Robidoux Row

Robidoux Row Robidoux Row was constructed over a 10 year time frame - from the 1840's to the 1850's. It was the home of Joseph Robidoux, the founder of St. Joseph, MO.
The Saint Joseph Historical Society was formed in 1867 on the second floor of the State National Bank Building at the southeast corner of Fourth and Felix. The bank building is still standing and is known today as the Missouri Valley Trust Co. Although it no longer used for banking purposes, it is open as a museum. The first president was Colonel Albe M. Saxton. Ripley Calkins was elected secretary. At some time, and no one knows exactly when, the organization became inactive. It was revived in 1949 by Judge Zwick. The organization's main goal, at that time, was to save the Pony Express Stables from destruction. Bartlett Boder was elected president. He served in this office for 18 years. Glenn burgess was elected secretary and George U. Richmond was elected treasurer. The organization was incorporated on May 11, 1950. For many years the Historical Society held its meetings at the St. Joseph Museum at 11th and Charles. In the 1950's, the Historical Society placed painted wooden signs on some of the historic structures in our city. One of the many sites marked was that of Robidoux Row which many years later would become the permanent home of the Saint Joseph Historical Society. These signs are all gone now due to weathering, vandals, etc. The Historical Society also restored a small two story building in Market Square. It was the express office where the Pony Express riders picked up their sack of mail before crossing the river into Kansas and on to California. The Historical Society ran a little country store in the building. It was hoped that the entire Market Square area could be restored. In the late 1960's and early 70's, St. Joseph was caught up in the Urban Renewal craze. One of the goals of the renewal group was to tear down all the buildings on Market Square and build a hotel there. Of course they met with opposition from preservationist. Many people came up with plans on how the area could be revitalized. To make a long story short, the huge cranes came in at midnight and knocked down the fronts of all the buildings on Market Square including the historic express office where the Historical Society was located. The Historical Society was told they should go north of downtown and save Robidoux Row since it was out of the Urban Renewal district. That is how the Historical Society ended up at Robidoux Row. It is thought that the Row is the oldest building in St. Joseph. It was build by the founder of our town, Joseph Robidoux III, as a row of one room apartments where newcomers to the town in the 1840's and 50's could live rent free "if they were of the right quality" until their house was completed. This sounds very generous but remember our city founder had just sold them a lot for $100 or $150 if it was on the corner. Six of the original apartments on the west burned in 1932 and were razed. We still have 10 rooms left. The Historical Society rescued the building just in time, as it was condemned and the site was to become an off ramp for I-229, a new highway being built in the area. The off-ramp is now located just a few feet west of the building but the Row was saved. The Historical Society had the building put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, purchased the building in 1974, and restored the building as a Bicentennial Project. It was 1981 before it could open as a museum. Lack of money often meant very slow progress. In the 1970's, the Saint Joseph Historical Society began a festival called the Robidoux Festival with the proceeds going toward the restoration and maintenance of Robidoux Row. This was the first large festival in Northwest Missouri. It continued for 24 years. A large festival called Trails West! was formed to celebrate our city's sequicentennial in 1993. After a few years this new festival more or less put our festival out of business. The Historical Society owns and operates Robidoux Row Museum, which is a full time job as a 160 year old building has one problem after another. It seems everything new (like furnaces, air conditioners, and plumbing) that was installed in the 1970's is now breaking down so we constantly need to replace these including a wooden shingle roof on the building which is about ½ block long. We receive no money from local, state or federal governments. We have about 300 members, so their donations and memberships help us survive. We also have fund raisers such as President's Day party in February, Rummage, Plant, and Bake Sale in the spring, Joseph Robidoux's birthday celebration in August, and Candlelight Tours during the December holidays. We also have a walk-out basement with two rather long rooms and an attached patio with a garden, all of which we rent out for parties, weddings, receptions, church services, etc. The rent from these help us pay our bills also. The Historical Society has sponsored a Robidoux Reunion in 1998, 2000, and 2005. Robidoux's from all over the county and Canada are invited to come here and meet. They are all related to Andre Robidou (no x) who came to North America in 1666. At one time the Historical Society organized home tours in conjunction with our Robidoux Festival, but there are now several other groups in the city and they have taken over much of what the Historical Society once did. Our main goal now is to maintain and operate Robidoux Row.
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Great article by our friends at the Historic St Joseph Emporium(https://www.facebook.com/Historic-St-Joseph-Emporium-114...
12/12/2019

Great article by our friends at the Historic St Joseph Emporium(https://www.facebook.com/Historic-St-Joseph-Emporium-114590266607151/). Check this article and many other amazing stories of the homes in Saint Joseph at their website https://historicsaintjosephemporium.com/.

