Florissant Valley Historical Society
P.O. Box 298
Florissant, MO 63032
Taille de Noyer
1896 S. New Florissant Rd.
Florissant, MO 63031
Sunday: 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Group Tours: any time by appointment
Children: $1.00 (under 16, when accompanied by an adult)
Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day, January, February
Annual: $15.00 per person
Life: $100.00 per person
The Florissant Valley Historical Society is housed in the elegant Taille de Noyer House. Taille de Noyer is an historic antebellum home with stately pillars across the front veranda and is believed to be one of the oldest remaining homes in St. Louis County. The oldest section, a two-room log cabin used as a fur trading post, dates back to 1790.
It was built by a French trader in a 350 acre walnut grove on the end of the Commons of Florissant. Through the years, its occupants saw the countryside change from wilderness to the well populated city of Florissant, the sixth largest community in the state of Missouri.
Moved from its original site in 1960 by the Florissant Valley Historical Society, the aristocratic structure perhaps appears a little aloof from the modern interstate highway on which cars speed by close to its main entrance.
The original log cabin, purchased in 1805 by John Mullanphy, an early merchant and trader and St. Louis’ first millionaire, grew through the years during which it served as the home of five generations of the Mullanphy family.
Born in Ireland about 1758, Mullanphy and his wife, Elizabeth, came to America in 1792, and lived in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Frankfort, Kentucky, before arriving in St. Louis. Here he opened a store on Second Street, and began acquiring real estate…the two room trading post constructed of rough hewn logs being one of his first acquisitions. He used it as his hunting lodge.
Mullanphy loved the wilderness and Florissant, which he hoped would be chosen as the seat of Missouri’s government. He offered to build a courthouse for the state offices and legislature. While this offer was rejected, Mullanphy did much for St. Louis, and built the first hospital west of the Mississippi River.
Taille de Noyer is a last reminder of the country life of the early nineteenth century. The original cabin was given by Mullanphy to his daughter, Jane, and her husband, Charles Chambers, in 1817, to lure them back from New York after thier marriage. They bagan expanding the house in 1819 and took up residence in 1820. Thier house, a bit more pretentious than the original cabin, was furnished almost completely with family heirlooms.
The Chambers had 17 children, and Taille de Noyer grew with the family until it became a stately mansion of 22 rooms, each with beautiful fireplaces of brick probably made at the site. Another major addition was a summer kitchen near the main house, a favorite gathering place for the Chambers’ sons.
One hundred and forty years of continuous occupancy by heirs of John Mullanphy ended late in 1960 when the property was acquired by the Ferguson-Florissant School District for expansion of McCluer High School. While the summer kitchen and terrace of hand-made brick were sacrificed, the Florissant Historical Society arranged for preservation of the historic home and raised funds to move the structure 200 yards to a new location.
Members of the Historical Society, enraptured by the beauty and rich lore about the house, began restoration with limited funds and donations of time and materials from labor groups, civic organizations, local business interests as well as school children.
Two bedrooms upstairs and two rooms in the newer wing downstairs were opened to the public in December, 1965. A year later two additional bedrooms and a nursery were restored and furnished. Restoring an historic building is a continuous and never ending project. Even after all the rooms are open to the public, the process of refurnishing and acquiring will continue for generations to come. A museum and country store were established in the basement where rough-hewn original logs are visible to visitors.
The Annual Bouillon Party will be held on Sunday, January 23rd at Taille de Noyer (located on the McCluer High School Campus) from 2 to 4 p.m. Vesta Johnson and her grandson, Steve Hall will entertain with old time fiddle music while guests partake of the traditional French Bouillon and snack type foods. A tour of the more than 200 year old three story house will also be available. Tickets are $10.00 per person and reservations are necessary. Call 839-3626 or 409-9478 – tickets will be held at the tour.