Englishman Henry Shaw was a businessman who
found great success in St. Louis, Missouri. One of his many real
estate acquisitions was a large tract of land southwest of the
city where he built a country home. Shaw traveled widely and,
in 1851, he visited the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, the Crystal
Palace and Chatsworth. He returned home determined to create
a garden on his property equal to Kew. In 1859 he opened "Shaw's
Garden" to the public.
The same year, he made a will that would create
the Missouri Botanical Garden as a charitable trust upon his
death. He died in 1889 and the Missouri Botanical Garden was
established. The 150th Anniversary is dated from the year Shaw
opened the garden to the public.
In the 1880s, Shaw engaged his favorite architect
George I. Barnett to build a smallish brick greenhouse to house
palms, citrus and other tropical plants. Called the Linnean House,
it is flanked by three reflecting pools that contain tropical
waterlilies in the summer. At the time these photos were taken,
the tropicals were just being set out as the ponds are unheated.