Annual Report 2021

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Dear Friends,

It’s been a challenging year for everyone—families, businesses, organizations, and communities. Thankfully, we are Florissant Strong. What does that mean? To us it means that we support each other in times of need and we never forget what Florissant was, is, and can be.  Historic Florissant Inc. remains strong and fiercely committed to the mission of historic preservation in our community. We continue to focus on protecting, preserving and restoring local history.

This past year we were fortunate to acquire new volunteers.  Sharon Gettemeier, Kris Sontheimer and Tom Shields have concentrated on organizing archives and helping with research.  Dan Gettemeier sealed the parking lot, painted the picket fence and cut back brush, while Dan Blue and Bridget Fincher concentrated on interior and exterior painting.  Alan Mueller spent countless hours completing a National Register Application for the Gittemeier House and college interns created new displays and organized newspapers. Kevin Fitzpatrick continues to work in the background maintaining the Gittemeier House while Lynn Burkhart, Carol Kane and Gina Siebe complete the day-to-day tasks for running the organization.  J&R Tree Service and B&B Heating and Cooling also provided services to Historic Florissant. Countless others have helped in many different ways.

Fundraisers for 2021 included a Wine and Chocolate Fundraiser, the Annual Benefit Dinner, the Virtual Brick Wall, the June House and Garden Tour, and two Christmas House Tours.  Leasing the Gittemeier House and Museum for a baby shower, wedding shower, anniversary dinner, the Rowdy Readers Book Club and for paranormal experiences also brought additional income. The ever-popular ghost tours in October and a tribute to Florissant wrestler Cowboy Bob Orton at the Eagan Center proved to be profitable. Special thanks to those who sent year-end donations!

Maintaining the beautiful Gittemeier House and Museum continues to be a focus. This past year we replaced the hot water heater and air conditioner, painted the picket fence and back porch, painted the parlor, removed tree stumps and dead trees, and worked with the Gardeners of Florissant adding small trees, rose bushes and other plants in the garden.  Steve Siebe, Lynn Burkhart, Kevin Fitzpatrick and CJ McKinnis ensured the gardens remained beautiful. Special thanks to Stan Busken who provided new acquisitions for the house museum, Dr. Howell’s family for donating the 11-foot hall mirror and to Steve Gettemeier, Russ Gettemeier, Brett Moeller, Joe Gilliam and AJ Freihoff for moving and installing the monster.

We believe community outreach is essential to our community.  Historic Florissant advocated for the protection of the Wesling House, Ouvre-Bellissime House, the Belleville-Castello House in Florissant and the acquisition and move of the Sappington House in Kirkwood.  Gina Siebe gave a Florissant History Presentation at

the Senior Luncheon and along with Lynn Burkhart supported other local historic organizations by attending fundraisers.  Gina also hosted meetings for St. Francois Street business owners with the purpose of exploring ways to improve the façade of buildings and ways to attract foot traffic along the business district.

Other happenings included a visit from Missouri State Representative, Gretchen Bangert and over 300 visitors toured the beautiful Gittemeier house and Museum.  Historic Florissant participated in the Fall Festival, Halloween Parade, and the Christmas in Florissant event. Andrew Thiesing held a book signing for his new book entitled, In the Walnut Grove. North County Incorporated honored Gina Siebe with the Special Leadership Award and the Excellence in Community Service Award was given by the Daughters of the American Revolution. New in 2022, Historic Florissant, in cooperation with Are We There Yet Tours and St. Louis Community College, will bring chartered tours to the historic district.

Historic Florissant, Inc. is working alongside the City of Florissant in restoring the Bockrath-Wiese House located in St. Ferdinand Park.  Kevin, from The Pit Crew, and Kevin, from Ronsick’s Auto Care, organized the First Annual Golf Cart Races and donated all of the proceeds to Historic Florissant for the restoration of the Bockrath-Wiese House. Bob Mannecke from Mann Meats donated all of his sales acquired during Music Under the Stars, and the good people of Florissant sent a number of donations to use toward the house.  To date the following have been restored: damaged brick wall, water damaged front window, water-soaked plaster, 5 decaying floor joists, and basement windows.  In addition, a new HVAC system was installed gratis by B&B Heating and Cooling and Goldkamp Heating and Cooling.  Michael Wiese, great-grandson of George Wiese, has added new electrical wiring, new lighting, and the City has installed a water barrier and sump pump, a water diversion berm and a new cedar shake roof.  Thank you to Mayor Lowery and the City Council for all of their support in this endeavor. Watch the Quarterly, Independent News, Facebook and our website for updates.

Please mark your calendars for the following:

  • 2022 Benefit Dinner, March 20
  • House and Garden Tour Saturday, June 11
  • Christmas House Tour, November 27
  • Historic St. Louis House Tour, December 3

Requests for donations from nonprofit organizations such as ours, come quite frequently, but we ask you to consider a gift to Historic Florissant, Inc. as resources allow. We cannot do our work without donors like you.  We are volunteers. We have no paid employees or dues paying members. We DO rely on your financial support and please know that the Board and volunteers are very grateful for donations of any size.

Donations ensure work to further our mission in preserving, enhancing, and promoting the architectural and rich historical heritage of Florissant.

With gratitude,

The Board and Volunteers of Historic Florissant, Inc.

314-565-1468 /