The history of the preservation movement in St. Joseph is closely tied to the salvation of Robidoux Row. Two of the most iconic early preservationists here -- Mary Boder and Barbara Ide -- were deeply involved in the saving of this structure which is now a fascinating museum. Robidoux Row has just opened a new exhibit focusing on the issue of preservation in St. Joe. Find out more at https://historicsaintjosephemporium.com/places-to-stay-things-to-do

12/11/2019
Old Saint Jo

Great Livestream from our friends at Old Saint Jo (https://www.facebook.com/oldsaintjo). Looking forward to doing more Livestreams with them as well as preparing for part two of their series.

Enjoy the livestream of " Have a Cup of Joe with Old Saint Jo". Featuring Gracia Pinzino from the Visit St. Joseph, Missouri, Daniel Johnson from Robidoux Row, @Andy Montee owner of Mokaska Coffee, Ben Smith (Old Saint Jo Student Ambassador & President of APO), and the #mwsu APO Christmas Carolers. The livestream was produced by Cinema Students and Faculty as part of our ongoing episodic documentary/livestreaming series titled "Old Saint Jo". This livestream is also avaiable on our "Old Saint Jo" YouTube page: https://youtu.be/F5-6bygR_Ww

Images were taken from Robidoux Row Museum's new preservation in Saint Joseph exhibit.Funding provided by the David H. M...
11/23/2019

Images were taken from Robidoux Row Museum's new preservation in Saint Joseph exhibit.

Funding provided by the David H. Morton Memorial Fund.

Images were taken from Robidoux Row Museum's new preservation in Saint Joseph exhibit.

Funding provided by the David H. Morton Memorial Fund.

A special thanks to the students from Bishop Leblond High School (https://www.facebook.com/LeBlondEagles/) who came out ...
10/24/2019

A special thanks to the students from Bishop Leblond High School (https://www.facebook.com/LeBlondEagles/) who came out and helped with our garden. You guys did a great job and we loved having you here!!! 😁

New Discover St Joseph out in the KC Star!
09/28/2019

New Discover St Joseph out in the KC Star!

We're thrilled to announce that our latest insert, Discover St. Joseph, is now available to check out online. This fall/winter magazine has great information on downtown St. Joseph, foodie opportunities, our 13 amazing museums and a full calendar of events. Check it out at http://bit.ly/KCFallWinter2019!

#GoStJoMo

09/27/2019
Zac Summers

Great video by Zac Summers (https://www.facebook.com/ZacOnTV/) from Fox 4 Kansas City about the crew of the Muskrat and the final leg of their two-month journey from Wyoming to Saint Charles, MO.

A group of mountain men, recreating an expedition from the 1800s, spent Thursday evening docked along the Missouri River in Parkville, Mo.

Had a blast putting this story together with photographer, Jerry Paauwe!

Donut Dash is fast approaching.  This event is a benefit to local museums so if your a runner or just like good donuts s...
09/27/2019

Donut Dash is fast approaching. This event is a benefit to local museums so if your a runner or just like good donuts sign up and help us bring Saint Joseph History to life.

Have you registered for the Donut Dash yet? Gold N Glaze donuts, a run through historic St. Joseph, a Bloody Mary bar and brunch at the Hi-Ho Bar & Grill after, plus the medal is a cool coaster. What more could you want? Register at https://saintjoseph.com/ for the Oct. 19 race.

09/26/2019
Old Saint Jo - Episode 1 - The Fur Years - 1799 – 1843

Check out friends at Old Saint Jo and their new video about Saint Joseph History.

