We’ve all heard of railroad tycoons and oil barons, but beer barons? St. Louis was ripe with those by the turn of the twentieth century, and foremost on that list was the Lemp family. Lemp beer became the first mass produced lager in the United States, and created a fortune for the family. Yet the Lemps didn’t get much of a chance to enjoy their wealth. Some say they were plagued by mental illness, others that they simply cracked under the strain of changing times. At any rate, three members of the Lemp family committed suicide in their family home, a fourth just a few blocks away. Plagued by scandal, charges of immorality, indecency and lurid tales of beer fueled orgies and prostitution in the caves beneath Lemp Mansion, prohibition seemed to be the final nail in the coffin for the family fortune.
Today Lemp Mansion is an upscale restaurant/bed and breakfast, known throughout the region for their traditional Sunday dinner of fried chicken, roast beef, ham and all the fixin’s. Just like momma, or in this case, just like the servants used to make.
Overnight guests get the chance to spend the night in the family bedrooms, some of which are still fairly luxurious. Some might find the idea of sleeping where one of the Lemps killed themselves a bit creepy, but if you’re reading this you’re likely into that sort of thing. A hint … picking a slow night might very well mean you get the house to yourself if there are no other guests, as no staff are on the premises after closing.
Real ghost stories and the places that inspired them