Where is the Kern mansion
        that was built next to St Agatha's Convent?


Update:  Carol Kern Bowling shared these pictures with me. Her further discoveries are pictured below.

I was so thrilled to notice the address and my great great great grandfather's name right on the historical marker. ~Jeanne

        More images of the Kern Mansion and Convent
        Thanks Carol!!


        Comparing the 1885 to 2010: Kern Mansion / Convent


Where is the Kern mansion
that was built next to St Agatha's Convent?

Update:  Carol Kern Bowling uncovered, during her August 2010 trip back to St Louis, that the Kern "mansion" from our old 1880s ish picture is located at 3309 DeMenil.   She refers to "townhouse on the corner at 3301 was built later in the 1880s.  Carol took pictures of the carriage house behind the Kern house as well as the Lemps'.   See Carol's full email far below.

Confirmed locations:


3301 Townhouse
3309 DeMenil, Kern house
3314 Lemp Mansion & Restaurant

It has been published that the nuns lived in the Jacob Kern house while the convent was under construction. Picture below from Jill Broderick Johansen's photo album.


Anne Bryan Broderick writes on the back of this photo:

Home of Louis & Nettie Kern (although I see a “Lewis” spelling elsewhere)
3931 Flad Ave map here
In my (ABB's) baptismal picture (which I cant find), Louis Kern stands behind Jeannot Chomeau.


Hello Jeanne

Took 83 pictures today of Angela's house (a gem), the church built 1885 and nunnery and school built 1908, and the Kern Mansion and all on Demenil Place.  I will label and send selected shots to you.  Also shots of historical markers which describe the street in it's hay day with correct addresses of the owners.  Kerns' were at 3309 and the townhouse on the corner at 3301 was built later in the 1880s.  I took shots of the carriage house behind the Kern house as well as the Lemps'.

Will go by the wagon factory.  But last night drove by the Grand Ave. address and there's no trace of the JJ Broderick home.  We may find a picture of it in St. Louis history books such as written by Julius Hunter, a TV personality and St. Louis native.  Evidently that area once was filled with beautiful homes but is now wiped out and a bad area of town.

More later 


To Bryan, CC family…. Do you know where the kern mansion is? The pic from Aunt Jill’s album says it is on 13th street, and I found St Agatha’s is on Utah street. Ive spent an hour or more the google street view, and I cannot find it. Farther below, is pictures I have labeled “Kern-mansion” but to me this looks more like the demenil. Then I have seen two pics of what is labeled Demenil, and they are not the same house.

Even further below, I have the back of an image, and it notes that Emilie was St Agatha’s first organist and 2 of her brothers were priests there.

Do you (or does anyone copied on this email) know what the address is for either the Kern house pictured below, or the convent on the right (one time St Agatha’s convent )


so what house is this one Ive drawn the arrow to?

The hill is placed perfectly so that one cannot tell there is a freeway running under the street between the church in the foreground and that house in the background.

Per Carol Kern Bowling, this is the house at

3306 Demenil Place

Note it is interesting to see the view on google maps how Interstate 55 was built right between the house and St Agatha's Church.


What perplexes me, is that the above house at 3301 Demenil (later identified by
Carol as "the townhouse") does not resemble the original pic of the house next to the convent (pictured here)

What is the address for this house?

(answered by Carol, house address is 3309 DeMenil, once 13th street.)

Per Bryan, we labeled this image
"Demenil Mansion opposite corner of Kern mansion
Jacob Kern St Louis home


This image is labeled Kern Mansion when I scanned it at Bryans. Photo likely taken by Anne Bryan Broderick.

These could be houses that were once occupied by the Kerns. Note there are two addresses mentioned on death records. These could be those houses.


Jacob N. Kern:
Residence: 1895, 2539 N. Grand Ave. (address on death record)
Marie A. Provo:
Residence: 1881, 3228 S Eighth St. (address on death record)

Per Bryan, this is the Kemp mansion next door to the Demenil Mansion.

