ELSBERRY, Mo. – What if we told you the most attractive feature of a home was not the home itself? A mansion located outside a quaint Lincoln County town features scenic views both above and below ground.
More than two decades before the founding of the City of Elsberry in 1879, Fielding Wiggington purchased 40 acres of land and built a rudimentary home out of logs. He would spend the next 50 years of his life accumulating more of the surrounding lands, totaling 350 acres.
In 1904, Fielding agreed to allow the Crystal Carbonate Lime Company mine for Kimmswick limestone on his property. By 1924, mining rights shifted to the Columbia Mining Company.
Ida Wigginton, Fielding’s granddaughter, married then-history professor Clarence Cannon in 1906. She would ultimately inherit the property and the mines. The mining continued even after Cannon was elected to Congress in 1922 and the couple remained on the property with their children. They converted Ida’s childhood home into a kitchen and built a larger house around it.
Cannon served in Congress until his death in 1964. Ida Wigginton moved back into the residence permanently in 1963. All the while, blasting continued in the nearby mines.
Ida finally grew tired of the constant noise and shaking, and demanded Independence Mining cease operations on her land.
She sold the property in 1972 to the Hoechst family on the condition she be allowed to live in her home. Ida Wigginton passed away in 1975 and the Hoechsts took full ownership of the land.
Emil E. Hoechst, the patriarch of the family, had plans to update the Wiggington-Cannon residence and considered several development ideas for the mines, but he died in 1982 before they could be brought to fruition.
His son, Emil A. Hoechst, remodeled the Wigginton-Cannon home and built a beautiful 7,400 square-foot home on the property for his family. The new home features high ceilings, a great room, and 5 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms.
But as we alluded to earlier, the mansion is not the property’s most striking feature. After nearly 60 years, there are three pristine mines on the property sitting empty and dry.
The largest mine is 417,000-square feet, with two levels and railroad access. The second mine also has two levels and opens to 21,000-square feet. Even the smallest of the mines offers an impressive amount of space – 3,000-square feet. They’ve also never flooded in their 118-year history.
The mines seem rife for personal or commercial opportunities. According to the realtor, suggestions include a data center, office space, warehousing, a rec center, a shooting range, a waterpark, a motorbike park, a greenhouse, or even a brewery or winery. Or maybe you’d like to operate the world’s largest game of hide-and-go-seek?