Grant’s Farm in St. Louis may become the next national park

The Busch family, of Anheuser-Busch fame, is considering transferring their 273-acre animal preserve, Grant’s Farm, to the National Park Service.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the National Park Service has completed a reconnaisance study of the property, which is the initial step in considering a new park site.

The Busch family has owned the St. Louis farm, once the property of President Ulysses S. Grant, for more than a century. It has been operated as a free family attraction for 55 years. It is visited by more than 500,000 people each year.

Grant’s Farm features a French Revival mansion, known as the “Big House,” two former Grant residences (including Hardscrabble Cabin, shown in the photo above), and is home to 900 animals.

The property is adjacent to a site already operated by the National Park Service – the Ulysses S. Grant Historic Site. The report showed that it has national historic significance, both because it used to be owned by Grant and because of the Busch family’s history and influence in American business.

The report is the first step in determining a National Park Service site. Congress ultimately has to decide whether or not to create a new national park.

[Photo credit: Flickr user mhowry]