The best kept secret in Pike County, Mo.
Thu, 23 Feb 2012 16:46:28 GMT —
Don't you hate when you're told a secret, and can't tell anyone?
KHQA's Chad Douglas was recently told about a secret in Pike County, Missouri, and he's not about to stay mum.
He blows that secret wide open in this latest Points of Interest report.
You have to look quickly or you'll miss it. It's just off of Highway 79 about five miles south of Louisiana. Turn down a winding gravel road, and at the end is the Village of the Blue Rose, and you can see what it's all about.
"I see beauty. I see simple things. I see reminders for me to appreciate the little things in life." Founder Rose Gronemeyer said.
The name of the village came from a book called The Blue Rose. The book compares special needs children to a blue rose.
"They're rare, they're delicate, and they need a little extra care and attention. And so we thought these are our blue roses," Gronemeyer said.
Gronemeyer is a retired special education teacher.
"Parents would ask me, 'What's going to happen to my child when they become an adult?' We got together and we decided we could build a village," Gronemeyer said.
So a group was organized as a not for profit agency. They opened a small shop in Florissant, Missouri, which is still open by the way, and raised money for some land. In 1996, the group found this area for sale. Once the group saw the mirror and lamps in one of the bathrooms, it was pretty much a done deal. Now the Village of the Blue Rose is a Bed and Breakfast, restaurant, and a couple of shops, mostly run by adults with developmental disabilities.
"I am a waiter. I am a newspaper and mail," Donald Ringling said.
"Bus tables and dishes, bird feeders, and vacuum," Scott Walters said.
Both are employees who also live at The Village of the Blue Rose.
Another really cool thing about the Village of the Blue Rose is it sets at about the highest point in Pike County so you get a great panoramic view, and if you're looking for a place just to relax, this may be the place.
"You'll have a wonderful experience. We have a wonderful view that God has blessed us with," Tom Frieder said.
"One of the important things is it's peace and tranquility. They can walk and enjoy the quietness," Gronemeyer said.
And this secret is catching on. The Village of the Blue Rose doesn't spend a penny on advertising, but seems to have a steady lunch and dinner crowd.
"The food is excellent, you can't go wrong with anything," Frieder said.
The residents also man the antique shop and flea market that are on the property. It can be a nice, easy, relaxing getaway.
You can also rent out the Village of the Blue Rose for private parties, even wedding on the bluff overlooking the Mighty Mississippi. For more information, you can visit www.villagebluerose.org/.
Right now, The Village of the Blue Rose can accommodate seven residents.
There's a house for the three men, and a separate house for the four women.
Each has a house parent who lives in the home.
Hopes are in the future to build another living complex so The Village can add more residents to its staff.
Have you been to The Village of the Blue Rose? Post your story below or on our Facebook page here.