Malta Bend, MO

Over 140 years old, the Henry Blosser House was saved: it's expected to open in the fall of 2024

CJ Coombs
Henry Blosser House near Malta Bend, Missouri.Photo byFacebook/Missouri’s Little Dixie Heritage Foundation.

The historic Henry Blosser House is located near Malta Bend, Missouri (Saline County). This three-story house was constructed between 1878 and 1880, over 140 years ago. On December 29, 1978, the house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The architectural style of this red-orange brick frame farmhouse is Second Empire. The house faces north and has wooden porches with narrow pillars resting on brick bases.

All levels of the Blosser House are based on the central hall plan with large rooms on either side. The hall on the first floor is divided by a wall. The hall is divided by a stairwell on the second floor. There's a ballroom on the third floor that is the full length of the east side. At the time the house was nominated for the National Register, the floor was used as storage.

The Blosser House is on a wooded small hill with open farmland around it. To the southeast is an old carpentry and blacksmith shop. It's a frame building covered with vertical board and batten siding that was used as a tool shed and shop.

A brick building to the west serves as a garage. It was the original smokehouse. To the north is a smokehouse built in the early 1900s.

To get to the property, you travel over a driveway of gravel. There is also a barn on the property west of the house that's been in the process of being renovated.

Interestingly, the Blosser House has been in the family for four generations. When the house was nominated for the National Register, the owner was the great-granddaughter of Henry Blosser. The house has since sold.

Visit here for an amazing slide show.

Henry Blosser

The Henry Blosser House is said to be an elegant farmhouse. It still houses original furniture and outbuildings.

Henry was a descendant of Swiss immigrants and he was a farmer. His father was a miller. His grandfather had lived in Shenandoah County, Virginia.

Henry was born in Virginia on March 24, 1831. His family moved to Pike County, Ohio when he was three months old. His father had received land there in a trade for his mill. In Ohio, his father opened another mill and established himself as a farmer too.

When Henry was 21, he found a job as a hired hand making $13 each month. He leased 50 acres of timbered bottomland that belonged to his father. He cleared it and seeded it to grass. He sold his lease for $300.

In March 1858, Henry married Sarah Baker from Ross County, Ohio. They eventually had one daughter and six sons. Louis Paronto Blosser was their last child to pass away on April 20, 1974, at age 94.

By 1865, he became a skilled land speculator which made him a fair amount of money. Also in 1865, Henry left for Saline County, Missouri where he performed more land speculation. His success enabled him to acquire the 640-acre farm in 1869, which is where the house sits. He increased the size of his farm to 900 acres by 1893.

Henry was a well-known prosperous farmer and hunter, businessman, and a person of good character. Their farm carried livestock herd and wheat crops. To help with marketing his products, he gave a right-of-way through his land to the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company. One of the stipulations was that the railroad company built a flag stop there for his use.

On April 10, 1891, the Blosser Post Office was established which operated until 1911. A grain elevator that was built in 1910 by the Rea and Page Milling Company of Marshall, Missouri is the only commercial structure that is still there.

According to family tradition, the architect who designed the Blosser House was George Ingham Barnett who also designed Missouri's Governor's Mansion. It is possible another architect planned the design.

Henry Blosser passed away on June 14, 1913, at age 82. His wife, Sarah Baker Blosser passed away on March 18, 1905, at age 66.

In 2014, the property was purchased by Dr. Arthur and Carolyn Elman. At the time of their purchase, the house was on the endangered properties list, and being vandalized and forgotten didn't help either.

This was not their first rehabilitation project, as the Elmans previously lived-in and restored two architecturally significant residences in Kansas City. (Source.)

In 2016, the Elmans hired an interior designer, Kelee Katillac, to oversee the rehabilitation of the house and barn. She also released a book last month, Historic Style, featuring the Blosser Mansion.

The mansion is now known as the Blosser-Elman Museum of Decorative Arts and the grand opening is expected in the fall of 2024. Do visit here to see the amazing video tour of this historic property embraced by life again. Once you see the past condition of the house, then you know it took such meticulous care to revitalize it and preserve its historic integrity.

Thanks for reading!

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Multi-genre writer and author/publisher with a BA in Eng Journalism/Creative Writing. I worked in law firms for 30+ years and retired early to pursue writing. I was born into the Air Force, so you could say I'm from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, research, history, true crime, reading, art, and travel.

Kansas City, MO

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