Leaving Missouri’s Rural Utopia
Perhaps Theodre Link had something…
at the turn of the 20th century Theodore Link was a prominent architect & artist advocate, responsible for magnificent homes, churches & commercial buildings in St. Louis most notably Union Station and his structures for the 1904 Worlds Fair. Theodore burden by the bustle of the city-with his creative voice choking on coal dust, began to envision an artist utopia. A place in the beautiful Missouri country side where artists and their patrons could retreat to be inspired by nature while also enjoying cocktails & back country luxury. Theodore saw his utopia at a place known as St. Albans just a stones throw from Labadie Missouri.
100 years later those same rolling hills upon the fertile banks of the Missouri River are still beautiful and utopian with an eclectic community of artists, philanthropists, conservationists, transplants, locals & farmers co-existing and communing. Sharing everyday life in a picturesque rural setting, enjoying the peacefulness yet so close to the necessities of life found in the big city.
I’ve had the blessed pleasure of calling this rural utopia my home for the last few years. Discovering it during a time in my life when my creative spark was all but burnt out. Finding love & laughter from the start then most importantly finding myself again. Labadie and it’s vast array of characters became my muse. My spark was rekindled and my creative fire began to ignite, the flame being fanned by the curious and wonderful neighbors of Labadie. Receptive to my crazy ideas, encouraging in their participation and so many always willing to lend a hand, my friends in Labadie fueled my creativity and became the reason to try and always make something great happen.
Now as I set off on my new adventure in Europe, in search of new tastes, old traditions and communal celebration I will use Labadie as the bar of excellence to compare other communities. It will be hard to match the spirit of community, the delicious feasts and the evenings of laughter and libations not to mention the wonderful friends I have found in Labadie!
So Theodore Link had it right in thinking this little slice of Missouri was a utopia, and though he might have found inspiration from the beauty of the land I have found mine in the beauty of the neighbors who make up this remarkable area called Labadie.