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Do You Dare Enter the Butcher's Brewery?

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team

This Halloween, the old Busch Brewery in Washington is the site of the Butcher's Brewery, a real haunted house. Do you dare enter the Butcher's Brewery? If you think you're up to the task, come on out any or every night of Halloween weekend, Friday night through Monday night, October 28 through October 31, from 6 to 11 p.m.                                                                                                     

For a $2 donation, you can tour the lower level of the old Brewery. Different things will be happening each of the four nights, so you may want to plan to come to them all, if you dare! All donations will be going to the Relay for Life of Franklin County, so good things are afoot.

Assistant Police Chief of New Haven, Dan Terry, a local ghost hunter aka Spookstalker, says there are several ghosts that call the old Brewery home, including Fred Gersie, who was one of the Brewery's three original owners, and Fritz, the hapless homeless man who, in the early 1900s, suffered a sudden heart attack and passed away in the kitchen area of the Brewery. Other unnamed ghosts also hang out here--a Confederate soldier, a young girl, and even someone who is apparently hiding from the police.

Dan says he has communicated with the Brewery's inhabitants using such tools as the KII electromagnetic field detector and dowsing rods, which many of you may know as something used to locate water underground. In Terry's fourth book, "River Shadows, Ghosts and Legends of America's River Towns", he tells us, "There seems to be a high percentage of hauntings around rivers. That makes sense. Everything started near rivers. Or it could be the limestone...heavy quartz seems to magnify these energies that come up. Or it could be the moving water."

Whatever the reason, the Busch Brewery ghosts, according to Spookstalker, have a lot of fun! He's never felt any danger in his ghostly encounters at the Brewery, although one of the spirits did grab his hand. Terry described it as not cold like death, not warm like a human touch, but rather just the pressure of another's hand gripping his.

Whether any of these ghostly inhabitants of the Brewery will decide to have some fun and make an appearance at this year's Butcher's Brewery is yet to be seen. Of course, if you're not there, you certainly won't be having any fun with the ghosts. So enter the Butcher's Brewery this weekend...If You Dare!!! For more info on the Butcher's Brewery, contact Karla at 636-667-0088.

These friendly spirits know that living in the St. Clair area can be fun. For anyone else wanting to move to this great area, or if you're already here and need help buying or selling a home, I can help! Please contact me, Scott Hickinbotham, at 636-629-3419 or online. Let's make St. Clair a great place to call home.

 

As most residents of St. Clair are aware, the city is attempting to convince the FAA in Kansas City that closing the St. Clair Regional Airport located off Hwy. 47 in the Interstate 44 corridor north of town would be in the best interests of the city of St. Clair.

Most St. Clair residents seem to agree that the airport is a drain on city funds, as well as a waste of prime land where retail shops could be built, saving them from the 12 - 20 mile drive to shop in nearby cities. Residents are tired of spending their tax dollars on upkeep of the airport that seems to benefit only a few, many of whom are not St. Clair residents, while city parks, streets, sidewalks and even the city pool need those funds.

If the airport closes, the city would have to pay back the approximately $450,000 in Federal government grant money that has already been received and used for airport improvements. However, that money, along with other Federal funds amounting to a total of about $2.5 million, would possibly become available for redistribution to other nearby airports.

Towards this end, St. Clair officials recently met with officials from three of the four nearby airports, the Washington Regional Airport, the Sullivan Regional Airport, and the Cuba Municipal Airport (the Washington County Airport was invited but did not attend). In an effort to convince the FAA that the funds should continue to be used locally, these airports were encouraged to submit proposals as to what they would like to do or build, the time frames for such projects, design and engineering fees and other costs that might be incurred.

Overall, it looks like closing the St. Clair Regional Airport would be a good thing for not only St. Clair but surrounding airports as well. Our residents would benefit by getting new retail shops closer to home and freed-up tax dollars to go for important city upkeep and growth, while other nearby areas could receive additional funding for their airports. Looks like a win-win situation to me!

For anyone wanting to move to this great area, or if you're already here and need help buying or selling a home, I can help! Please contact me, Scott Hickinbotham, at 636-629-3419 or online. St. Clair--a great place to call home.

The Pumpkin Patch Awaits at Pin Oak Farms

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team

If you've never been to Pin Oak Farms U Pick Pumpkin Patch, this may be the year you'll want to go! Pin Oak Farms is located at 2431 Highway E in New Haven, which is about 30 miles north of St. Clair. The farm is open from 10 am to 5:30 pm every Saturday and Sunday in October, so pack the kids in the car and make a day of it. The pumpkin patch awaits!

At Pin Oak Farms you'll find free parking, free admission and even a free ride in the hay wagon to get to the U-Pick pumpkin patch, where your family can pick pumpkins of their choice, right off the vine. Kids 12 and under can get their very own FREE mini-pumpkin just by coloring one of the Halloween pictures you'll find here (print them off yourself) and taking it to Pin Oak Farms, where it will be put on display for other visitors to admire.

