Belleville Historical Society | St. Louis Public Radio

Belleville Historical Society

Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

When Robert Charles Howard retires as conductor of the Belleville Philharmonic Orchestra in a few weeks, he hopes a certain musical instrument will follow in his footsteps: an aging 32-inch timpani that has lost much of its luster.

“I’ll miss the job, but I won’t miss this,” Howard said with a smile, as he rolled the dented kettle drum back into its place in the instrument storage room at the orchestra’s rehearsal hall in downtown Belleville.

(Courtesy: Catherine Betz)

It’s been 46 years, but people still ask Bob Goalby about the 1968 Masters Tournament.

“If he would have signed his card right, we would have tied, and we would have had a playoff,” Goalby told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh.

Goalby and Roberto De Vicenzo were tied after 72 holes of regulation play, and destined for an 18-hole playoff the next day. Instead, a mistake on De Vicenzo’s scorecard gave Goalby the championship that day.

Belleville Celebrates Bicentennial, Looks Ahead

Dec 30, 2014
Five men were inducted into the Belleville Walk of Fame in 2014: Ninian Edwards, Lyman Trumull, Bob Goalby, George Blair and Christian "Buddy" Ebsen.
Larry Betz / Belleville Historical Society

You’ve stumbled across the cakes, watched the fireworks and heard the stories about St. Louis’ 250th anniversary. But nearby Belleville also is celebrating a milestone: 2014 marked the Illinois city’s bicentennial.

Belleville was founded in 1814 when George Blair donated an acre of his farmland for the city, part of a deal that moved the St. Clair County seat from Cahokia, on the Mississippi River, to the center of the county.