“It was my privilege to ride twice across the Kingdom of Callaway, and to talk with its hospitable inhabitants.” – Raymond Weeks, circa 1890
Over a century later Weeks words resonated with me as I toured Callaway County’s cities and villages. Fulton, the seat of Callaway County is a charming destination brimming with character and hospitable inhabitants- a perfect getaway for a holiday shopping weekend.
Settle in at the notable Loganberry Inn for your stay. The award-winning bed and breakfast, housed in a Victorian home built in 1899, has played host to United Kingdom Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Polish President Lech Walesa. The inn is just a short, scenic stroll from the downtown Brick District.
Fulton’s brick district appeals to each of your five senses- the patterns of the bricks in the streets offset by the historic commercial buildings entice the eye. Cast iron store fronts tempt your fingers to trace their inlaid designs. Traffic clacks down the brick paved streets. Delicious smells waft from the restaurants. Follow your nose into any dining establishment and your taste buds will be tantalized too.
The brick district, home to 100 independent businesses, is dressed up for the holidays. White lights trim the buildings. Cheery red bows drape across the streets and adorn the vintage gas lamp street lights. The shopkeepers have festooned their windows for Christmas shoppers. The scene will make painters reach for their brushes and photographers rush for their tripods. Holiday shopping at Fulton’s brick district will make the most miserly Scrooge glow with Christmas spirit.
The namesake bricks, dating back to 1910, visually define the historic district. The buildings, even older than the bricks, add charm and character. However, it is the shopkeepers and restaurant owners that infuse the district with personality and hospitality.
1canoe2 Paperie is one of Fulton’s Brick District’s newest residents. The illustration company’s footprint is much larger than their studio and storefront located at 413 Court Street. They have an Instagram following of over 40,000. Their paper goods can be found in over 1,000 boutiques worldwide and retailers such as Anthropologie, as well as at their brick and mortar location in Fulton’s Brick District. The building itself dates back to the turn of the twentieth century and first homed the Southern Bank of Fulton. Farmer Mutual Insurance purchased the building in 1930 and owned the property until March, 2016. 1canoe2 Paperie owner Beth Snyder is just the third owner in the building’s 115-year history. The property still includes the original Southern Bank of Fulton’s “burglar and fire proof” vault.
501 Court Street is your destination for the most delicious New York styled pizza in rural Missouri. Presently home to Brooklyn Pizza the building was constructed in 1872 as Fulton’s Masonic Hall, designed by hometown architect Morris Frederick Bell. In the late 1890’s the storefront housed R.A. Moore’s drugstore. Current owner Brian Atkins has the street cred to rep an authentic Brooklyn pizza pie- he was born and raised in the working/middle class Canarsie neighborhood of Brooklyn. Every crust is handcrafted and tossed. The meatballs are perfezionare.
Bek’s at 511 Court Street is one of the Brick District’s tastiest locations. The restaurant is housed in a former dry goods store. The space is plentiful and intimate at the same time. Bek’s offers both lunch and dinner choices. Lunch features salads (including a Waldorf Chicken Salad) and sandwiches. Shark tacos appear as the lunch special from time to time. Dinner features pork chops, choice aged beef steaks and seared salmon alongside pasta options. Order the Parmesan Artichoke Dip appetizer- it may be the best artichoke dip you will ever have.
517 Court Street is home to both RCW Gifts of New England and Equestrian Apparel and Tack. Originally built in 1884 as two separate buildings an interior wall was deconstructed after the turn of the century to create one large space. The location has housed a grocery and at least two book stores during its existence. Today the one of a kind combination of stores equally caters to equestrians from nearby William Woods University as well as riders from around Missouri, and antique shoppers on the hunt for hard to find treasures from New England. Both concepts are the vision of father/daughter duo Reuben and Caitlin Wentworth. Mr. Wentworth, based in Alton, New Hampshire, personally delivers new stock of antique finds to the store four times a year.
Smockingbird’s Unique Gifts & Accessories, located at 529 Court Street, was the winner of this year’s window decorating contest. The building itself dates to 1888 and in 1907 housed Godfrey and Atkinson’s Furniture Store. In 1946 it was the location of Berghauser Hardware. Smockingbird’s proprietor Virginia McCoskrie opened her doors in 2002 and carries affordable gifts including lines of gourmet foods crafted in Missouri. Gift wrapping is offered.
Carry your holiday shopping theme beyond Fulton proper by browsing at Rooster Creek Company quilt shop in Holts Summit (176 West Simon Boulevard), Green Meadow Barn Company near Fulton (by appointment only) and Central Missouri Meat & Sausage at 5009 Pendergrass Road, just outside town.
To add a relaxing touch to your shopping holiday consider adding the Chocolate for Chicks package to your Girlfriend Getaway at the Loganberry Inn. The Loganberry also offers a self-guided 7-mile loop bicycle tour of Fulton’s most historic and scenic attractions.
A portion of our stay was hosted by Callaway County Tourism and their partners. All opinions are the author’s. This article mentions only a small sampling of Callaway County destinations. For a full listing of attractions, shopping opportunities, dining options, and accommodations visit https://www.visitfulton.com. Our immense thanks to Director Renee Graham.