The Shapley Ross House in Lincoln County, Missouri also known as the Old Rock House has stood strong since 1821

CJ Coombs
Old Rock House in Lincoln County, MO.Jim Roberts, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

It's amazing how some structures stand the test of time. For example, the old Shapley Ross House also called the Old Rock House or the Old Stone House was built between 1818 and 1821. The architectural design is Georgian-styled with two stories made of limestone. It's located in Moscow Mills, Missouri, and in October 1972, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Shapley Ross House is significant as a large-scale, early, rare example of residential architecture in-stone, masonry construction in Missouri. (Source.)

The original owner of the home played a role in the development of the town and was supposedly very wealthy. According to Find a Grave, Shapley Ross was born on February 12, 1763, in Hampshire County, West Virginia, and he died on October 15, 1823, at the age of 60 in Moscow Mills, Missouri.

Shapley Ross

Ross came to Lincoln County from Kentucky in 1817. He had a grist mill and sawmill on the Cuivre River. The stone house he constructed was on a hill overlooking the river and the mill. It's been written that his home was a rare example of fine stonework masonry.

In 1821, Ross and other landowners decided to found a town to compete with the other towns of Monroe, Troy, and Alexandria to be the county seat of Lincoln County. The town of Moscow didn't win the competition for the county seat but it continued to grow.

Some house history

Ross, who was originally from Virginia, bought the home from Mackey Wherry on November 16, 1818, according to county records. The cost was $1,361.00 which would be $31,754.27 today, an increase of $30,393.27 over 204 years.

After Ross died, his widow, Mary, remained in the home until 1831 at which time she sold some of their property including the house to Henry Martin who apparently lived in the home for a long time. The house was purchased by the Depping family in 1946. At the time of the processing of the nomination form to get the house listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Miss Mildred Depping was the owner. Her plans were to restore the house as a public museum.
Staircase inside the Shapley Ross House.Library of Congress.

In 1870, railroad service to Moscow was surveyed and would continue until the 1970s. In 1878, Moscow was renamed Moscow Mills when it was learned that another Moscow existed in Clay County. There are other stories suggesting that "Mills" was added because of the mills along the river.

Today, the Shapley House is a Bed & Breakfast. It's designed only for reenactors and as such, it does not provide TV, DVD, Radio, Internet, or Wi-Fi. There is a modern bathroom above the kitchen. Click here for more information about the Bed & Breakfast. The house is located at 125 West 2nd Street in Moscow Mills, Missouri.

Thank you for reading.

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Multi-genre writer and indie author; 30 years of legal secretarial experience; BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. Thinker, giver, and lover of life. Born into Air Force service life, life has taken me to Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, art, truth, non-fiction, reading, history, and travel.

Kansas City, MO

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