Thornhill, the home of Missouri’s second governor

Come out to Faust Park in Chesterfield and relive St. Louis County's pioneer history at Thornhill, the farm of Missouri's second governor, Frederick Bates. The Thornhill farm includes the home and out buildings of Frederick Bates, his wife Nancy and their children, and shows how this family lived on the frontier in the early 1800s.

But Frederick Bates was more than just a farmer; he played a pivotal role in bringing the Louisiana Territory under the control of the United States government. The site includes his 1820s home, barn, reconstructed summer kitchen, ice and smoke house, orchard and herb garden, and family cemetery.  The home has been restored and partially furnished to look as it did when Governor Bates would set off on a one day trek to St. Charles, Missouri, then the first capital of the state.

Frederick Bates' contributions to this growing area began when he came to St. Louis in 1807, just one year after the return of Lewis and Clark's "Tour of Discovery" opened the west. He began as the Secretary of the territory, Recorder of Land Titles and a member of the Board of Land Commissioners in the new territory.  In these posts he helped determine whether Spanish, French or American claims and customs would predominate.

As Secretary, he served as acting Territorial Governor for much of the time.  He was also responsible for codification of territorial laws and compiled the first book published in Missouri.  On November 17, 1824, in St. Charles, Bates was sworn in as second governor of Missouri, succeeding Alexander NcNair.  On August 4 the following year, however, he died of pleurisy. He is buried in the family cemetery near his house with his wife and two of his children.

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Latitude: 38.66695 Longitude: -90.54455 Elevation: 624 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Lori Ritchey

Hours Open

Home is open select weekends in the spring and summer from noon to 4 pm, Grounds are open year round from sunrise to sunset

Time Period Represented


Seasons Open

Select weekends in the spring and summer

Visitor Fees

Free except for special events

Accessibility Notes

The house is partially wheelchair accessible.


Management has the right to deny admission for health and safety issues.

For accommodations to make this program accessible call:

314-615-4386, 314-615-7840 TTY or 800-735-2966 (Relay MO)

Pet Friendly Notes

Pets are not allowed in the historic buildings.

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Contact Information

Lori Ritchey - Museum Curator, Faust Park, St. Louis County Parks and Recreation
15185 Olive Blvd
Chesterfield, MO 63017 US
Rhonda Swagman - Secretery, Faust Park, St. Louis County Parks and Recreation
15185 Olive Blvd
Chesterfield, MO 63017 US


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