Brodericks enjoyed many good times at the Glencoe House

Per 1946 newspaper article shown far below:
  • Moved into River Craig in 1895
  • Terrace Station, the Brodericks' private log-built reilroad station stood at the foot of the precipitous stairs and was used daily in commuting to and from St. Louis on the Missouri Pacific.
  • JJB designed a stairway that went straight up the rocky cliff. It boasted 385 steps with 52 breathtaking platforms interspersed at regular intervals.
  • JJB devised a pump house which pumped water to the hilltop.
  • JJB installed a gas tank which lit the house, very unusual for that time. Rumor has it that the gas was created out chicken poop which yielded methane gas. Funny.
  • Four trips to Europe and a visit to native Ireland brought collections of glass, china, statuary and paintings, French mirrors reflected hardwood parquet floors and a fountain and Mosaic floor seen in Europe were reproduced in the conservatory.

I have looked at the panaroma several times, and just now noticed the gazebo in the far left corner. I believe this is the same gazebo where the Looxie family is sitting. See the close up image to the left. ~Jeanne


Glencoe likely around 1890s-1900s

Party at Glencoe

Another Party at Glencoe  
Glencoe pic taken at night. Caption on photo notes the house was lit my the Chicken poop aka Methane gas.  

Glencoe in the early 1900s-1930s??
Anyone know?

Glencoe by air

Glencoe front yard

Glencoe NE corner

Glencoe NE corner

The Looxie family, Friends of the Brodericks.
Pic taken at Glencoe.
I was told this was the Kern women on the front row. Other than JJB in the back row, Im unsure who is in this image.  

Glencoe in the 1940


Glencoe 2010


Newspaper article, November 20, 1946
hanging in Bryan Broderick's house is titled
Irishman's Dreamhouse was Glitter Spot in 1890s

ONLY GHOSTS NOW AT 'RIVER CRAIG' ONCE IT KEPT NEIGHBORS POPEYED Irishman's Dream House was Glitter Spot in 1890s by Dorothy O. Moore Written Expressly for the Globe-Democrat St Louis, Wednesday Morning, NOVEMBER 20, 1946

Surrounded by 300 acres of farmland and timber, with a magnificent view of the meramec Valley, the house was built of concrete and native limestone when Missouri was still a bobbysoxer. With a formidable stone tower, a jutting buttress, vide-covered gables and so many rooms you need a map to find your way around, it is reminiscent of an eighteenth century baronial estate, with added features suggestive of the inventive genius of Goldberg. In the 1890s (actually 1895 ~Jeanne) its new owner, John James Broderick, lavished his nimble with and ingenuity on gadgets and impreovements which left his neighbors popeyes.

YEARNED FOR ESTATE John James Broderick was born of poor parents in Glengariff, County Clare, Ireland, on Dec 31, 1847 (sidenote this is incorrect, his birthday was Dec 29, 1846 ~Jeanne) He came to this country three years later, grew up in St. Louis, and married artist Emilie C. Kern (Emilie Christine Kerm). He yearned for an estate where he could live as a country squire but lacked the first requisite, a plush-upholstered bankroll. That didn't stymie John Broderick. He hit the jackpot by establishing, with Joseph D. Bascom a fellow worker, the Broderick & Bascom Rope Co., which is today one of the largest wire rope companies of the country. It was a turning point in the life of Broderick. It meant that he could shop for the country-seat of his dreasm.

At Glencoe, on the Meramec was the object of his search. Its inaccessibility in horse-and-buggy days only whetted his desire for it. The house was reputedly 80 years old at the time, had six huge fireplaces, 20-foot columned porticoes with a breath-taking view in each direction, massive carved oak doors, a recreation hall, and a tower like that of a medieval castle. Emilie Broderick love it on sight, so they bought it and with their brood of young Brodericks moved in on Nov. 16, 1895. There was a gala housewarming with a special train for the convenience of city guests.
SCENE OF BOOK A cliff similar to "River Craig" cliff rises from the valley directly across from the Meramec. John pointed it out to guests and explained, "Its the scene used many times by Winston Churchill in his book 'The Crisis', and it's there that Stephen Brice spent his holidays and proposed to Virginia Carvel" The housewarming was followed by many gay parties, many of which were attended by neighbors, the Carrs and the Gratzes. John believed that family interests and activities should center in the home.

"River Craig's" doors swung wide and many a friend tossed his hat on the halltree before a game of billiards or chess in the spacious game room. John excelled in outdoor sports, won many handball tournaments, and insisted that his children participate in outdoor recreation, with just one string attached --"Play the game at home." The master of "River Craig" had two hobbies: Exercise and travel; and exercise, at least, was a happy hobby for him after he moved to Glencoe. Winston churchill (the author and st Louisan, but not England's "Winnie" of World War II fame) calls it "Glencoe, magic spot, perched high on the wooded highlands." It could have been reached only by a hoist and pulled zealous shin work or an elevator. So one time when John's shins got tired he put his noodle to work and designed a stairway that would make Jack of Beanstack fame quake with inferiority. There were 385 steps straight up the rocky cliff with 52 breathtaking platforms interspersed at regular intervals. Terrace Station, the Broderick's private log-built railroad station, stood at the foot of the precipitous stairs and was used daily in commuting to and from St. Louis on the Missouri Pacific.

