Taille de No…Way This Place Is Haunted?! – Taille de Noyer #138


IMG_2679It can happen at any place, at any time – the dreaded cake-venture gone awry. In this case, the ‘awry’ part was due to the fact that the next cake on my list for the day was at Taille de Noyer, which until that point was a place I had never heard of, and which I wasn’t even sure was an actual place (and not a statue or shrine, etc), and which is in fact located on the grounds of McClure High, and which made it all the more difficult to find.

IMG_2677At this point in my cake life, I was used to driving around and around to find what I was looking for, but with this cake in particular, I remember my trusty GPS telling me to be brave and go onto the school grounds, even though I was realllllyyy hesitant to do so, since I had already looked everywhere else, and thankfully I eventually listened because I was pretty greatly rewarded.

Taille de Noyer, as I discovered, is a beautiful building full of history. The oldest section of the home is thought to date back to 1790 when it was used as a trading post. The most notable time in its history, however, was when it was owned by St. Louis’ first millionaire John Mullanphy, who purchased what was then a log cabin in 1805. John was a philanthropist and built the first hospital west of the Mississippi.


Cake #138 at Taille de Noyer

The cabin John purchased was eventually passed to his daughter and her husband and down through the family, expanding with each generation. It stayed in the family until the 1960s when it was purchased for the purpose of expanding McClure High. However when demolition began on different areas of the home, the Florissant Historical Society stepped in and began renovations and restorations of the home. The Historical Society now calls Taille de Noyer home and opens it to the public for tours and other celebrations.

The history of cake locations is always fascinating to learn after I have completed my cake-venture, but what made this location even more special for me was learning afterwards that it is considered by some to be one of the most haunted places in the St. Louis area joining the ranks of the Lemp Mansion, the Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion and the Payne Gentry House as far as haunted cake locations go. Disembodied voices have been heard in the house as well as figures being seen in the windows of the mansion. And with that discovery, Taille de Noyer cemented its place in not only haunted St. Louis lore but in my heart as well.


Miles Has a Good Time at a Shrine- Old Saint Ferdinand Shrine #137


Old Saint Ferdinand Shrine #137

After two cakes, Miles and I were primed and ready for our third cake at the Old Saint Ferdinand Shrine in Florissant. This particular cake adventure took place in the early summer and to both of our surprise, the parking lot at the shrine was packed. It was definitely the perfect day for an adventure.

The Old Saint Ferdinand Shrine is actually a combination of four buildings, one of which, a church, is the oldest Catholic Church west of the Mississippi. The other buildings that make up the shrine are a schoolhouse, rectory and a convent where Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne lived for many years. Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne (which you may remember from an earlier cake adventure) gifted the Saint Ferdinand Shrine with its cornerstone in 1821.


Old Saint Ferdinand Shrine #137

The Old Saint Ferdinand Shrine is open for tours and other special events, and on the beautiful June day when Miles and I visited the cake, it was full of tourists, most of whom were very excited to meet a small, friendly pug along the way.

The church was open during the time we were there and since it seemed impolite to bring Miles along, he was given a little break in the car with the window cracked while I poked my head in and gave the church a quick viewing. The viewing was so quick, I barely remember the insides of the church, but when I got back to the car, I found that Miles had made a new friend in a little boy who was standing by the car window waving at the happily barking pup. On that note, and after Miles accepted a couple of head pats from his new friend, we headed out for our next adventure.

Daniel Does It All – General Daniel Bissell House #136



Um, yeah, so this was the view that greeted Miles James and I when we were granted our first gander at the General Daniel Bissell House. I mean, woah. And you know I love a good pergola! *swoon*


Cake #136 at the General Daniel Bissell House

So who exactly was General Daniel Bissell and why is his house so exciting (aside from the obvious majesty of the pergola walk-up!), you may ask. General Bissell worked on the house from 1812 and 1820, and he and his descendants would get to enjoy it for 150 years until it was donated to St. Louis County in the 1960s.


General Daniel Bissell House


As for General Bissell himself – get this – at 9 years old he enlisted in the Connecticut militia as a fifer. I’m sorry, what? That fact right there should automatically grant you a cake, but Bissell went on to eventually became the military commander of the Upper Louisiana Territory and posted up at what would eventually come to be called Fort Belle Fontaine. Bissell retired from the military in 1821 and spent the rest of his life tending to his estate and building it up for future generations to enjoy.

What I personally enjoyed about this location was the spectacular cake. It was very simply done in light blue/grey and whites but was memorable nonetheless. What Miles enjoyed the most was the sunshine, the walk around the grounds, and of course the multitude of flowers which he couldn’t help but stop and sniff as we passed.

I Bless the Rains over in Illinois! – Clinton County Courthouse #115


Cake #115 at the Clinton County Courthouse

It was always something with Illinois, I swear. 🙂 First, I was visually assaulted with mannequin after mannequin after mannequin on my first trip across the border with Mama Monster, and then on this trip, it stormed so often that I eventually just realized that if you love something as much as I love cake hunting, you’re willing to go for it even at the risk of frizzy hairs and a wet puppy smell that lingers in your car for weeks.


Cake #115 at the Clinton County Courthouse

The first cake of the day was at the Clinton County Courthouse in Carlyle, IL. And thankfully at this point in the hunt, the sky was still only rumbling and had not yet burst open, so we were able to enjoy the cake in a general state of dryness – although Miles James did make a silly pug face at having to be woken up from his car nap for a courthouse cake with sailboats on it, which, if you think about it, might have been a pretty obvious suggestion for the type of vehicle we should have been traveling in the rest of the day!

From what I can gather, what makes the Clinton County Courthouse worthy of a cake is the fact that it is the county seat of Carlyle, IL.


Cake #115 at the Clinton County Courthouse

I did discover that Carlyle is home to Illinois’ largest man-made lake and that Clinton County is named for DeWitt Clinton, a former governor of New York, who helped build the Erie Canal. Overall not too shabby, I suppose.

As usual, Miles James was a crowd favorite and was given quite a few head scratches and compliments on our short trip from the cake to the car, and the cake itself was very well done, but even this warm reception back into Illinois was not enough to prepare us for the eventual torrents of water that were to plague the majority of our day – is it obvious that I’m still bitter? 🙂 🙂