A 5-acre corn maze awaits those adventurous enough to tackle it. For younger adventurers, there's a straw-bale maze as well. Don't forget to let the kids pet the goats, rabbits, chickens and ducks that live at Pin Oak Farms. These guys are super friendly and love welcoming new folks to their home.

What kid doesn't love playing in a sandbox? Well, there's something better than that here - a "Tub O' Corn". Yup, just like a sandbox, only cleaner (Mom and Dad, you'll appreciate the "cleaner" part when it's time for the kids to get back in the car!)

A Kiddie Corral is also available at a charge of $7.50 for kids over 2. They'll be able to get in and out of the Corral all day, if you can talk them into leaving it, that is! Here they'll enjoy bounce houses in a variety of shapes, pedal tractors, and even mini pumpkin golf.

Getting hungry just thinking about all these fun activities? Well, local groups will be on hand with BBQ, local honey and apple butter and even kettle corn that you can take home and enjoy another day. There are also lots of fall decorations available to help you celebrate fall in your own home.

If you have a group that would enjoy a hayride tour lasting 30 to 45 minutes and a big bonfire where you can cook hot dogs, marshmallows and the like, or just sit around and enjoy each other's company and the beautiful flames, this is the place. These gatherings occur after dark and are $7.50 per person with a $75 minimum. You can learn more, including how to reserve one of these for your group at the Pin Oak Farms website.

Fall fun is never far away when you live in beautiful St. Clair, Missouri. Contact me, Scott Hickinbotham, online or by phone at 636-399-2296 to help you buy or sell in our area.

Hickinbotham Real Estate has been providing residential, commercial and acreage real estate services, as well as property management and investment property real estate services in Franklin County since 1976.

 

Federal Mortgage Servicer Reviews Target 4.5 Million Foreclosures

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team

According to a recent article in HousingWire on bank processing of foreclosures, 14 largest mortgage servicers will examine 4.5 million files to make sure that foreclosures were processed fairly. The article appears below in its entirety.

 

Monday, September 19th, 2011, 2:52 pm

by Jon Prior

The reviews federal regulators required of the 14 largest mortgage servicers to determine how many borrowers were harmed by faulty procedures will span nearly 4.5 million loan files, according to Acting Comptroller of the Currency John Walsh.

In the coming weeks, homeowners who faced a foreclosure will be able to request a review of their case if they believed they suffered financially as a result of a servicer's error. Direct mailings and an advertising campaign will target borrowers who received a foreclosure between Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2010.

In April, the 14 servicers, which include Bank of America (BAC: 6.03 -2.58%), JPMorgan Chase (JPM: 31.04 -2.67%), Wells Fargo (WFC: 24.42 -8.44%) and others, signed consent orders with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, its now absorbed Office of Thrift Supervision, and the Federal Reserve.

The orders settled an investigation into faulty servicing practices including robo-signing, dual-track foreclosures and a shortage of qualified staff to work with delinquent borrowers.

As part of their investigation, the regulators along with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. spent three months studying 2,800 loan files, roughly 200 per servicer, but required third parties to handle the look-back reviews of any pending or completed foreclosure in the allotted time.

Walsh, during an American Banker symposium Monday, said the initial review was "not nearly enough to answer all questions."

The consent order, signed by each member of the board of directors at the banks, required new oversight, a single point of contact for the borrowers, and the end of proceeding with a foreclosure while a modification is being considered.

"All of the steps I've described thus far are aimed at ensuring the process works going forward — the 'fixing what’s broken' piece. But for homeowners who ended up in foreclosure, the critical issue is whether they were financially harmed due to servicer deficiencies, errors or misrepresentation and, if they were, what kind of restitution should be provided," Walsh said.

He added these reviews are the "most ambitious and complex aspect" of the consent orders.

Walsh admitted many borrowers have become jaded by the inefficiencies and confusion of the process.

The files are currently being divided into targeted segments to identify which cases have the highest potential of financial injury.

Walsh said regulators are setting up a system for individual third-party consultants to examine the cases for any injury caused by the errors. The servicers will be required to draft a remediation plan subject for approval by the OCC and the Fed.

The reviews, he said, will take months.

Because Walsh said the regulators are working with the Justice Department and the other state attorneys general to "harmonize" the requirements from their separate investigation, the full impact from the servicing issues may not be realized for some time.

"While I wish that there was a faster way to address the problems, provide relief, and restore the smooth functioning of the housing market, the fact is that this process will take some time to complete," Walsh said.

Write to Jon Prior.

Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior

 

St. Clair Golfers Helping Young Burn Victims

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team

                                                                                                                     

Meramec Lakes Golf Course will hold a Missouri Children's Burn Camp Fundraiser on October 15th, and with the price of a day of fun on the course, St. Clair golfers get to help surviving burn victims attend a very special summer camp.

The Burns Recovered Support Group, Inc. was formed in 1983 by the St. John's Mercy Medical Center Burn Care Team along with a group of young burn survivors. The goal of this wonderful support group is threefold: to assist young burn survivors, to give support to medical facilities that treat burn victims, and to educate the public in preventing injuries through burn awareness.