INGENIOUS DEVICE Two stories beneath te railroad station was John's most ingenious devide. It was a pumphouse which utilized Meramec River water and pumped it to the house at the hilltop. "River Craig" cooks were cooking with gas while many city cooks were still tolling over coal-fired ranges. Broderick installed a gas tank with myriads of gas-producing cells which, with a compressor, supplied fuel and illuminating gas.

A furnace was installed in the basement, which furnaces were more an expreiment than an accepted home feature. It had two doors on opposite sides of the fire chamber and was so huge that four railroad ties intact, could be tossed through each yawning door.

An ancient icehouse still clings to the hill, a relic of the days when great blocks of ice were hewn from the frozen Meramec, hoisted up the cliff and deposited in blankets of sawdust in John's outdoor "refrigeartor". "River Craig" bulged until recently with treasures her master culled from the corners of the earth. Four tripis to Europe and a visit to his native Ireland yielded collections of glass, china, statuary and paintings. French mirrors reflected hardwood parquetry floors, and a fountain and Mosaic floor seen in Europe were reproduced int he conservatory.

Emilie Broderick contributed oil paintings so the scheme of interior decoration, and her portriat executed in stained glass filled an aperature above the dining room mantel. She had an artist's appreciation of the estate's scenic beauty and presistently refused to sell although her husband's death in 1919 placed the burden of management upon her.

the place was abandoned as a residence in 1910 but the house and it contents were preserved intact years after flower beds were empty and the Missouri Pacific discontinued Glencoe as a whistle stop. Broderick heirs recently removed all furniture and bric-a-brac as a precaution against vandalism. "RIVER CRAIG" as it looked in its heyday. the old mansion still occupies its cliff-top perch today, reflecting past glories. Its appearance hasn't changed much except that the shutters have been removed and all furnishings have been cleared from the inside.


April 10, 2015 article: River Craig Mansion offers a glimpse into Wildwood's history

Glencoe River Craig Mansion Wildwood Missouri

High on a bluff in Wildwood, near its border with Eureka, sits the country house of John James Broderick. Known as the River Craig Mansion, it was built in 1880 by Augustus Alexander and overlooks the Meramec River Valley – a towering three-story Victorian complete with a turret and a widow's walk.

"It's odd today to think of Eureka as the country," said the home's current owner, Dana Dames.

But back in the days of travel by train and carriage, that is exactly what Eureka was – untamed country. High upon the bluff, the River Craig Mansion had spectacular views of all that land and of gorgeous sunsets.

"It still does," Dames said. "The house overlooks Pevely Farms and Aberdeen golf clubs as well as the Meramec River Valley."

Dames said the view is one of her favorite features of the home along with the original brick pavers in the kitchen, the pecan wood floors throughout the first floor and the widow's walk. The view from the widow's walk is spectacular, Dames said.

In its day, the grand old home also featured a stairway, hand-built by Broderick, that led straight down the face of the river bluff. According to a 1946 newspaper article, the stairway "boasted 385 steps with 52 breathtaking platforms interspersed at regular intervals." At the bottom of the stairs, Terrace Station awaited. This private log-built railroad station was used by Broderick and guests to commute to and from St. Louis on the Missouri Pacific Railroad.

Sadly, neither the railway station nor the precipitous stairs still stand, nor does the turret that so clearly marked the house as a Victorian beauty.

"A fire destroyed the turret," explained Dames, though she wasn't exactly sure when the fire took place.

She did know that sometime after the fire a wrap-around porch was added to the home, giving it more of a plantation feel.



Interior views of Glencoe (from Anne Bryan Broderick)


Exterior Views

Indian artifacts found on the hill.  

More stories

There are many stories concerning the house in Glencoe. Many have said that the house was part of the Underground Rail Road for transporting slaves to freedom. This is not true the house was built well after the Civil War. What leads people to say that is that there were two tunnels that went down to the Rail Road that passed below the house. There were two "cars" that were attached to each end of a wire rope. the were lowered, one at a time, to the RR tracks to load supplies for the house and to transport JJB up the hill (which was a cliff). JJB would lower himself to the tracks in the morning, flag the train down and ride it into STL to work.

To heat and power the house RR ties were hauled up to the house and loaded into a boiler. The fire created steam which heated the house and ran a small generator for electric power. I have talked with many "Old Timers" that remembered the house was the only one lit up for miles. JJB was an inventive person and had many contraptions.

JKB followed in his foot steps building an airplane in his back yard and was one of the first persons in STL with a movie camera.

Another story my father told me was that after JJB had died Emilie went out to the place several years later with my father (JKB Jr) and JKB in tow. They stopped along the way at one of the many hamburger shops on Manchester (Hwy 100). Emilie was admiring the silverware that the little shop had and then realized it was her own silverware from the Glencoe house. People had been looting the place for years.

~Bryan Broderick

I was researching why this property is called "River Craig". I am not aware of anyone in the Broderick family referring to this property as anything other than "the Glencoe Mansion" Or simply "Glencoe".

I googled it today (Nov 2015) and I see this Nov 2014 article/video on Youtube. The page notes as follows: SAGE Paranormal Research investigated River Craig in Wildwood, MO. This house is approximately 200 years old. It is the oldest house in Wildwood. It was part of the Underground Railroad. I felt that there were two male spirits in the room on the third floor, so I brought the camcorder in there. On the video at the 0:05 second mark you can hear one spirit say, "can you hear me?" and then the second spirit immediately says, "can you hear me too?". I believe these are two spirits from the Underground Railroad.

The video is called River Craig, Wildwood, MO and has the name Rodney Huck as the poster.