Wildwood – Home of Presidents

Wildwood - SEMO Presidents' home 03-02-2013I remember the home of SEMO’s presidents as an imposing white structure located on the college farm well away from other campus buildings.

Between snowflakes on Saturday, I decided to cruise around campus to see if it was still there or if the university had turned it into a parking lot.

When I came to a small lane with a white house at the end of it, I couldn’t believe THAT could be the building I was thinking about. It was way too small and ordinary looking.

It didn’t SAY “No Trespassing”

Wildwood - SEMO Presidents' home 03-02-2013At the top of a lane – I found out it was “Wildwood Street” on Google Maps – was a sign, “Dead End – Private Residence.” Well, it didn’t come right out and say “No Trespassing,” plus I have Florida license tags. A gray beard and Florida tags will get you out of a lot of sticky situations.

I drove down close enough to get a shot, then decided “in for a penny, in for a pound” and kept going rather than try to back up the narrow road. I intended to turn around and go back the way I came in, but I saw another lane going off to the left.

Wildwood looks larger from the back

Wildwood - SEMO Presidents' home 03-02-2013The sign lied: it WASN’T a dead end. It curved around and tied in with New Madrid Street, giving a view from the back that shows how the building has expanded since it was built in the early 1800s

SEMO’s website has a good history of the house, used by eight presidents since 1924. The last two presidents have elected to live elsewhere.