This State Historic Site celebrates the great contribution to American music by Scott Joplin, "The King of Ragtime." Joplin, born in Texas in 1868, was a child prodigy who learned to play several instruments and to compose and improvise music, both classical and inspired by black musicians of the minstrel tradition. He moved to Sedalia, Missouri, where in 1896 he enrolled in the music department at George R. Smith College and produced his first well-known publication, "The Maple Leaf Rag," which became a national sheet-music best seller. With a growing national reputation, Joplin and his wife, Belle, moved to St. Louis in the spring of 1900. They rented a second-floor apartment in this modest building from 1900 to 1903, which was then in a densely populated blue-collar district of African Americans and German immigrants, with the notorious Chestnut Valley neighborhood of honky-tonks and dives nearby. The house is typical of a St. Louis two-story multifamily residence, plain with modest touches of Italianate in its arched windows and doors and low-pitched roofs with bracketed eaves. Now restored and furnished to the early-twentieth-century period, the house opened as a museum in 1991. The Rosebud Café, which was a nearby center for ragtime in Joplin's day, was reconstructed next door to the house in 2000.
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Scott Joplin House State Historic Site
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