The Historic Village at Faust Park includes four homes and 14 additional structures representing a variety of building and architectural styles, from log to brick. All of which have been saved from demolition and preserved by Park staff. Spanning a period from 1840 to 1910, the Village provides a context in which the lifestyles of the settlers of St. Louis County and the skills they used to survive are illustrated.
Faust Park is located on a tract of land that once belonged to the second governor of Missouri, Frederick Bates. Bates acquired 1,000 acres on the southern bank of the Missouri River in 1808 and 1809. At that time, Bates was the Secretary for the Upper Louisiana Territory. Bates named his estate Thornhill and built a house on the grounds between 1817 and 1819. Bates was elected Missouri’s second Governor in 1824 and died in office a year later. The Thornhill complex, including the main house, the two barns, granary, and other outbuildings, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. Restoration of Thornhill proceeded over several phases in the 1980s and was completed in 1990. Thornhill is open to the public by reservation or on special occasions, although visitors may walk the grounds of the estate during park hours.
Much of the Thornhill estate was eventually acquired by Leicester Busch Faust and his wife Mary who donated the first 100 acres of the park in 1968. The park was dedicated and opened to the public in 1973. Through the bequest of Mary Plant Faust, the park was doubled in size following her death in 1996 at the age of 95. Faust Park is also the site of the St. Louis Carousel, the Faust Historical Village, and the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House.
The St. Louis Carousel is housed in its own climate-controlled facility on the grounds of the park. Built around 1920 by the Dentzel Company of Philadelphia, the carousel is composed of more than 60 exquisitely hand-carved horses and deer. The carousel was a fixture at the St. Louis Highlands amusement park on Oakland Avenue near Forest Park. The amusement park burned down in 1963, but the carousel was rescued and later purchased by Howard C. Ohlendorf who donated it to St. Louis County. It was operated in Sylvan Springs County Park until 1979. The Faust Cultural Heritage Foundation restored the carousel and raised funds to pay for a building to enclose it at Faust Park. The carousel building includes an exhibition area and a gift shop.
Faust Village preserves the area’s vernacular architecture and history. The village consists of four homes and multiple other structures including a schoolhouse, carriage house, blacksmith shop, along with period gardens. Spanning a period from 1840 to 1888, the Village illustrates differences in lifestyle resulting from both technological developments and special needs. All were moved from elsewhere in the Chesterfield area except for the Miles Seed Carriage House, which has been converted into the Visitors Center. The Historic Village is open on the last two weekends in May, June and July when historical reenactors in period costume provide tours and a variety of demonstrations. The buildings can be viewed from the outside using a free self-guided tour booklet available at the Seed Visitor Center.The Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House and Education Center opened on September 18, 1998 on about 1.5 acres leased from the park. Originally owned by an independent non-profit organization, the Butterfly House became a division of the Missouri Botanical Garden effective July 2, 2001. The site includes an outdoor butterfly garden and two large sculptures by St. Louis sculptor Robert Cassilly.
There is no charge to visit to visit Faust Park
Guided tours and educational field trips of Thornhill and the Historic Village are available by appointment. Fees vary; contact the Park office or website.
Butterfly House Admission: $6, adults; $4.50, seniors; $4, children, 4-12; free, 3 and under
Carousel rides are $1; Children 12 months and under ride free with a paying adult. Children under 4 years old MUST ride with a paid adult
Visiting Faust Park
Faust Park is open daily from 7 am to a half hour after sunset
Butterfly House Hours:
Memorial Day to Labor Day: Open daily, 9 am – 5 pm
Winter Hours: Open 9 am – 4 pm
Closed Mondays except Columbus Day, President’s Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day
The last ticket is sold half an hour before closing
Carousel Hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 10 am – 4 pm