Last Updated on February 27, 2021 by Jim Ferri
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
By Carla Marie Rupp
I had first seen Weston, Missouri years ago when the daughter of a colleague took my son and I on a drive over a bridge of the Missouri River. We stopped at Weston Bend State Park for a scenic view before continuing our day trip into that 1837 river town.
Although I’ve traveled the world, I’ve always remembered that picturesque scene of Weston. It has stayed in my mind along with the belief that anyone who wants to see a cute American town from another era, pre-Civil War and beyond, would love Weston, Missouri…it’s just breathtaking.
This town that time forgot was born when an ex-Dragoon soldier, Joseph E. Moore from Fort Leavenworth, came over to live 175 years ago. Back in 1850, when 300 steamships a year docked at the Port of Weston, it had about 5,000 residents. Today though, this pretty little town full of vintage charm and shops, is a bit over 1,600.
There are many things to do in Weston, Missouri. In fact, it’s Kansas City, Missouri’s favorite getaway town for day trips and for good reason: all 22 blocks of the town is listed as a historic district on The National Register of Historic Places.
It’s actually one of the best day trips in Missouri, and Weston seems to be a town of parties. In autumn alone there’s Applefest, a Fall Harvest Festival, which is followed by Weston Irish Fest (with food, drinks and Irish wares) and the annual tree-lighting ceremonies and November celebrations with carolers, refreshments and souvenirs, and a Candlelight Homes Tour.
It’s almost magical being in Weston and hearing about figures such as Buffalo Bill Cody coming to see his uncle at the Cody Home (across the street from the Methodist Church), or John Marshall, one of the lucky ones to go to California and discover gold at Sutter’s Mill, homesteading here.
It’s also a town where locals regale visitors with good stories. One is that President Abraham Lincoln’s “Other Mary” lived in Weston.
Honest Abe, they say, courted her when they were young in Illinois but she turned down his proposal of marriage because of his bad manners, and instead came to Weston, Missouri and married Jessie Vineyard who was later killed in the Civil War. Asked later in life if she regretted not being First Lady of the United States, she said “good manners superseded wealth, power and influence.”
The Saint George Hotel and the Weston Red Barn Farm
I was also told that Ben Holladay, who created a stagecoach empire, eloped with his bride over her parents’ objections by sweeping her off her horse and carrying her off from Weston. No one swept me away, sorry to say, but I still had a good time in Weston, including staying in the apartment-styled Saint George Hotel, which was built in 1845. The hospitable guy at the front desk loves history and gladly gives a fascinating tour. Just ask.
There’s nothing Weston-like back home for me…except the apples I brought back which I picked at the Weston Red Barn Farm myself, and the boutique clothes and colorful slip-on shoes from hospitable Elsa Liu at the Pacific Breeze shop.
I’ve also brought back pleasant memories of the many things I did in this cute town…walking Main Street, dining by gas lamp at the American Bowman Restaurant up the hill, toasting the Irish at O’Malley’s Public House, toasting more at the stone brewery cellar bar, and feasting on the most (and I mean most!) scrumptious breakfast at the Upstairs Tearoom at Main Street Galleria, where I couldn’t resist their cookbook, “Recipes from the Heart.”
I’m amazed Weston, with its eight B&Bs and a hotel, has so many original buildings from the 1800s. It’s a very walkable place and visitors can walk all over the town, shop, drink (hopefully from the local Weston Brewing Company’s beer) and eat great food. It’s obvious the folks who live and work here love it and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!
And by the way, every second Saturday they keep their shops open until 7 p.m., and will entertain you with concerts and music through October. Weston, Missouri is well worth a day trip any time of the year, especially when you bring apples back from the red barn farm.
The author was invited by the State of Missouri’s Division of Tourism and Platt County to visit Western Missouri. As always, all of the views and opinions expressed are strictly her own.
If you go:
Weston Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center
526 Main Street
Weston, MO 64098
Platt County Convention & Visitors Bureau
Missouri Division of Tourism
P.O. Box 1055
Jefferson, MO 65102
The Saint George Hotel
500 Main Street