As innkeeper Cathy McGeorge showed me to my room at the Loganberry Inn in Fulton, MO, she pointed to a doorway covering a back stairway leading to the attic.
“Don’t worry,” she said. “There are no ghosts or goblins hiding in the attic that will come and get you tonight.”
But as I went to sleep that night, it was instead the spirits of Winston Churchill, his daughter and granddaughter, Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev, Lech Walesa, Gerald Ford and Bernie Sanders, among others, who invaded my dreams.
They’ve all been here – to Fulton – and many of them to the Loganberry and most of them sleeping in the rooms surrounding me.
Why Churchill in Fulton, Missouri
The Loganberry Inn is just a block from the beautiful campus of Westminster College, where, in the 1930s, a St. Louis attorney and alum endowed a fund to bring speakers of international significance to campus. One of first was Winston Churchill in 1946. His buddy Harry Truman joined him. It was then he first warned the world that an “iron curtain” was falling on eastern Europe.
In the 1960s, when London and most of Europe were still rebuilding from the war, the people of Westminster College chose to honor the 20th anniversary of Churchill’s speech by purchasing the rubbled remains of the Church of St. Mary Aldermanbury and rebuilding it in Fulton.
This church, designed by Christopher Wren in the 1600s, is where John Milton was married. It is believed William Shakespeare worshipped here. But it was severely damaged in the Blitz and was set to be demolished when it found its way to Missouri.
The National Churchill Museum in Fulton
Today, beneath the church, you’ll find an extraordinary museum devoted to understanding and appreciating the man that was Winston Churchill, the man who led England and much of the world through our “darkest hour” and who taught us that “it is the courage to continue that counts.”
The Victorian house that became the Loganberry Inn has witnessed it all. Built in 1899, it didn’t become an inn for another 90 years, but in that time, numerous members of the Churchill family have stayed in these rooms, including granddaughter Edwina Sandys. She is a sculptor responsible for the huge piece of the Berlin Wall adjacent to the Christopher Wren Church.
Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev didn’t stay at the Loganberry, but it would have been possible to sit in the comfy rocking chairs on the front porch and hear their speeches and watch the commotion. But for the common traveler – those who come from around the world to this spot – those rocking chairs are perfect for sitting and reflecting on how the world is as it is because of these many remarkable people who have come to Fulton, Missouri.