Stories of events and happenings at the once very popular Bartold’s Grove could easily furnish enough material for a few books if we could only recover them somehow. I have made a few blog posts about this historic inn in the past. The most recent two were posted in 2016. If you care to refresh your memory, here are the links.
Recently Clark Hickman, a former Maplewoodian whose name many of you may recognize, found an interesting article while scrolling through copies of The News-Champion newspaper that are on microfilm at the Headquarters Branch of the St. Louis County Library. He kindly passed it along. The News-Champion was published in Maplewood.
The article originally appeared in the May 3, 1931 edition of the Globe Democrat which had allowed the Champion to reprint it. It is a very interesting article. I encourage you to read it. I’m going to attempt to reproduce the original article here. This is always an iffy proposition so bear with me.
My apologies for the different sizes of type. To try and have them all come out the same is not worth the trouble.
This is a terrific story. Just above are only a few of the famous people who must have visited or stayed at Bartold’s. But what a line up. Grant and Twain! Wow! And probably at the same time. Henry Shaw may have been the wealthiest person in St. Louis and was a friend of Henry Bartold’s. What a shame this building and site no longer exist. If it did, don’t you think it would be a major attraction such as White Haven? Of course it would. To top it off, it was located on what would one day become the very first alignment of the now mythical highway, Route 66.
Now comes the surprise. Larry Giles of the National Building Arts Center has made us a gift. It is an original oil painting done of the Bartold Inn by a man named Ernst Eve. Larry grew up in Maplewood. I believe he said it was about 1960 and the building was derelict – opened to the elements. He decided to explore it just as many young folks would. He found this painting in a back room. He has preserved it for the last 60 years! The painting comes to us from the collection of the National Building Arts Center. It will become part of the collection of historic material at the Maplewood Public Library.
This a genuine piece of Americana. I have no idea how old the painting is. It was painted on a piece of Hi-Art Artist’s Illustration Board. The fact that Larry found it about 1960 means it was probably fairly old by then. Nothing is yet known about the painter, Ernst Eve, either. I wonder if there are some other paintings done by him somewhere?
A cursory search turned up nothing on the artist. As for the board there is a product called Peterboro Hi-Art Illustration Boards. Apparently the board is still being produced. A history of the company might give us some idea of when the painting was created. Let us know if you find anything.
It would be interesting to know why when Henry’s brother, William, died it was one of the largest funerals ever held in St. Louis County. More research is needed.
As always, I am very grateful to everyone who contributes material to this effort. The readers comments generally add a great deal to our understanding of what life must have been like back in the “good ol’ days.”
I especially want to thank Larry Giles of the National Building Arts Center for his gift of this historic painting. If you are unfamiliar with the National Building Arts Center, you would do well to take a look at their website here. I am planning a blog post about them in the near future.
Stay healthy, everyone.
Doug Houser March 27,2020