9/20/12 – Experience St. Louis History Oct. 13 at “Secrets and Stories of the Old Courthouse” Event in Downtown St. Louis

St. Louis, Mo., Sept. 20, 2012…On Saturday, Oct. 13, step back in time and experience St. Louis history like never before at the Old Courthouse in Downtown St. Louis. Through a special event, “Secrets and Stories of the Old Courthouse,” which runs from 6 – 8:30 p.m., guests will enjoy an interactive evening of history, music and fun in which they will be able to revisit stories from the past brought to life by costumed interpreters representing people who worked in the courthouse or participated in legal affairs of the day. The event is being presented by the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, the Jefferson National Parks Association, the Core of Discovery and Metro.

Participants are encouraged to explore the secrets of the grand old building, which was built in several phases of construction from 1839 to 1862 and was used until 1930. Hear stories from many important historical characters, including Virginia Minor, who sued for a woman’s right to vote in 1872; and Taylor Blow, who after Dred Scott’s unsuccessful attempt to sue for his and his family’s freedom, purchased the Scotts in 1857, granted them emancipation and paid their freedom bonds in the Old Courthouse. James Quigley, “Keeper of the Courthouse,” will also be present. He was responsible for the facility’s up-keep for many years and will share its many secrets.

Guests will also hear from Lillian Lemp, nicknamed the “Lavender Lady,” and be invited to assume roles in the abridged re-enactment of the 1909 “Lemp Divorce” between Lillian and William Lemp, Jr.  The trial, which lasted 10 days, packed the Old Courthouse with gawkers seeking tabloid entertainment and provided the public with a rare glimpse into the private life of a family plagued by repeated tragedy and front page headlines.

“For many, the last visit to the Old Courthouse was probably a long-ago school field trip or a quick stop with guests from out-of-town,” notes Julie Northrip, Director of Education for Jefferson Expansion Memorial. “This unique event provides a wonderful opportunity to experience this grand old building, and some of its storied history, in an entirely new and interactive way. We look forward to a great turn out.”

Period music will set the mood as guests gather in the rotunda for hors d’oeuvres and drinks that include beer and wine. The cost of the program is $15 and includes all activities, music, food, and two beverage tickets. The event is not recommended for children 12 and under. The deadline for reservations is Friday, October 5th.

The Old Courthouse is located at 11 North 4th Street, St. Louis, MO.  It is one of the many attractions in the Core of Discovery – downtown St. Louis’ attractions district. For more information and reservations visit: http://old-courthouse-secrets.jnpa.com/Content/638.htm  or call 314-655-1614.

For more information, contact:

Julie Hauser, The Hauser Group (314) 436-9090

Shelene Treptow, The Hauser Group, (314) 436-9090