​​​​​​Simply Karen Live!'Tm 2020

​​The Official Website for Prof. Karen Donathen Duffy

Kindly Note!

The Shapley Ross House sits on its original location which is now the center of the small village of Moscow Mills, Missouri.  As a result, the program is not set in a remote or isolated location. The Historic Shapley Ross House sits near the street as it did in 1820; however, the side and back lawns spaciously encompass 3 city lots. A lumber yard sits directly across from the side of the home and a small restaurant sits diagonally from the house; therefore, during the day there is some 'modern' noise and auto intrusions.   We strive to make it our goal to create for you, as much as possible, an historic atmosphere and a positive and enriching experience in spite of these modern interferences.

The Shapley Ross House is not a multi-room Victorian plantation nor is it a bed-and-breakfast styled home.  The house does not have central heat nor is it air conditioned, just as it was in the mid 19th century.  The home's windows open for ventilation, the lawn is graced with some large shade trees and if the weather is sultry we will compromise and use electric fans for your comfort at night; if winter, then the four original fireplace will be used as well as space heaters, if necessary.  Since this is an immersion event, we will be utilizing the homes original (and renovated) outhouses and will bathe with ewers and bowls. There are two large bed-chambers in the home which will be arranged to host half of the participants of the event in each bed-chamber.  You will experience recreated 1860s life, limits on personal space, difficulties and triumphs throughout the weekend!  For some this weekend will be challenging; for others,  it will be yet another level of experience in living history. It will be for everyone a time of sharing, learning, practicing, making new friends and developing into better reenactors and living historians. 

I truly hope you will join us at the Shapley Ross House!

About the Shapley Ross House, c. 1820
(where you will live, learn, dine and lodge during your event)

The Shapley Ross House, c.1820, was built by Virginia native, Shapley Ross, founder of Moscow Mills, Missouri. Shapley was the wealthiest man in Lincoln County and was recorded in the tax records owning two mills, over 1000 acres of land and 25 slaves. The house is a two story residence constructed of native limestone and is a rare example of fine stonework masonry and Georgian-styled  architecture. 

The ten foot ceilings, eighteen inch stone walls, and "nine over nine" windows enclose two twenty-two by twenty-four foot rooms on each floor (making a total of 4 rooms), separated by a wide central hallway graced by the original staircase with a delicate walnut handrail.  Ornamental scroll-work adorns the side of the staircase risers. 

There are four fireplaces, all in working condition; three of which retain their original carved mantels.  The mantels showcase some of the best Robert Adams styling west of the Mississippi River including sunburst medallions, fluted pilasters and cornices.  The chimneys at each end of the home measure 84 x 58 inches.  The hand-carved woodwork and six panel doors, the random width floor boards, and the linen press closets throughout the house are original and also adorned with Adamesque motifs. 

In 1830 Shapley Prince Ross, son of Shapley Ross, the builder of the home,  married Catherine Fulkerson of St. Charles County and in 1839 left Missouri for the frontier in Texas where he became a Captain of the famous Texas Rangers.  His son, Lawrence Sullivan Ross, obtained rank of Brigadier General of the 6th Texas Cavalry during the Civil War, served two terms as the Governor of Texas (1886-1891), and was then to be appointed president of Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College (Texas A & M).