Welcome to episode one of our ongoing episodic history series about St. Joseph, Missouri. We will also be uploading bonus content like live stream episodes w...

A 1/2 scale of the original muskrat sailed originally sailed by William Ashley in 1825.  We wish our friends on the Keel...
09/25/2019

A 1/2 scale of the original muskrat sailed originally sailed by William Ashley in 1825. We wish our friends on the Keelboat Muskrat good luck and hope to hear from you again soon.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/256668361707273/?ref=nf_target&fref=nf

https://www.facebook.com/groups/254391438581520/permalink/391529841534345/

A 1/2 scale of the original muskrat sailed originally sailed by William Ashley in 1825. We wish our friends on the Keelboat Muskrat good luck and hope to hear from you again soon.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/256668361707273/?ref=nf_target&fref=nf

https://www.facebook.com/groups/254391438581520/permalink/391529841534345/

Don't forget to catch episode one of Old Saint Jo tonight at 6pm on Youtube!
09/25/2019

Don't forget to catch episode one of Old Saint Jo tonight at 6pm on Youtube!

Old Saint Jo - Episode #1 premieres tonight @ 6 pm on You Tube!
https://youtu.be/Aab8Z9cQ7jw

Amazing group that came through today here in Saint Joseph.  Retracing the steps of William Ashley, many of which Joseph...
09/24/2019

Amazing group that came through today here in Saint Joseph. Retracing the steps of William Ashley, many of which Joseph would have taken as well in his search for fur. Check them out down by The Remington Nature Center and we wish them good luck on their continued journey to Saint Charles, MO.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/254391438581520/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/256668361707273/

Looking to experience an important piece of St. Joseph history? The Keelboat Muskrat (which is reenacting the journey of William Ashley) has officially reached their stop in St. Joseph!

They are docked adjacent to Remington Nature Center this evening before continuing their journey to St. Charles tomorrow morning. So come say hello and learn all about this historic journey.

This group started their journey on July 6 with a horseback ride across Wyoming and Montana. They continued by boat (that they built) on the Big Horn River until eventually making their way to the Missouri River! We will include links to their groups in the comments below, so that you can follow along.

09/19/2019

Only two more days until Free Museum Day. Looking forward to see you all here!

Come check out this amazing event going on here are the Row.  Today, Tomorrow and Saturday the Piece Corp Quilters' Guil...
09/12/2019

Come check out this amazing event going on here are the Row. Today, Tomorrow and Saturday the Piece Corp Quilters' Guild will be selling amazing products in the downstairs of the Robidoux Row. Come by and see them and pick something up! 😁

Please share on your individual pages to spread the word!

Take a look at some items from Robidoux's Row newest temporary exhibit.  To see the full exhibit come by the Robidoux Ro...
08/22/2019

Take a look at some items from Robidoux's Row newest temporary exhibit. To see the full exhibit come by the Robidoux Row Museum!

Souvenir China currently on display at the Robidoux Row. Courtesy of Randy and Donna Klein.

Souvenir China currently on display at the Robidoux Row.  Courtesy of Randy and Donna Klein.
08/22/2019

Souvenir China currently on display at the Robidoux Row. Courtesy of Randy and Donna Klein.

Souvenir China currently on display at the Robidoux Row. Courtesy of Randy and Donna Klein.

08/17/2019

Unveiling robidoux row's new exhibit

Our friends over at Old Saint Jo are almost done with their first episode. We are super excited for them and can not wai...
08/10/2019

Our friends over at Old Saint Jo are almost done with their first episode. We are super excited for them and can not wait to see it!

#oldsaintjo episode #1 is almost finished! We will unveil it at the MWSU Portal Presentation this fall. After that it will live on the OSJ YouTube page for everyone to see. Thanks to everyone for your love and support! #gogriffs

#OnThisDay in 1821, Missouri entered the Union as the 24th state. Happy 198th Birthday Missouri!
08/10/2019

#OnThisDay in 1821, Missouri entered the Union as the 24th state.

Happy 198th Birthday Missouri!

