Listed on the National Historic Register, Maplewood House was built in 1877 by Slater Ensor Lenoir and his wife Margaret Bradford Lenoir, both of whom were members of Boone County pioneer families. The farmstead was called Maplewood because it was located in a grove of large sugar maple trees. Only four people lived in the home; the Lenoirs, their daughter Lavinia, and later Lavinia’s husband, Dr. Frank G. Nifong.
The main house was constructed with bricks fired on site and in part with lumber obtained on the surrounding farm. The house shows the influence of the Italianate architectural style, featuring decorative corbels supporting the projecting eave of the roof; arched windows; a bay window; a balustered front balcony and oriole window. The original footprint of the house was T-shaped, with sleeping porches built along the south side of the house. Built with an eye to the expedience of a working farm and best practices in safety, the house included a separate summer kitchen, and originally had a covered walkway that connected to the back door of the house and the serving pantry. In 1891 the sleeping porches were enclosed and an octagonal wing was added to the south side of the house. At the back of the house, a foundation was dug and an interior kitchen and servant’s room on the second floor were added.
With the return of the newly married Frank and Lavinia Nifong to the house in 1905, bathrooms were added to the west ends of the enclosed sleeping porches, and the house was wired for electricity. Across the front of the house, the porch was enclosed to make a sun room, and a porte cochere was added to the north side of the house, over the driveway and leading to the carriage house.
The original farmstead included 427 acres surrounding the house to the east and west. A large pond was situated south of the house. In addtion to the family home, buildings on the property included the now separate summer kitchen, which later served as a cottage for family serving staff; a four-bay carriage house with storage and living quarters above; a utility house; a hay barn; and a large barn for animals. The animal barn was converted to a summer theater playhouse, called the Maplewood Barn Theater after the property was purchased by the City of Columbia. It was lost to fire in 2010 and rebuilt and dedicated in 2012,
Slater and Margaret died about a year apart in the late 1920s. In 1949 Lavinia and her husband Frank Nifong donated 107 acres of the estate to the National Benevolent Association (Disciples of Christ) as an endowment to build the Lenoir Memorial Home, now Lenoir Woods, and Lenoir Retirement Community, still located across Highway 63. After the deaths of Frank and Lavinia Nifong in the 1950s, the remainder of the estate was deeded to the Benevolent Association.
In 1970 the City of Columbia bought 60 acres of the original farm with the house, the remaining furnishings, and the adjacent farm buildings. The area was named the Frank G. Nifong Memorial Park and today is called Historic Nifong Park in recognition of the work of historic preservation undertaken by the City of Columbia Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Boone County Historical Society. The park was formally dedicated on November 8, 1970 as a feature of the Columbia-Boone County Sesquicentennial Commission activities.
The sun room and porte cochere were removed as part of the restoration in 1976. A porch typical of he turn of the century was reconstructed across the front of the house, using photos taken around the turn of the century helped guide the restoration. Interior work included repapering the parlors, dining room and hallway, and refinishing original the interior wood trim. Upstairs, original carpet remains on the floor.
Restored in l976 as a bicentennial project, Maplewood House was officially dedicated and opened to the public on July 3, 1976 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places April 13, 1979. During the spring, summer and fall of 2016, the home received an ‘infrastructure renovation’ with funds provided by the City of Columbia and the Boone County Community Trust. Repairs and improvements were made to the foundation, the HVAC system, the electrical system, plumbing, flooring and security. The home is currently managed and curated by by the Boone County Historical Society with support and guidance from the City of Columbia Office of Cultural Affairs.
Maplewood, along with Boone Junction is open for tours by appointment April 1 through October 31, Wednesdays – Sundays 12:30- 3:30. Special arrangements can be made for large groups. (However, Maplewood House is undergoing interior and exterior renovations during this summer of 2016 and will not be able to host tours) For information call 573-443-8936 or email at Chriscampbell@boonehistory.org
Sparkle AbbeyJuly 16, 2016
We are proud to announce that the Missouri Humanities Council has recognized Meet the Author and is now an important sponsor, joining the Columbia Office of Cultural Affairs and the Missouri Arts Council.
Free Admission - Free Coffee. On Saturday, July 16. Doors open at 9:30am, Presentation at 10:30am.
Harold's Doughnuts always on hand.
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Listed on the National Historic Register, Maplewood House was built in 1877 by Slater Ensor Lenoir and his wife Margaret Bradford Lenoir, both of whom were members of Boone County pioneer families....More Info
The covered veranda and the large, adjacent gazebo provide a vista of beautiful and historic Nifong Park with the Maplewood House peeking through the trees. A popular location for happy hour receptions and wedding receptions, the space can seat up to 100 people and is available for as little as $450.
The 18’ x 25’ conference room features a variety of meeting table and chair set-ups, free Wi-Fi, telephone use and onsite copy service. Rental is $80 for 3 hours and is discounted for non-profit groups.
This splendid home was built in 1877 and is on the National Historic Register. It is available April 1 through October 30 each year and is a unique location for your next bridal shower or tea. It can host small groups of up to 25 in its magnificent first floor and rates begin as low as $200. (Maplewood is currently being renovated and will not be available to rental clients during the summer of 2016. Please contact us about your 2017 event).
The gallery is a very popular rental for luncheons, cocktail receptions, sales awards meetings and small wedding receptions. Its horse-shoe shaped 4,000 sq. feet features art exhibits by the region’s best artists. Rental rates for this beautiful space begin at $450 and could increase depending on the size and length of the event. Included are set-up, tables and chairs. A handsome podium and a 8-channel sound system are also available for an additional charge.