Visitors Guide to the
209 South First Street
The Hezekiah Elgin House
is one of the oldest houses in Clarksville Missouri. The Elgin family
history in Pike County began when William Elgin 1816 bought a 3,000-acre
Spanish Tract in 1816. He opened a trading post and built one of the first
roads between St. Louis and Clarksville.
He also built the Elgin Opera House and Hotel, both of which were
destroyed by fire in the late 1800's.
Antebellum style home was built by Hezekiah Elgin around 1845 out of
bricks made by slaves on the property. The style of the house was greatly
influenced by the French-styled houses in the French Quarter of New
Orleans and also has Italian, Regency, and French Creole characteristics.
The house has 8 main rooms that run shotgun and
each opens to the side porches. The shotgun style and 12-foot tall ceilings
helped to cool the house in the hot
Missouri summers, although they hindered heating the home in the winter. Servants used the outside stairs on the porch so they
could enter any room without going through another. The home has its
original floor plan, fireplaces, wood plank floors, mantles, massive
woodwork, iron door locks with white porcelain knobs, and skeleton keys.
Elgin family owned the house until 1945 when it was sold to Bess Bankhead. She and her two sisters lived there until 1965 when it was
bought by Jamie Larue Brown McIlroy, a famous Clarksville artist, who
lived there until her death in 2005. The current owner is Richard
Cottrell, a Clarksville native, who is an artist and avid antique collector.
It is Cottrell’s love of historic homes and historic preservation that
is behind his undertaking the restoration of the home.
of the small number of residents of this home over the years, the house
has had minimal changes, making it one of Missouri's most intact homes of
its type and period. As no records or photos of the interior exist,
Cottrell has performed what is called an interpretative restoration.
The house has
been restored to what it might have looked like when it
was first built, according to the Cottrell’s interpretation. The
Elgin/Cottrell House contains an extensive collection
of antique furniture, decorative accessories, and formal portraits. This
home provides a unique viewing opportunity for anyone who loves historic
homes and antiques in a setting on the banks of the mighty Mississippi
River in Clarksville.
House will be featured in the May/June issue of VICTORIAN
HOMES, a national magazine. Hillary Black, Victorian Homes
editor, said “We have photographed Victorian houses all over
the United States and the Elgin/Cottrell house in
Clarksville is by far one of the most historically correct,
beautifully decorated and full of so many wonderful
treasures. Richard Cottrell, the owner of this house, is a
The historic house will be open on Sunday, April 17th, 2016
from 2 pm - 4 pm for a tour. Copies of the magazine will be
available with the $5 admission. No reservations are
required. The number of magazines is limited so you might
want to call ahead (573-242-9688) and reserve your copy.
Thanksgiving, Apple Festival, &
Christmas Along the Mississippi Weekends
10 am - 4 pm (See the Missouri Lincoln Hills
Calendar for dates)
or group tours by appointment
Admission is $5.
The Elgin/Cottrell House is located on South First Street, one block east of
MO-79 (the Great River Road, the Little Dixie Highway) in the historic
downtown district of Clarksville.
N 39 22.200
W 90 54.192
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