#OnThisDay in 1821, Missouri entered the Union as the 24th state. Pictured is a map of the Missouri Territory from 1820 showing what would become eight of the state’s original 25 counties. The northwest corner looks a little different than it does today because Missouri didn’t annex what is called the Platte Purchase until 1836, after it was purchased from the Ioway and combined Sac and Fox tribes by the federal government.

07/25/2019

Robidoux Row is excited to announce the release of our revamped website. Check out RobidouxRowMuseum.org to see all the changes!!

Come down and see this little guy and check out all our other great exhibits!!
07/25/2019

Come down and see this little guy and check out all our other great exhibits!!

Come on down to #robidouxrowmuseum and meet this fella!

07/24/2019
Going West from Robidoux Row

You won't want to miss this exhibit!
For many traveling the Western frontier in the mid-1800s, St. Joseph was the last bastion of civilization. Come see what life was like for these intrepid travelers and take a step back in time at Robidoux Row.

Come check out all of the great pictures from our Flag Day Celebration on June 14th.
06/26/2019

Come check out all of the great pictures from our Flag Day Celebration on June 14th.

Photos from Robidoux Row's Celebration of those who serve and protect us.

Photos from Robidoux Row's Celebration of those who serve and protect us.
06/26/2019

Photos from Robidoux Row's Celebration of those who serve and protect us.

Photos from Robidoux Row's Celebration of those who serve and protect us.

Check out old saint jo and the great work they are doing.Oldsaintjo.com
06/20/2019

Check out old saint jo and the great work they are doing.

Oldsaintjo.com

This happened!

Check out the new self guided tours from the Saint Joseph CVB!
05/21/2019
Self-Guided Tours of St. Jo

Check out the new self guided tours from the Saint Joseph CVB!

There are many ways to explore everything St. Joseph has to offer, and to help you out, we’ve created some special, interactive, self-guided tours. Follow the steps below and you’ll be …

05/13/2019
Robidoux Row

Come see me and Joe here are the Robidoux Row!!!

The Convent of the Sacred Heart was founded in 1853 and educated the young ladies of Saint Joseph for over 100 years. Come by today and step back in time at Robidoux Row!

05/13/2019
New Exhibits At Robidoux Row

The Convent of the Sacred Heart was founded in 1853 and educated the young ladies of Saint Joseph for over 100 years. Come by today and step back in time at Robidoux Row!

05/01/2019

We are excited to announce that the Robidoux Row is now on our summer hours. Come by anytime between 10am and 4pm to see us and take a step back in time!!!

Great story about Saint Joseph
04/13/2019
The River That Runs Through It | Journal & Topics Media Group

Great story about Saint Joseph

By TODD WESSELL Journal & Topics Travel Editor "No offense taken," responds a grinning Bruce Breslow when he's told he's "lost all his marbles." Sporting dark, curly hair, a super thick mustache, bushy eyebrows, and a friendly disposition, it's easy to see that Breslow is nuts about marbles. He cons...

Missouri 2021
03/11/2019

Missouri 2021

How will your county be represented on the Missouri Bicentennial Quilt?

In honor of our great state’s two hundred year anniversary, The State Historical Society of Missouri and Missouri Star Quilt Co are teaming up to create the Missouri Bicentennial Quilt. Using one quilt block from every Missouri county and the independent City of St. Louis, we’re looking to create a quilt featuring the unique characteristics of Missouri culture and style. Quilt block submissions are due on Labor Day, 2019.

Find rules for participation and information on submitting a quilt block here: https://missouri2021.org/bicentennial-quilt/

[Image citation: Ed Ingram Photographs (P0279), The State Historical Society of Missouri.]

We would like to thank Mary Williams for her amazing review of the Robidoux Row and our Staff.  Thank you Mary and we lo...
03/02/2019

We would like to thank Mary Williams for her amazing review of the Robidoux Row and our Staff. Thank you Mary and we look forward to seeing you again soon.

Visit St. Joseph, Missouri
02/01/2019

Visit St. Joseph, Missouri

THEY'RE HERE!

Our 2019 Annual St. Joseph Visitors Guide featuring stories on historic architecture, our vibrant downtown, an annual calendar of events, museums and parks listings, and more!

