The History of Blosser

The Blosser House, a grand Second Empire mansion, rises up from a cornfield in the fertile Saline County farmland near Malta Bend, Missouri. It’s an unexpected sight and a compelling story that began with the American Dream of Henry and Sarah Blosser and continues with a preservation project that turned a ruin into a showplace.

The home, completed in 1878, was designed by Swiss-born architect John Daniel Walters. His clients, the Blossers, shared his Swiss heritage, and the original house included nods to alpine style, including a multicolored roof.

In 2014, after years of neglect and facing demolition, the house was declared the most endangered historic property in Missouri by then-governor Jay Nixon. Salvation came from a history-loving Kansas City couple and a visionary designer who, together, embarked on a preservation project that you have to see to believe.

The Preservationists

Most people saw only a decaying relic of days gone by, but Dr. Arthur Elman and his wife, Carolyn Elman, saw potential in the Blosser House & Barn. They committed themselves to saving it and restoring its grandeur. To do that, they brought in a remarkable team of preservationists and artisans, led by interior designer Kelee Katillac. Kelee’s vision and faith in the project yielded a home and barn that are not only structurally sound, but appropriate for modern living and designed to honor great historical homes, this home’s past, and the tastes and preferences of its new owners.

In 2023, Kelee published a book entitled Historic Style, which features the Blosser House and Barn restoration as case studies. The book, which features mesmerizing photography and Kelee’s keen historical observations, has won international acclaim and was recently honored by Missouri Preservation with the 2024 Osmund Overby award.

About the Tour Manager

Blosser Events and Tours are coordinated by Sandy Selby and her company, History Speaks LLC. Sandy has years of experience as a storyteller, both as a magazine editor and through her work with history-focused nonprofits. Her Arrow Rock Ghost Tours are offered every autumn and have proven to be wildly popular with guests who love her spooky spin on the tragic tales of Arrow Rock’s past. She is adept at developing the ideal tour for the theme, property, and occasion, and she looks forward to introducing you to the Blosser House & Barn story.

How to Find Us

Point your GPS to 20400 280th Trail, Malta Bend, Missouri 65339.