp and his wife, Julia, moved into the mansion in 1876. In 1911, the house underwent major renovations including conversion of some space into offices for the Lemp Brewery. The Lemps lived in the house until 1949 when Charles Lemp committed suicide.
In 1950, the mansion became a boarding house; throughout the next decade, it lost much of its ornate charm. The construction of Interstate 55 during the 1960s led to the destruction of much of the grounds and one of the carriage houses.
The current owners, the Pointer family, purchased the house in 1975 and have since renovated much of it as the Lemp Mansion Restaurant and Inn.
Lemp Family History
Adam Lemp started a grocery store at Sixth and Morgan, called A. Lemp & Co., family grocery. This site is now occupied by the middle of the south side of the Edward Jones Dome. In addition to typical groceries, Lemp sold his own vinegar and beer. By 1840 he focused solely on the manufacture and sale of the beer, forming Western Brewery at 37 South Second Street (about where the south leg of the Arch now stands). Adam Lemp’s beer became very popular due to the increase of German population in the area. Lemp was one of the first in the country to produce German lager, which was a great difference from the English ale and porters. The business prospered, and when a large storage space became necessary, a cave in south St. Louis was used for this purpose as it provided natural refrigeration. The cave was below the current locations of the Lemp and Chatillon-DeMenil House and the Lemp Brewery.
By the 1860s there were 40 breweries in the St. Louis area taking advantage of the caves along the Mississippi, with the Western Brewery emerging as one of the most successful.
In 1892, the William J. Lemp Brewing Company was founded from the Western Brewery with William as President, his son William Jr. as Vice-President, and his son Louis as Superintendent.
William J. "Billy" Lemp, Jr., was born on August 13, 1867. Like his father, he went to St. Louis University and then studied the art of brewing. However, it was William Sr.'s fourth son, Frederick, born in 1873, whom he hoped to groom to take over the company. Unknown to William Sr. and his family, Frederick had significant health problems. On December 12, 1901, Frederick died of heart failure due to complication of diseases. William Sr. became despondent and slowly declined. On the morning of February 13, 1904, William Lemp committed suicide by gunshot, and died at 10:15 a.m.
William J. Lemp, Jr:
On November 7, 1904, William J. "Billy" Lemp, Jr., took over the brewing company as president. Billy had married Lillian Handlan five years earlier, and they moved to a new home at 3343 South Thirteenth Street.
Lillian filed for divorce in 1908, charging Billy with desertion, cruel treatment and indignities. The divorce proceedings lasted 11 days and ended in an award to Lillian of the divorce, and custody of William III, their only child, with Billy being given visitation rights. After the trial, Billy built "Alswel", his country home overlooking the Meramec River, in what is now the western edge of Kirkwood. By 1914, he lived there full-time.
The Lemp Brewery suffered in the 1910s when Prohibition began. The brewery was shut down and the Falstaff trademark was sold to Lemp's friend, "Papa Joe" Griesedieck. The brewery itself was eventually sold at auction to International Shoe Company for pennies on the dollar. On December 29, 1922, Billy Lemp shot himself in his office, a room that today is the front left dining room.
William Lemp III:
In 1939, William J. Lemp III, the only son of Billy Lemp, licensed the Lemp name to Central Breweries of East St. Louis. Central Breweries renamed itself the William J. Lemp Brewing Company and began a grand marketing campaign resulting in increased sales of the new Lemp Beer. The contract was terminated by Ems Brewing, which bought out Lemp in 1945.
Charles Lemp, the third son of William Sr., was the final Lemp to live in the mansion, starting in 1929.
He had left the brewery in 1917, to go into banking and finance. He had also dabbled in politics, influencing many south side wards. He never married and lived with his dog in the mansion with two servants, a married couple.
April, 1941, Charles Lemp sent a letter to a south St. Louis funeral home requesting that in case of his death, his remains should be taken by ambulance to the Missouri Crematory. His body should not be bathed, clothed, or changed. His ashes should be put into a wicker box and buried on his farm. There were to be no held or a notice put in the papers.
On May 10, 1949; eight years later, he shot his dog then, himself in the head, leaving the following note: "St. Louis Mo/May 9, 1949, In case I am found dead blame it on no one but me. Ch. A. Lemp". This is the only known suicide note in the family history.
In 1970, Edwin died at the age of 90. His final order to his caretaker was to destroy his art collection and family heirlooms.
Today the mansion is a major tourist attraction for St. Louis Missouri. It has been made into a restaurant and Inn by the Pointer family and offers tours.
Yes the Lemp Mansion is said to be very haunted, but what mansion wouldn't be with so many suicides ?.
The plantation was built by George Swainy between 1837 and 1839 for Jacques Telesphore Roman. Jacques' father-in-law, Joseph Pilie, was an architect and is considered the likely designer. The mansion has a square floor plan, organized around a central hall that runs from the front to the rear on both floors.
The house is characterized by high ceilings, large windows, a symmetrical facade and interior plan, and a second-floor gallery for viewing purposes. The flooring was made of marble (since removed and now only wooden), the roof of slate, the house and columns of brick painted white to look like marble.
(There was supposedly no boy in the home when this picture was taken)
(Note: This house is on privet property the current owners wish to be left alone, they DO NOT give out tours.)
However, people who started visiting the place from the year 1920, when it was thrown open to the general public, reported hearing moans of pain and whispers coming from the lofts of the mansion.
The happenings intensified when a reputed ghost hunter Hickman Whittington took the trouble of going to the attic and tried to spend some time there. He was discovered dead after a few hours though he was in perfect health at the time he visited the mansion. After that, though many people have tried to spend some time at the attic, none of them have been successful as they had to leave the place after being scared out of their wits.
The house was among the first in Asheville to be built with running water and a bathroom, the water being pumped from the well by a large windmill. A servants' house was erected about one hundred feet behind the kitchen entrance, and still exists.
Doors have been reported to open and close by themselves, and things have also been reported to move. Noises have also been heard when there isn't even anyone in the room.