Pick yours (or a case) up today at the Visitors Bureau, 911 Frederick or the Visitors Center, 502 N Woodbine! Or request a mailed one at https://stjomo.com/request-visitor-information.

Coming soon to a hotel or attraction near you!

01/11/2019

Joe on the Road at the CVB!!!!

12/21/2018
Eckel at the Row!!

Come watch Daniel talk about Edmond Eckel and his impact on Saint Joseph.

12/07/2018
History of a Building!

Ethan shares a little about the history of the Robidoux Row as a building and its place in history.

11/30/2018
Wintering at the Row!

Ethan explains what winter was like here at the Row for settlers and travelers during Joseph's time.

Financial Assistance provided by the St Joseph, MO Visitors Bureau

11/16/2018
Row is now Live!!!!!

Daniel and Ethan are announcing some exciting news from the Robidoux Row and how you can be involved with the museum.

Try out our new filter with the Robidoux Row and CVB logo!
11/05/2018

Try out our new filter with the Robidoux Row and CVB logo!

10/26/2018
Made With Uncommon Character, St. Joseph, MO

This is a WONDERFUL story.

Patricia Dashiell wanted to celebrate her 84th birthday with a trip to visit St. Joseph and the Pony Express statue. She remembers being 3 years old at the statue’s unveiling (which she remembers as a grand event with speeches and music, but very boring to a 3 year old). She and her daughter Janet traveled from California for the visit. Members of many of St. Joseph’s museums were present and gave her free passes and Visit St. Joseph, Missouri gave her a birthday gift basket filled with Made With Uncommon Character, St. Joseph, MO.

Patricia Dashiell wanted to celebrate her 84th birthday with a trip to visit St. Joseph and the Pony Express statue. She remembers being 3 years old at the statue’s unveiling (which she remembers as a grand event with speeches and music, but very boring to a 3 year old). She and her daughter Janet traveled from California for the visit. Members of many of St. Joseph’s museums were present and gave her free passes and Visit St. Joseph, Missouri gave her a birthday gift basket filled with Uncommon Character.

Explore historical St.Joseph while eating the famous Gold N Glaze donuts along the way! Join us for the family friendly ...
10/10/2018
St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce

Explore historical St.Joseph while eating the famous Gold N Glaze donuts along the way! Join us for the family friendly Donut Dash 5k Run/Walk on October 20th. Early birds get discounted race fees and secure an event shirt Early bird registration ends October 12th at noon! A portion of the proceeds will go to Mount Mora Cemetery, Patee House Museum and Robidoux Row.

Explore historical St.Joseph while eating the famous Gold N Glaze donuts along the way! Join us for the family friendly Donut Dash 5k Run/Walk on October 20th. Early birds get discounted race fees and secure an event shirt Early bird registration ends October 12th at noon! A portion of the proceeds will go to Mount Mora Cemetery, Patee House Museum and Robidoux Row.

Address

219 E Poulin Street
Saint Joseph, MO
64501

General information

It is believed that the structure referred to as Robidoux Row located on the northwest corner of Third and Poulin Streets was constructed during the 1840's and finally completed in the 1850's. The building was probably built in three sections over a period of about ten years. The building is constructed of bricks supported on a native limestone foundation. Many history books refer to Robidoux Row as the "oldest or first apartment house west of the Mississippi". We are not sure is this is correct or not, but it was an early adventure in apartment building. those books also make mention of seven apartments. If this is true, then each apartment would have consisted of two rooms, back to back, with one facing south and the other facing north. Architects during the restoration believe that originally the Row was a series of one-room apartments back to back. This is the theory that we now promote. Originally the apartments were built to house families who were of "the right quality" and who had purchased lots from Joseph Robidoux, the city founder. He would let the families stay at the Row rent free while their houses were being built near the downtown area. Later, persons who were traveling west often stayed here at Robidoux Row while waiting for their wagons to be ferried across the river or during the long hard winters. Robidoux Row could be thought of as "St. Joseph's first motel".

Opening Hours

Wednesday 13:00 - 16:00
Thursday 13:00 - 16:00
Friday 13:00 - 16:00
Saturday 13:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(816) 232-5861

Website

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