I may be mistaken, but I understand Anne Bryan Broderick noting that this is the house across the highway from St Agatha's church.

I do not believe this is the Kern mansion. Bryan certainly knows more than me.


Per Bryan, we labeled this image
"Demenil Mansion opposite corner of Kern mansion

3352 Demenil Place
St Louis, MO 63118

map here

Anne Broderick noted that this house without the columns sure looks like the old house next to the convent in Jill's photo album. I believe she just may be right. The sides do have what looks like a double chimney on both sides. The dental moulding is the same. The windows are the same. The shutters are unusual with the line down the middle.

Also, Ive found where one specific owner enlarged it to its current size (see bottom of page). So it could be the Kerns live here prior to that renovation. But that article does not leave room for another owner.

Jacob Kern St Louis home
Compare Kern Mansion to Demenil Place
  The official website of Demenil Place

St Agatha Church St Louis St Agatha's Church

Carol, Im very excited. I hope you have time to drop by the church and photocopy the pages of the book referenced below with Jacob Kern’s name it in, giving him credit for housing the nuns.

Sister Claire Ann
St Agatha's Convent
930 Withnell   map here   she said “behind the parking lot”
phone 314-772-4491
call first, then likely come morning or evening, but not in the middle of the day because they have clientele

I spoke with Sister Claire Anne this morning at St Agathas and asked about the convent.

She pulled out a book entitled
Something like this……The Diamond Jubille of St Agatha Parish 1871-1946, 75 years

the following is an exerpt from this book
“for a short time sisters lived at the Ursline convent at 12th and Russel.  Soon after, they were given closer quarters at the home of Mr. J Kern at 13th & Utah.  The following year they were permanently installed in the first floor of the new building.”

Sister Claire Anne notes
The new building referenced above was the church/ school / rectory all in one built in 1872.

She said that bldg does not stand today.  Then I heard her say fire, but was unclear exactly why it does not stand today.   But this would not have been the building that Kern built.

At some point she said
Some of us lived with the urselines
some lived with the Lemp in their stables on Demenil Place
she also referenced the Lemp Mansion.

she said Demenil is south of the parish boundary.

She also asked if we were related to Fran Kern, who is there now.  I wondered if that meant that Fran is a nun now.    You may ask for her when you go.

Finally she noted we should contact the diocese to see if we can find Emilie’s baptismal certificate, but that is a job for another day.

I am very excited that there is evidence in writing to back up the claim that the nuns lived with the Kerns.   Now I just want to find the house for sure.


Really cool history of the Lemp mansion & Brewery
across the street from the Kern Mansion

I was watching OFF LIMITS with Don Wildman yesterday.  I’d seen it before.  However, this time I really focused in on the 2-second map of the area they had on screen.  I wish I could get their really cool map, but Ive pasted the google map below.    The show was on St Louis, and the caves under the Lemp Brewery used for brewing beer in the 1800s till prohibition in 1919.   I was most fascinated by the map they put on the screen.  I’d always known the Lemp Mansion was across the street from Jacob Kern’s home and convent he built there on Demenil Pl (formerly 13th street).  It was fascinating to see all this so close to the Kern home.   So I mapped it out below.     OFF LIMITS is a fascinating show.  I recommend setting your DVR for “Don Wildman” as he has 4 shows I love (also Mysteries at the Museum, Cities of the Underworld about tunnels all over the globe, and I forget the last one, but I love that one too).

Beth emailed us all a while back to watch the ghost story show on the Lemp Mansion, and that was fascinating as well. The Lemps had an “undergroud playground” according to the show.  There is a swimming pool down there, and a media room, as well as elaborate other stuff. 
But to see all the caves that run under this entire area is fascinating.  I understand the caves are natural formations made by water a very very long time ago.  But I think they said 40% of the caves were enlargements they made to increase storage and production areas.

Check out the map below, and how close all of this is to the Jacob Kern Mansion.