St. Louis history | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis history

Helen Lubeley Murray fills the display cases at Lubeley's Bakery Thursday morning.
Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

 Customers have been lining up before sunrise all this week at Lubeley’s Bakery and Deli in south St. Louis County for one last chance to buy their favorite strudels and stollens and split-layer cakes. The bakery will close on Saturday, after 80 years of business in the St. Louis area.

Helen Lubeley Murray said she and her brother Bob — who took over the bakery from their parents four decades ago — are going to hang up their aprons and retire.

Peggy Hubbard breaks up a small scuffle between demonstrators over whether a Black Lives Matter sign could be placed in the arm of the soldier on the statue on Tuesday, May 30, 2017.
Jenny Simeone-Cases | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated May 31 with information on aldermanic hearing — St. Louis’ parks committee weighed in Wednesday on the controversy surrounding the memorial to Confederate soldiers in Forest Park.

The first in a series of hearings on a bill sponsored by Alderwoman Sharon Tyus, D-1st Ward, came the day after those for and against keeping the monument in its current location held simultaneous protests.

Marcia and Tim Dorsey's fully rehabbed 1850s stone house in Carondelet. Marcia lived in this house when she was a girl, but after it left her family's hands, the home fell into disrepair. In 2014, the Dorseys began the process of rehabilitating it.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Just east of Broadway in the Patch neighborhood of Carondelet stands a small, rough-cut stone house. The structure, over 160 years old, is set to receive a 'Most Enhanced' building award from the Landmarks Association of St. Louis this Thursday evening.

Maureen Kavanaugh recently released an updated version of Elizabeth McNulty’s popular book “St. Louis Then and Now,” which pairs archive and contemporary photographs that tell the story of St. Louis through its landmarks.

On Tuesday, Kavanaugh joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to discuss the updated book.

“Some of it is exactly the same,” Kavanaugh said of the book.

In most circumstances, the ‘then’ and ‘now’ photos are taken from the same angle, though Kavanaugh said that wasn’t possible in every instance because of new construction.

A mob stops a street car during the East St. Louis race riots, which started on July 2, 1917.
University of Massachusetts-Amherst Libraries

The East St. Louis race riots have gone down in history as some of the worst examples of race relations in the St. Louis region. This Sunday, May 28, is the 100-year anniversary of the first, smaller riot. July 2 is the 100-year anniversary of one of the bloodiest race riots in the 1900s.

Related: St. Louis History in Black and White: East St. Louis Race Riot

The floating McDonald's was a fixture on the St. Louis riverfront for 20 years but closed in 2000.
(Courtesy of Cameron Collins)

Do you pine for the swinging orange chairs and plush booths of The Parkmoor? Do you miss the thrill of the Coral Court Motel on Watson? Do you wish you could visit the orange soda-guzzling Phil the Gorilla, the king of the St. Louis Zoo?

You’re not alone in that pang you feel when you think back on the bygone St. Louis institutions of yesteryear. Cameron Collins, the author of the popular local Distilled History blog, has felt the nostalgia too.

Joe Edwards at Chuck Berry at Blueberry Hill.
Courtesy Blueberry Hill

Legendary musician Chuck Berry, the “poet laureate” of rock 'n roll, died Saturday, at his home in St. Charles. He left behind him a changed world of music, culture, friendship and a dedication to the St. Louis region that continued until the very end.

Related: Obituary: Chuck Berry dies. He was the ‘poet laureate’ of rock ‘n’ roll

Gwen Moore and Percy Green joined "St. Louis on the Air" to discuss the Missouri History Museum's recent exhibit "#1 in Civil Rights."
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

If you remember the day two St. Louis activists climbed 125 feet up a construction ladder on the unfinished north leg of the Gateway Arch, you remember a key moment of the civil rights movement in St. Louis. Percy Green was one of the people who climbed the Arch on July 14, 1964.

Rebecca Copeland, Rob Maesaka and Suzanne Sakahara discussed the history and legacy of Japanese internment, almost 75 years after the executive order that paved the way for it was signed.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Retired Lindenwood University professor Suzanne Sakahara was just six years old when she witnessed two FBI agents enter her house on Vashon Island, Washington, in 1942. They searched the house from top to bottom, looking for hunting rifles and radios for confiscation.

