Visitors Guide to the
Elgin/Cottrell House

209 South First Street
Clarksville, Missouri

Street Parking Missouri Historical Site

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.

This 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. 

The 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.

Because 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.

The Elgin/Cottrell 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 STAR.”

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.

Visiting the Elgin/Cottrell House
Visiting Hours
          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

Directions: 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.

GPS Coordinates
N  39  22.200
W 90  54.192

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