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.

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.

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!!!

05/01/2019

The Robidoux Row is now open for summer hours. Come by 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.

Looking forward to a great weekend with your friends at Pony Express Museum.  Come out a see our executive director at t...
10/04/2018
22nd Annual PumpkinFest October 12-14, 2018

Looking forward to a great weekend with your friends at Pony Express Museum. Come out a see our executive director at the PumpkinFest Talks and check out all the great activities here in Saint Joseph. 😄

The 22nd Annual Pony Express PumpkinFest, a family focused festival sponsored by the Pony Express Museum in St. Joseph, MO opens at 5 PM Friday, Oct. 12th and runs through Sunday, Oct. 14th until 5…

Images from Joseph's Birthday Bash held Aug 11th. Photography by Dan Moore
09/14/2018

Images from Joseph's Birthday Bash held Aug 11th. Photography by Dan Moore

08/15/2018

We would like to thank all of our vendors, sponsors and guests for a great 235th Birthday Party for Joseph. If you missed your chance for a picture with Joseph or would like a more in depth tour of the Museum come see Daniel at the Museum.

Our many thanks to the folks who made this happen!!!
12/16/2017
Local Man Donates $75,000 to Historic Charities

Our many thanks to the folks who made this happen!!!

Thanks to a generous donation from a local businessman, three historical sites in St. Joseph have received over $75,000 for renovations and restoration projects.

A small depot somewhere in the country.
10/28/2017

A small depot somewhere in the country.

A train station somewhere in America!
10/26/2017

A train station somewhere in America!

Another elegant gathering!
10/24/2017

Another elegant gathering!

A riverfront scene including a river boat.
10/22/2017

A riverfront scene including a river boat.

A day at the park-where ever it may be!
10/20/2017

A day at the park-where ever it may be!

A home with lots of snow!
10/18/2017

A home with lots of snow!

Homes were a fabulous subject matter for photographers at the turn of the century. In this collection there are 2 photos...
10/16/2017

Homes were a fabulous subject matter for photographers at the turn of the century. In this collection there are 2 photos of a home, one with a small amount of snow and another with very deep snow around it.

This photograph reminds us of Krug Park, or of Lake Contrary, but it's showing an elegant time is being enjoyed somewher...
10/14/2017

This photograph reminds us of Krug Park, or of Lake Contrary, but it's showing an elegant time is being enjoyed somewhere.

This photograph is of a crowd of folks  at the riverfront of their town, not looking too happy.
10/12/2017

This photograph is of a crowd of folks at the riverfront of their town, not looking too happy.

Every now and then we receive various donations of items. These next 10 photographs are from glass negatives that could ...
10/10/2017

Every now and then we receive various donations of items. These next 10 photographs are from glass negatives that could possibly be Saint Joseph, Mo., but they show images from the turn of the century similar to what Saint Joseph looked like at that time period. We have no idea as to what the damage is from in this photograph, but Saint Joseph has endured high winds from time to time.If you recognize anything Saint Joseph related, please let us know.

10/08/2017
Calling all runners/walkers!  Time for the 3rd annual Donut Dash!!! A great event that helps support Robidoux Row, as we...
10/03/2017

Calling all runners/walkers! Time for the 3rd annual Donut Dash!!! A great event that helps support Robidoux Row, as well Mount Mora Cemetery and Patee House. Bring a friend, walk a few miles and have a great time.

Now featuring: Brunch! After you complete the Annual Donut Dash 5k join Hi-Ho Bar & Grill for a brunch celebration for race participants! After enjoying the 5k that features historical downtown St. Joseph AND the donuts CELEBRATE with brunch! (Brunch not included in race fees)

Remember this isn't just any 5K, stops along the way feature the famous donut holes from Gold N Glaze Donuts! The early bird gets the worm (or in this case the DONUTS) with a discounted entry fee and t-shirt included for early registrants before noon on Oct 13. http://bit.ly/DonutDash2017

Register today for the beautiful family friendly run/walk through downtown St. Joseph featuring Mount Mora Cemetery, Patee House Museum and Robidoux Row.

Robidoux Row
09/22/2017

Robidoux Row

Homes were a fabulous subject matter for photographers at the turn of the century. In this collection there are 2 photos of a home, one with a small amount of snow and another with very deep snow around it.

Robidoux Row
09/18/2017

Robidoux Row

This photograph is of a crowd of folks at the riverfront of their town, not looking too happy.

Robidoux Row
09/18/2017

Robidoux Row

This photograph reminds us of Krug Park, or of Lake Contrary, but it's showing an elegant time is being enjoyed somewhere.

Robidoux Row
09/18/2017

Robidoux Row

Every now and then we receive various donations of items. These next 10 photographs are from glass negatives that could possibly be Saint Joseph, Mo., but they show images from the turn of the century similar to what Saint Joseph looked like at that time period. We have no idea as to what the damage is from in this photograph, but Saint Joseph has endured high winds from time to time.If you recognize anything Saint Joseph related, please let us know.

Here is the back page of the World War II Rosecrans Field St. Joseph, Missouri Thanksgiving Day menu (see the past two d...
09/15/2017

Here is the back page of the World War II Rosecrans Field St. Joseph, Missouri Thanksgiving Day menu (see the past two days posts about it). Listed are the names of the commanding officers and the names and rank of all the Squadron leaders. (1943)

09/12/2017

Apparently Robidoux Row's email has been hacked, please ignore anything that comes from that account! I will reset passwords once I get to the office.

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 10:00 - 16:00
Thursday 10:00 - 16:00
Friday 10:00 - 16:00
Saturday 10:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(816) 232-5861

Website

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