The Home for Aged Baptist

Home for Aged Baptist - Ironton 09-16-2014Mother and I were cruising around looking for the Johnson’s Shut-ins and Elephant Rocks State Parks, when we came around a curve leading into Ironton and saw this magnificent building and grounds. A gatepost marker proclaimed it to be “The Home for Aged Baptist 1935.” Click on the photos to make them larger.

Cypress knees and walkways

Home for Aged Baptist - Ironton 09-16-2014Mother said she could remember coming here to visit folks from Advance years ago. The grounds looked like a park with a small waterway, cypress trees, and walkways.

Light on history

Home for Aged Baptist - Ironton 09-16-2014I thought it would be easy to find information on the place, but the search was complicated by a name change. It became “The Baptist Home” in 1977.

A Baptist Home newsletter from 2006 said that wealthy businessmen from St. Louis built summer homes in Arcadia Valley in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. When one of them, R.L. Lewis, died in 1819, his widow sold the 175-acre estate for $15,000.

Legend has it, the newsletter continues, that Dr. Milford Riggs stood on Sunset Rock atop St. Francois Mountain years earlier and envisioned the exact spot where the Riggs-Scott building was completed in 1923.

Time line

Home for Aged Baptist - Ironton 09-16-2014The Baptist Home website lists these key dates in the history of the institution

  • May 6, 1913: First Home in Ironton opens its doors
  • 1917: Home recognized by state convention
  • 1919: 175 acres purchased for future Home in Arcadia Valley
  • 1923: new Home completed
  • April 1935: Home is sold on the courthouse steps
  • June 1935: Home is purchased back “for $1 and other considerations”
  • 1972: Superintendent reports “no indebtedness on any Home property”
  • 1977: Legal name changed to “The Baptist Home”


 RatesHome for Aged Baptist - Ironton 09-16-2014

  • A two-room / one bathroom suite is available for $500 a month
  • A two-bedroom / two-bath chalet would be $850 a month
  • A two-bedroom / two-bath cabin goes for $1,300 a month
  • A nursing care room would cost $5,018.75 a month

Fortunately, I’ve not needed to price those services, so I don’t know how they compare with Cape or Florida prices.


4 Replies to “The Home for Aged Baptist”

  1. When I was growing up my mother always said when she needed care she wanted to go to the Baptist Home in Ironton. At that time I remember her saying she thought it was fairly cheap or free for Baptist to live there. When she was in failing health she did not go there, but was in a nursing home in Cape in 2007. At that time the nursing home she was in was $4000.00 a month.

  2. Ken, first of all let me say how impressed I am with the amount of time you spend with your mother. I think it is a wonderful loving gift she has from you. I took care of my mom for her last 20 years (being only child, gave full responsibility to me)and at times, it mean a lot of reshuffling of schedules’ as she was in Florida at the Villages and we were here in Chelmsford, Mass. we finally brought here up here and did similar driving tours around New England. I know she enjoyed the sights as well as the company. Well done, Ken.

  3. My dad lives there! I love driving over there! It is beautiful country. I believe he gets excellent care there. He would like to be closer to me; but says he knows he is where he needs to be.

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