by Michael R. Allen
News of the demise of the Inn St. Gemme Beauvais on Main Street in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, was premature. The historic home was severely damaged by an electrical fire on February 22, leading to reports of total destruction. However, the fire seems to have hit the interior hard but spared the shell of the building. The brick walls are intact, without any collapses, and most of the roof is intact. Windows and doors are charred or stained, and much glass has been broken, but only a few were lost completely. Overall, the exterior is remarkably intact.
The worst damage is on the rear section of the home, where it appears that the roof has partly collapsed.
After the fire, the Colonial Revival style building was boarded up. The roof condition will prevent thorough water infiltration as the owners’ insurance claim is processed. The owner, Janet Joggerst, plans to rebuild and reopen the bed and breakfast.
The Inn St. Gemme Beauvais was built in 1848 by prominent citizen Felix Rozier as his mansion. The home’s rear faced the Mississippi River, and the front faced to the town. Over time, this section of Main Street became commercial in character and the house remained as a counterpoint to the surrounding storefronts, shops and apartment houses.