Lindbergh Schools and the Concord Farmers Club have reached an agreement for the district to purchase the Farmers Club property located at 10140 Concord School Road. This property will provide Lindbergh “flexibility and space to support its long-term master facility plan for continuous improvement,” the district said in the announcement.
Lindbergh Schools purchased the Concord Farmers Club for its appraised value of $668,000. The land is roughly 3.56 acres and sits next door to Sperreng Middle School.
The Concord Farmers Club opened in 1873 and was in operation for 148 years before closing its doors in January 2021. In recent years it served as an event center that hosted weddings and other events, but it started as a meeting place for farmers to sell their goods. It then served as a library, school and meeting venue as it was passed down from the original farmers to their descendants. Some of its founding members were Adolphus Busch and Eberhard Anheuser.
The club is a significant part of St. Louis County history because daily life revolved around many farmers clubs throughout the county but the Concord one was the last remaining one, said St. Louis County Parks historian Esley Hamilton.
“There were other farmers clubs, but this is the only one that still had the original property,” Hamilton told The Call.
Starting with 300 members, the Concord Farmers Club was down to 43 members last year as the shutdown order for the COVID-19 pandemic hit. A GoFundMe online fundraiser tried to raise $10,000 but only raised $550, but the club was able to get a federal Paycheck Protection Program loan to fund three staff members during the shutdown.
“All current members are working to preserve this part of St. Louis history for future generations,” the group said on the GoFundMe, noting that all income had stopped because of the coronavirus. The venue held a benefit dance in June, with all proceeds going to the Farmers Club.
The Farmers Club hosted an online auction earlier this month to liquidate furniture and assets inside the building, and the district does not anticipate any increased maintenance costs or activity on the property until a long-range plan is determined.
The purchase continues a tradition of positive partnership between the two organizations, the district stated. For the past several years, district families and staff have used the Farmers Club for overflow event parking for both Concord Elementary School and Sperreng.
“Looking ahead, this land has several possibilities for Sperreng, including an outdoor learning space, green space for activities and athletics, or additional room to improve traffic flow,” said Superintendent Tony Lake in a news release. “We are grateful for the opportunity to purchase this property and continue planning for our students’ future success.”
The district will not be making any changes to the historic building itself until long-term decisions are made, officials said.