“They even looked in the kitchen at the length of our knives,” Sakahara said on Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air. “If you had too long of a knife, they confiscated it.”

Dick Henmi is a noted St. Louis architect, best known for the so-called "flying saucer" building on Grand, but his journey to St. Louis started during a dark period of American history.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

If you don’t know Richard (Dick) Henmi by name, you definitely know one of his most iconic contributions to St. Louis’ architectural assembly: the so-called "flying saucer" building in Council Plaza off of Grand Boulevard. Henmi designed that building in 1967.

Jim Merkel is the author of "Colorful Characters of St. Louis."
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis has a colorful past filled with interesting characters, so it makes sense that local author Jim Merkel would turn his next literary sights on the people that made St. Louis what it is today.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, Merkel discussed his book, “Colorful Characters of St. Louis” with host Don Marsh.

Pierre Laclède and Auguste Chouteau are credited with the founding of St. Louis in 1764.
Wikimedia Commons

The common version of the founding of St. Louis goes something like this: Pierre Laclède was told by the French government to travel from New Orleans and construct a trading post near the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers in 1763. Bringing along his stepson, Auguste Chouteau, in early 1764, Laclède opened a trading post 18 miles south of the confluence in what would become St. Louis.

In 1916, women in St. Louis brought an era of non-violent protest to the women's suffrage movement.
Wikimedia Commons | http://bit.ly/2bzknmM

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, we looked back on a movement 100 years ago in St. Louis when 3,000 women marched to remind Democratic National Convention attendees that women still didn’t have the right to vote. That was in June of 1916, four years before women won the right to cast ballots on Aug. 26, 1920, when the Nineteenth Amendment became part of the U.S. Constitution.

St. Louis Fire, illustration in a German book from 1857.
Henry Lewis | Wikimedia Commons

Fires, floods, tornadoes, oh my! St. Louis has been witness to many kinds of disaster over the years and on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, we talked about the most disastrous ones … and where you can find remnants of their existence still today.

Bulldozers and dump trucks are what's in store for the vacant mall most recently known as Crestwood Court as redevelopment plans are in the works. Thousands of residents came to say good-bye at a food truck festival held Saturday.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

Santa Claus. That’s the first thing Carol Feldman thinks of when she recalls her childhood memories of the mall known then as Crestwood Plaza off Watson Road.

'Secret St. Louis' author Dave Baugher walked us through the backstories of 10 local sights and their backstories
Google Maps

Updated 9:21 a.m., March 30 with clarification on No. 8 - As a St. Louisan, there are things we pass by all the time that are just plain weird. How many of us actually stop to ask why they are that way? That’s the reasoning behind St. Louis Public Radio’s Curious Louis project and also why local author Dave Baugher wrote a book investigating all the things he wanted to know the backstory of.

OakleyOriginals | Flickr | http://bit.ly/1Qd8rzx

Prolific writer Howard Megdal, whose work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, USA Today, among others, just released his fourth book “The Cardinals Way: How One Team Embraced Tradition and Moneyball at the Same Time.” In it, he details how the Cardinals franchise has been able to embrace both “moneyball” and tradition to become one of the most beloved and successful teams in the sport.

Missouri History Museum

Last week after the St. Louis Rams officially became no more and opted to move to Los Angeles, the Missouri History Museum sent out a little email. It read:

“While some organizations are leaving St. Louis, we’re staying. Today we’re launching the #staySTL campaign. We need you to join with us and show the world how much we love the St. Louis region. Visit Facebook, Twitter, change your profile picture and help us share the #staySTL logo.

Press Image courtesy of Kimberley French, 20th Century Fox

If you haven’t seen the “The Revenant,” nominated for 12 Oscars, you’ve probably heard about the mythologized performance of Best Actor-hungry Leonardo DiCaprio who went to great lengths to make his performance as the wild and ferocious frontiersman Hugh Glass believable.

Wikimedia Commons

Downtown St. Louis has been characterized by myriad personae over the years. It’s a place where Native Americans arrived by canoe and built a grand mound city. It’s also a place that holds both great Victorian architecture and International Style skyscrapers.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Joe Johnston has been cataloguing the history of Missouri’s vigilantism for years—last November, he joined “St. Louis on the Air” to discuss the sweeping highs and lows of such history. On Wednesday’s show, Johnston joined host Don Marsh once again to talk about “It Ends Here: Missouri’s Last Vigilante,” his latest book.

