John Bissell Grave photo by Bob Moore

St. Louis' Oldest "Hysterical" Landmark

The historic home of Captain Lewis Bissell, was built in the mid-1820's. Today, much of the original detailing of the oldest home in St. Louis remains, including the staircase, the fireplace mantels and some interior trim. The northwest wing of the house was added circa 1883 by Frederick Kraft, a later owner.

Lewis Bissell, born in Connecticut on October 12, 1789, came from an impressive family of American military leaders. His father, Major Russell Bissell was the first commandant of Fort Bellefontaine. The famous General Daniel Bissell was Lewis' uncle. Bissell began his military career at the age of nineteen. Under a commission from President Jefferson, he was sent to what was then the Western frontier.

Bissell served with distinction in the War of 1812 and was promoted to Captain in 1815. He was given command of Fort Clark, now Peoria, Illinois. In 1818, he went with the Yellowstone Expedition up the Missouri River, which ended in the founding of Omaha, Nebraska.

During the 1820's, Bissell had already begun acquiring the 1500 acres that would become known by riverboat pilots as Bissell's point. The Mansion was built on a hill overlooking property that spread south of Grand Avenue to the French city of St. Louis, east to the Mississippi River and north to the frontier outpost of Fort Bellefontaine which guarded the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers.

Captain Bissell, died on November 26, 1868. He is buried at the historic Bellefontaine Cemetary.

The Bissell Mansion Restaurant was rescued from demolition in 1959 when the Missouri Highway Department announced an agreement had been reached to preserved the building that was in the way of the construction of the Mark Twain Expressway, now known as I-70. Today, the Mansion is host to St. Louis' original participatory Comedy/Mystery Dinner Theatre.

A four-course dinner is served between the acts of the show. Since the audience participates in the show, everyone receives an identity when they arrive. The murderer and suspects are selected randomly from the audience.

Bissell Mansion photo by Bob Moore

The Mansion is host to St. Louis' original participatory Comedy/Mystery Dinner Theatre.

Bissell Mansion photo by Bob Moore

The Dinner Theatre is offered Friday and Saturday at 7:00 pm. The Sunday show is at 2:00 pm.

Faces in the mirror at Bissell Mansion


Reservations are required for the Dinner Theatre and accepted over the phone.

So make your RESERVATIONS for our next show now. It would be a CRIME to miss out on this much fun!

Call 314-533-9830 or 1-800-690-9838.
Gift Certificates Available!

Bissell Mansion photo by Betty Moore

Bissell Mansion Restaurant and Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre
4426 Randall Place, St. Louis, Missouri 63107
For more information, contact Bissell Mansion All rights reserved world wide. © 2020