This is an opportunity to step back to an era only talked about in our local history. On Dec. 15, the historic town of Linn Creek will be alive and shimmering with Christmas decorations. Stand where early Camden Countians stood, see what their home surroundings were like in those eras lost in time.
A few of the hometown folks in Linn Creek are sharing a piece of history with us. The 1st Annual Old Tyme Christmas at Linn Creek will be a one-day event inviting the public to tour six vintage structures and two log cabins and the old Hall School.
This day-trip Christmas event begins with a Breakfast with Santa at Tonka Hills Restaurant. Kids can visit with Santa and those who are ages twelve years old and under can have a free pancake between the hours of 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15. Included will be a photo taken with Santa.
The Camden County Museum opens at 9am for folks to enjoy some holiday hot chocolate, hot cider, and snacks. Visitors can tour the vintage Linn Creek School (now the Camden County Museum) and purchase the home-tour tickets for a donation of $5.00 per family. From the Museum visitors can continue their historic homes tour using the map and history guide provided with the cost of their ticket.
Included in this year’s tour will be the 1930’s Linn Creek School Museum, the (work-in-progress) Jones Log Cabin, the Lon King Old Linn Creek “Painted Lady” and guest log cabin, the 1883 Hall School and early Ezard home. Also, the Old Linn Creek Watson/Esther home, a home original to the 1930’s new town of Linn Creek, and the Linn Creek Methodist Church.
This historic vintage neighborhood is a rarity at the Lake of the Ozarks. Here is a “sneak preview to what visitors will discover about history during their tour:
On the 1883 Hall School wall where his coat was hung, is the carved name of “Virgil Earp, Linn Creek, Mo.” The 1889 Goodspeed History Book states that Virgil (1888-1951) was the son of farmers, James Carrroll and Sallie Sarah Jane Kelly Earp who married in 1870. They farmed about nine hundred acres in Camden County. Virgil’s grandfather arrived here in 1850. This school and land later became part of the old Linn Creek School District, then the Camdenton School District, and then it sold to W.O. Esther.
Around 1835, the first location of what is now the Linn Creek Methodist Church was in Old Linn Creek and was known as “Blue Springs” because of the indigo-colored water of the creek that emptied into the Osage River. The Methodist Sunday School class was founded in 1875 and the church was officially organized in 1882. The church was demolished when old Linn Creek was destroyed to make way for the Lake of the Ozarks. The original stain-glass windows are just a portion of the original church that has been preserved for todays and future generations to enjoy.
Page 2 of 2 - Tucked away on the hillside in new Linn Creek quietly rests a historical home from days gone by. Built in 1892 this large Victorian house has been host to several local families. The first owners were the family of Lon King. Important history has come forth from this vintage “Painted Lady” home that was once at home in old Linn Creek.
William O. Esther owned several farms in Camden County, including the farm that became the town of new Linn Creek. In 1930, the over nine hundred acre farmland was subdivided and became the new Linn Creek. Along with several other houses, their home in old Linn Creek was moved up the valley to new Linn Creek. Mr. Esther served in numerous Camden County offices as well as business and civic activities that helped further the success of Camden County. William O. and Aura Esther made some of their farm land available in new Linn Creek for the school (built by Union Electric) and land for use by the Methodist Church. In 1998 the surviving children of William Odus and Aura Gertrude Claiborne Esther deeded the Linn Creek School and land to the Camden County Historical Society for use as the Camden County Museum.
Tour participants can return to the Museum for the drawings for those who purchased tour tickets. Three Cash Awards will be presented to Linn Creek home owners judged to be the best outside Christmas decorated homes. The public is invited to take a driving tour of Linn Creek to enjoy the Christmas lights after 5pm this evening. Outdoor lighted Christmas decorations will be on (by chance) throughout the holidays.
Many appreciative thanks are extended to the citizens of Linn Creek for inviting us into their historic town and for opening a few of their homes for us to enjoy in this Christmas Holiday time of year.
The Methodist Church was demolished when old Linn Creek destroyed to make way for the Lake of the Ozarks.