The Campbell House Museum

On Thanksgiving, every year from 1906 until 1931, a luscious, mysterious Thanksgiving dinner would appear before the children living at Father Dunne’s Newsboys Home and Protectorate, formerly located at 3010 Washington Ave. in downtown St. Louis. The home was a place for orphaned or homeless boys, often newsboys, who were too old to take shelter at typical orphanages.

The city is preparing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the final construction of the Gateway Arch, shown here from Luther Ely Smith Square in downtown.
Courtesy CityArchRiver Foundation

St. Louisans will have three opportunities to celebrate the Gateway Arch's 50th anniversary, which is one week from Wednesday.

Marilynne Bradley painted over 200 watercolors of St. Louis restaurants, parks, and other landmarks.
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis has long been proud of its famous (and infamous) places: the Arch, Gaslight Square, The Fabulous Fox Theatre, Coral Court Motel. Marilynne Bradley’s “Once Upon a Time in St. Louis: An Illustrated Trip Through the Past” features 86 of those landmarks, painted in watercolor and accompanied by their histories.

Kevin Kious (left) and Stefene Russell (right), co-authors of “St. Louis Brews, 2nd Edition: The History of Brewing in the Gateway City.”
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

Everyone knows St. Louis is a beer city as much as a river city or Gateway city or 1904 World’s Fair city. But not everyone has the encyclopedic knowledge of the history of brewing in St. Louis that the second edition of “St. Louis Brews” provides.

“St. Louis Brews: The History of Brewing in the Gateway City” features a chronology of brewing history in and around St. Louis; profiles of over 100 local breweries; biographies of the household names Busch and Anheuser; and, new to the second edition, an expansive survey of the city’s prospering craft beer scene.

A sign in Old Mines, Mo., announces that Missouri French, or Paw Paw French, speakers live there 300 years after it was established. Still, the dialect is considered highly endangered.
Courtesy Illinois Country French Preservation Inc. | Facebook

St. Louisans can now take classes to learn a nearly dead dialect of French once spoken throughout eastern Missouri.

Paw Paw French, also known as Illinois Country French or Missouri French, originated with early French settlers to the St. Louis region. It was spoken across a wide area, ranging from Vincennes, Ind., through Illinois, to the Missouri Ozarks, including areas like Old Mines (La Vieille Mine), Ste. Genevieve and Potosi.

Reproduced from Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d’Alembert, comps. and eds., Dictionnaire raisonnée des arts, des sciences, et des métiers, Planches, vol. 1 (1762).

It is often told that St. Louis was founded by French fur traders Pierre Laclède and Auguste Chouteau. However, little is known about how one man, Louis St. Ange de Bellerive, may be the original historical figure responsible for the early origins of the city.

Carl Ekberg and Sharon Person, authors of “St. Louis Rising: The French Regime of Louis St. Ange De Bellerive,” stopped by St. Louis on the Air to provide historical insight that challenges the often told story about the discovery of St. Louis.

Missouri Gov. Alexander McNair's residence was at the northwest corner of Main and Spruce Streets. Daguerreotype by Thomas M. Easterly, 1850.
Courtesy of the Missouri History Museum

Many of St. Louis’ buildings have been lost to time, disaster, or destruction. It may seem like an inevitable byproduct of progress, but what do we lose when we lose a historic building? 

“Sometimes what we lose is so much more than the physical structure, it’s our collective, shared memory,” said Andrew Wanko, public historian at the Missouri History Museum, in a conversation with “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Tuesday.

"Lost Buildings of St. Louis" is a new exhibit at the museum that shares the stories behind many of St. Louis’ lost buildings.   

Paul Sableman | Flickr

A rare, mid-19th century, triangular type of house known as a "flounder" is the subject of a survey being conducted by the city of St. Louis.

Ulysses S. Grant
(via Wikimedia Commons/U.S. Library of Congress)

Four presidents have ties to the St. Louis area, and each has left his mark on it.

Ulysses S. Grant came to St. Louis in 1843 after graduating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and farmed in the St. Louis area for six years. He met his future wife here; Julia Dent was the sister of one of Grant’s classmates at West Point. The two were married in St. Louis in 1848. Grant led the Union armies to victory in the Civil War, and was elected the 18th president of the United States, taking office in 1869.

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