The governor’s Mansion is an artifact of Missouri History that is seen by thousands each year. Yet, very few understand the amount of hard work it takes to upkeep the marvelous building and its history.
The current mansion was built in 1871, at a price of $75,000, making it just over 150 years old. It is also one of the very few governor mansions in the United States that still serves as the home of Missouri’s governor and their family while being open to the public.
In order for the mansion to continuously be used there must be large amounts of repairs and work done to many aspects of the mansion. The Mansion is structurally (and daily) maintained by the state but the Friends of the Missouri Governor’s Mansion partner with the state, the mansion staff, and the First Family to help take care of the interior of the Mansion. That could be repair to furniture, new carpet, and drapes, restoration of artwork and other artifacts, or helping coordinate the public tours.
A great example of the tireless upkeep that is needed to maintain the mansion and its treasures is the beautiful antique dining hall table, which was just restored a few months ago.
Despite the governor currently living on the second and third floors, the first floor is open to visitors and tours year-round except during the months of January, August, November, and December. The tours of the mansion are guided by over 65 volunteer Docents, who welcome more than 50,000 visitors each year.
Many other events such as the Holiday Gala are held at the mansion and are a major fundraiser for the Friends of the Missouri Governor’s Mansion.
Inmates from nearby prisons and correction facilities who have shown good behavior and clean records while incarcerated are able to be approved to also manage the upkeep of the mansion. They help with various manual labor projects, cleaning, and any other task needed by the mansion. The skills they learn while helping upkeep the mansion are something they will be able to use all throughout their life, but also add to their resume whenever they finish their sentence.
“Friends of the Missouri Governor’s Mansion is proud to partner with the First Family to help preserve such an amazing home so that future generations have the opportunity to see its treasures and hear its fascinating stories,” said Tami Holiday, executive director of Friends of the Missouri Governor’s Association.
The Friends of the Missouri Governor’s Mansion is a statewide, non-partisan, non-profit organization. All the money goes towards the preservation of the house and the treasures it holds inside. It was founded in 1974 and is dedicated to preserving the mansion’s interior, historical collections, and educational programs.
If you would like to donate or purchase the official 2022 Holiday Keepsake or a culinary tour cookbook of Missouri and the Governor’s Mansion you can visit their website here. All proceeds from the keepsake and the cookbook go to the preservation of the mansion itself.
Brady Hays is a student at the University of Missouri, and plans on graduating in 2023 with a major in Political Science and a minor is History. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree he plans on attending law school, though he is still undecided on where to attend. He has been working for the Missouri Times since early March 0f 2022.