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Drace Park, Kropp & Estill Log Cabin History



In October 2000 the City of Town & Country purchased this nine-acre tract on the east side of Cedar Valley Lane, just east of Interstate 270 and south of Clayton Road, to be developed into a neighborhood park. The Drace family used the gently rolling site, bordered by trees for years as horse pastures and for their home. The City named the site Drace Park. The property contained a house, several outbuildings and a restored historical log cabin, called the Kropp Log Cabin. The house was later taken down. As with Longview Farm Park, a public planning forum on Drace Park was held in 2001 to gather ideas for the character and activities this park should contain. Most seemed to agree that the pastoral nature of the site should be preserved and wanted the Kropp Log Cabin to be featured. There was also interest in the possibility that a second log cabin, the Estill Log Cabin, may be moved to the park and then restored, emphasizing the history of our City and region through the log cabins and through natural plantings to recreate the look of the nineteenth century countryside. All of which was realized. This is a park for all ages, with opportunities for quiet contemplation as well as places where people can come together to enjoy the park more actively. The park went under construction in Fall 2001, so that Drace Park would be ready for residents to enjoy by Spring 2002. Keep your ears and eyes open for public events here such as the Arbor Day offering of free tree seedlings with children enjoying planting projects, plus learning more about the life and times of these log cabins.                                              Excerpted from statements by Sharon Rothmel.


The Kropp Log Cabin was built on this site by Jacob Kropp in approximately 1855. It was part of a 30-acre homestead site, which went west to Mueller Lane and north to Jenifer Lane. The cabin was built on a stone foundation and contains a large main room with what is presumed to be the original stone fireplace, a root cellar and a loft bedroom. Except for two logs all logs are original. Very few pre civil war log cabins have survived in St. Louis County. The preservation of these historical structures for future generations is an important achievement and will hopefully provide many people with an easily accessed living history lesson.


The Estill Log Cabin was originally located at the corner of Clayton and Bopp Roads, where it was part of a 400-acre working farm extending north to what is now Conway Road. Later the cabin was enclosed by a more modern structure. Harry Estill, owner, Jesse Francis, curator and restorationist with St. Louis County Faust Park, The City of Town & Country and community volunteers worked together to disassemble the two room log cabin and to move it to its current location at Drace Park where it was reassembled in 2003 with a grant from the Municipal Parks Grant Commission of St. Louis County.