With its traditions of frontier and riverboat days, the clubhouse gracefully blends the nostalgia of those early times with the gracious ambiance of today.
The River Club was organized in 1948 and the clubhouse completed in 1950. Although partially burned out in December 1954, the building was rebuilt and redecorated within four months.
Hanging in the entrance hall are many scenes of those early days, as well as four pencil sketches of riverboats by Gary Lucy, reminiscent of paddle wheelers cruising the Missouri River. The main dining room is graced with an original oil of a riverboat by Anthony Benton Gude, grandson of Thomas Hart Benton. Over the fireplace in the living room is a Thomas Hart Benton masterpiece depicting a scene of Indians and trappers as they might have been noted on the river site by Kit Carson or Jim Bridger.
And from the club’s living room it has been said that “A man can stand and see five counties and two states and the stream of life through them.”
Toward the west, where the sun pauses in a shower of shimmering crimson before its nightward trek, the plains of Kansas begin and to the north blossom the rolling hills of Missouri.
A plane flies low toward a great airport nested in the river valley and a train, its link of boxcars seeming endless, chugs away earnestly. Over viaducts knotting the great city, automobiles gleam as they swiftly course to a million destinations.
Here a man can stand and see a vivid world, its machines, its buildings spread out across vast industrial plains, its natural panorama of the sky, river and golden farm fields close to the city – a dramatic view of things moving and still, of life hurrying, of clouds drifting.
This is The River Club.