In 1894, Henry Schulz built a large brick stable house in pastureland at the corner of Gore and Marshall, less than a block from the Pacific Railroad line. He kept his wagon team there in soon to be Webster Groves (est. 1896). People would travel by train from the “congested” city of St. Louis, then hire Henry’s team to store and move their goods, furniture, and families to developing subdivisions nearby, one known by some as “Queen of the Suburbs.”
Christmas time 1960. Henry’s daughter Harriet set a bale of straw on Gore Avenue. She wrapped it with a red ribbon, finished with a well-tied decorative bow. She hoped to draw customers in to the stables to purchase holly and wreaths to decorate their homes for the Holiday season. The Christmas Store at Rolling Ridge Nursery is still going strong today. Her custom bows are still being tied today by her granddaughter Lynn.
As “big box” stores devoured the independent nurseries, Rolling Ridge endured. Under leadership of Jim III, with a few long time employees including his oldest daughter Lynn; the nursery maintained it’s charm and quality customer service. They relentlessly focused on adding value to shopping local. For over a decade, Jim also hosted “Inside-Out” a local home and gardening show on AM radio station KTRS, “the BIG 550.”
In 1959, Jim McMillan Jr and his wife Harriet Schulz McMillan inherited the stable. The small business would morph with the community from moving and housing goods and providing grain and feed for new “settlers,” to supplying their ongoing needs for compost and straw as homesites were established.
Into the 1960’s Jim, Harriet and their sons, Jim III and Sandy, the business now known as Rolling Ridge Nursery kept pace with the times. With homesites established and subdivisions expanding, the business transformed itself into a full service lawn and garden center. Earning degrees in Horticulture from University of Missouri, Jim and Sandy brought timely expertise in lawn and landscape maintenance.