In June of 2004, Maplewoodian Greg Rannells, a direct descendant of Charles and Mary, was allowed inside the old family home. He took the images featured in this post and was kind enough to let me copy them. Before receiving these from Greg neither I nor anyone else involved with the effort to save Woodside had seen the inside of it.
As the reader can see it was in rough shape but surprising to those of us who love old houses was how much of the original fabric remained. The years spent as a nursing home had caused a few modifications to be made, of course. But beneath the later year add-ons much of the 1848 home remained.
Readers unfamiliar with this story can find out much more about it from the following links.
Or by purchasing one of my books. Maplewood History, Volume Two is available at Scheidt Hardware at 7320 Manchester. Volume One is available at the Chamber of Commerce just a few doors west at 7326A, 314-781-8588. There is a steep flight of stairs inside but you probably need the exercise. It’ll be worth it. If you’re not up to the stairs, just holler and I’m sure they will toss down a copy for you provided you leave the correct amount of cash or I imagine they may have one of those other much more modern ways of exchanging money which I don’t know anything about but I can’t say for sure. Let me know.
Greg Rannells is a nationally known photographer who once lived and worked in Los Angeles. He was raised in southern Missouri but had been told of the family connection to Maplewood. When circumstances of life caused him to look for a home in the St. Louis area, he naturally thought of Maplewood. He bought a home here with no knowledge of where his great-great-grandparents home or farm had been.
Then one day, as he was driving by, he recognized Woodside from the historic photos kept by his family. He had unknowingly purchased a home just a few blocks from his family’s ancestral one and was living on what had once been their land! Greg is a direct descendant of Edward “Ned” Rannells, son of Charles and Mary.
Greg is just one of the many members of the Rannells family that I was fortunate to meet during this project. All were very friendly and cooperative, sharing whatever documents and images they had. The Rannells family were the first Maplewood family to donate nearly all of their historic material to the State Historical Society of Missouri at UMSL.