In 1799, when the state of Missouri was still part of the Louisiana Territory, a pioneer by the name of Captain Warren Cottle led a group of 100 friends & family members on a months-long migration from Vermont. Their destination was the fertile land along the Missouri River, or what’s today St. Charles County, and once they arrived, they wasted no time in making their mark.
Captain Cottle opened one of the first mills in the area, along the Dardenne River (now Creek). His father and brother-in-law moved a bit north and founded the town of Troy, while his grandson Lorenzo later founded the town of Cottleville. And not to be outdone, the Captain’s son Oliver embarked upon an ambitious construction project around 1825, building a grand stone mansion with walls two feet thick.
Oliver sold the house and its 100-acre property to his brother Ira in 1833, who turned around and sold it to William McClay, a teacher and fellow Vermonter. According to legend, the home’s fireplace mantel was hand-made by Daniel Boone’s youngest son, Nathan. And the majestic sycamore trees in the yard….well, they’re some of the oldest in St. Charles County.
Which makes me wonder: Why is this unique historic site not on the National Register? And how in the world can it be sitting vacant & unloved?
The property is currently for sale, and I have to say I’m a bit worried. It now sits on 9.46 acres surrounded by newer subdivisions and needs an awful lot of work, making it a prime target for tear-down and redevelopment. I just hope a preservation-minded buyer steps forward and gives this home the care it deserves.
Besides the main house, there’s also a 4-bedroom guest house, a horse barn, two streams, an old well and a nice expanse of woods. Best of all, the grounds are super private. You’d hardly know you’re in St. Charles!
So what you do you say? Wanna save a historic landmark?
4401 McClay has 3 bedrooms & 3 baths in 2688 square feet. It’s listed for $450,519 by Jerris Ruth of Keller Williams Realty. More photos and info available here.
If you’d like a buyer’s agent to show you this one-of-a-kind property, give me a call! I’ll be glad to share my ideas on how it could become an awesome bed & breakfast, mini farm, or wedding/event venue – similar to the beautiful Kuhs Farm in North County.