Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Maybe if Fenton hadn't been built on an Indian burial ground, that bridge would be done by now.
Fenton has a rich and interesting history. Did you know... Walmart was built on an old Indian burial ground. In 1998, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that developer Gary Grewe clashed with archaeologist Joe Harl over the possibility of Native American remains in the area that was to become Gravois Bluffs. Harl was hired by Fenton residents to confirm the existence of Indian mounds on the property—similar to those found at the Cahokia Mounds site in Illinois. Harl said the fact the old Fenton has a Mound Street should set off a red flag. The Fenton Historical Society said that any remains found would have been given to a Native American tribe to bury. This webpage documents the dig, as conducted by students from the St. Louis Community…
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Ste. Genevieve still has a rustic French flavor, thanks to the French farmers who settled this area 200 years ago.
Missouri’s earliest thriving communities were settled along the banks of the Mississippi, to take advantage of the river’s trade routes. Mega-highways have long since made river travel obsolete, but historic river towns are still a place for modern travelers seeking an adventurous departure from ordinary life. Ste. Genevieve, founded around the 1740’s, is one of the oldest settlements west of the Mississippi. French farmers and fur traders built the original town and today there are still 50 or so historic buildings in the area. The town’s National Historic Landmark District has dozens of buildings dating to the 18th and early 19th centuries. Ste. Genevieve’s provides an excellent map for a one-mile self-guided walking tour of the historic…
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Find out what happened in the region’s past with a little help from your local bookstore or library.
Fenton and High Ridge didn’t just spring up overnight, but sometimes it’s hard to track down the history of a smaller town. Settlers from back east started coming to what would someday be Fenton in 1779, back when the land was owned by the Spanish government. Of course many of us wouldn’t know that if the City of Fenton hadn’t commissioned a book about the little town back in 1992. It would seem that High Ridge isn’t considered bookworthy as yet, though the area does warrant an entry in Wikipedia. River City: The Story of Fenton, Missouri, by Della Lang. This book is available through the St. Louis County and Jefferson County libraries, but is no longer in print. A rambling account of Fenton’s founders and a bunch of old black-and-white …
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Step back in time and visit historic St. Charles, the location of Missouri’s first capital.
St. Charles is very proud of its past and has preserved a chunk of old Main Street just as it was when Daniel Boone might have dropped in for a visit. Historic St. Charles is great day trip whether you're wanting a history field trip for the kids, a shopping trip with the girls, or a romantic date with your special someone. First Capitol Building: St. Charles is home to Missouri’s first capitol building, a plain brick and timber building on Main Street where the House and Senate met while Jefferson City was being constructed. For several years the state government ran in a few rooms on the second floor over a general store and a carpenter’s shop. The fully restored building is now run by the state park system. Tours are $4 for adults, $2.…
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Jefferson County Library debuts historical video featuring two families whose farm has been in operation for more than 100 years.
Jefferson County Century Farm Families: Experts in Their Fields is a local history program about farming in Jefferson County since World War II. The DVD features two of the county’s oldest families, the Bonakers of Cedar Hill and the Webers of Dittmer. The Century Farm designation is bestowed by the University of Missouri Extension Service and recognizes family farms that include the original homestead and have been in continuous operation for at least 100 years, with the descendants still earning their living from farming. Three generations of the Stanley Bonaker and Melba Weber families were interviewed; their recollections, observations and hopes for the future are the focus of this 30-minute video program. Local historian Carole …
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Scouts from Fenton Troop 778 work to restore a lost cemetery where members of the Bowles and Vandover families are buried.
Twenty five volunteers from Boy Scout Troop 778 hacked, raked and hauled out truck loads of brush from a forgotten cemetery in Fenton last Saturday. The small family plot is the final resting place for members of the Bowles and Vandover families and hasn’t been used in nearly a hundred years. The cemetery used to be located between estates belonging to the Bowles and Vandover families. The surrounding property has since been redeveloped and turned into the Greenmar Apartments to the east and smaller private homes to the west. No one claims the cemetery anymore, which now rests on common ground. Vandals have rediscovered the site, as evidenced by knocked over headstones, splattered paint and discarded beer cans. The cemetery has no road …
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Plenty of evidence exists of the farming families and Native American roots in the area that is a stone's throw across the river from Fenton.
- THE NEIGHBORHOOD FILES
- Jill Arnone
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Did you ever have one of those recurring dreams? You're driving down the road, heading for a curve and the river is just there on the side--it all feels very familiar-- and then you wake up? That is the feeling I had when my mom and I drove south on old Gravois Road, just this side of the Meramec River. There is no longer a bridge crossing into Fenton, since it is being rebuilt. But if you turn right just prior to the river, you are in Minnie Ha Ha Park which is the newest addition to the City of Sunset Hills' 70 acres of park properties. "Minnie has a rich history of recreation, including a dance hall and boat dock in the '20s and '30s and provided a place of passage over the Meramec River for decades," said Gerald Brown, director of …