In 1997 the Support Group founded the Missouri Children's Burn Camp, which is a typical week-long summer camp where children and teens can go to have fun while making friends and memories to last a lifetime. They swim, do crafts, go boating and do other fun-filled summer activities. What's not typical about this summer camp is that these campers are all survivors of severe burn injuries, which means they've spent at least four days in a Burn Center or have burns that affect the face, head, hands or feet.

Survivors of severe burn injuries must be residents of Missouri or Kansas and be between the ages of 6 and 17 to attend the camp. Through the generosity of golfers and others who participate throughout the year in Missouri Children's Burn Camp Fundraisers, no child is charged to attend the Burn Camp.

If you'd like to participate in this very worthwhile event, here are the details for this fundraiser:

  • Date:  Saturday, October 15, 2011
  • Time:  10 am Shotgun Start
  • Place:  Meramec Lakes Golf Course
  • Cost:  $100/player, which includes 18 holes of golf, use of a cart, BBQ lunch and prizes
  • Format:  4-person Scramble
  • Sponsors:  Boles Firefighters Association, Wayside, Inc., Villa Ridge Foods and USA Truck & Trailer Repair

For more info you can contact Sheila at 314-413-4431, or if you're ready to register, you can easily do so online, where you'll see other ways you can donate to this worthy cause.

If you live in St. Clair or the surrounding areas, you already know what a caring community it is, and the Missouri Children's Burn Camp is just another way that we show our love for our neighbors. For anyone wanting to move to this great area, or if you're already here and need help buying or selling a home, I can help! Please contact me, Scott Hickinbotham, at 636-629-3419 or online.

And thanks for helping the Missouri Children's Burn Camp by participating in the Meramec Lakes Golf fundraiser!

 

 

                                                                                                                    

Route 66 Farmers' Market--The Best Place to Find Local Produce in Saint Clair

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team

What better way to spend a crisp fall Saturday morning in Saint Clair than by browsing the Route 66 Farmers' Market—the best place to find local produce in Saint Clair. Open every Saturday morning this year from April 30th thru October 29th, you'd better hurry because the season is quickly winding down as winter approaches.

Saint Clair's Farmers' Market is located at 855 N. Commercial in the lot in front of the Health Mart Pharmacy, and, weather permitting, is open from 7am until noon. This time of the year, you'll be able to find pumpkins for fall decorating, as well as other seasonal favorites such as turnips and winter squash.

Throughout the season, fresh eggs are always available as are baked goods, created by our own fantastic local cooks. For those wanting something a little out of the ordinary or possibly to buy as a gift, there is also pottery, local original art, honey produced by Saint Clair bees and goat milk soap created by, you guessed it, local artisans using local goat's milk! Homemade arts and crafts are also in the mix, so why not start your Christmas shopping now!

If you've never been to the Farmers' Market, you're in for quite a treat. It's always fun to see what local artists and farmers have to offer, and the food produced locally always seems fresher and tastier than anything you can get in a grocery store. It's also a good feeling when you can support your own neighbors by buying fruits and vegetables they've grown locally.

Wouldn't you like to be able to pick up fresh local produce and eat it at your very own home in Saint Clair? If you're looking for a home in our area, contact me, Scott Hickinbotham, today. I can help you find the perfect “locally grown” home for you and your family.

Historic Route 66: What a Way to Get to St. Clair!

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team

If you're lucky enough to remember the TV show, Route 66, you may be impressed by the fact that Historic Route 66 runs through our fair city of St. Clair!

Route 66 was officially established on November 11, 1926, and this date is celebrated every year at various sites along what's affectionately called “the mother road”. It was decommissioned on June 27, 1985, and although a somewhat sad date, it too is remembered every year.

Cyrus Avery, known as the “father of Route 66”, was responsible for first mapping the route that would become Route 66. Beginning at Jackson Blvd. and Michigan Avenue in Chicago, the road runs through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, finally ending up in Santa Monica, California. It covers a total of 2400 miles, and was originally the “National Old Trails Highway”.

Route 66 is more than just a road, however, since it has become a symbol of our country's 20th century trek west. It embodies all the dreams, tears and trials that motivated Americans as they made the long trip west throughout the years of the road's heyday.

While old Route 66 no longer shows up on maps, anyone interested in taking a tour of Historic Route 66 may want to purchase a map or guide on the Historic 66 site. There are also great books, DVD's, and lots of other info on this site, as well as links to various photos that might be of interest to history buffs.

For those traveling Route 66 or coming to St. Clair by any other road, if you've decided this is the place you want to call home, the Hickinbotham Real Estate Team is ready to help you find the perfect spot in this beautiful countryside. Contact us online or give me, Scott Hickinbotham or Cathy Wilson, a call today at 636-399-2296/636-399-4285.

 

 

 

 

Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7

Contact Information

Photo of Hickinbotham Real Estate Team Real Estate
Hickinbotham Real Estate Team
Scott Hickinbotham
862 S. Outer Rd.
St. Clair MO 63077
Scott: (636) 399-2296
Office: (636) 629-3419
Fax: 636-629-4462