Area News

Items of historical interest from the Sappington-Concord area are listed below:

The New Dressel Elementary School

 

The original Dressel School was brought back into the school district in 2011. The building was then demolished in 2015 to make way for the new Dressel School. It was dedicated in a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, August 2 followed by an open house from 4:30 to 6:30 that was open to the public.

The original plaque for the dedication of the first Dressel School was stored in the SCHS archives for many years. The Society has given the plaque to Lindbergh Schools and it will be placed in the new Dressel School in the main meeting room.

YouTube virtual tour of New school

South County Times article
http://www.timesnewspapers.com/Articles-Features-c-2017-07-27-201620.114137-sub-Welcome-To-The-New-Dressel-School.html

http://www.sunset-hills.com/311/School
Sunset Hills Historical Society history of the area

The Patch newspaper
https://patch.com/missouri/affton/dressel-elementary-officially-back-in-lindbergh-schood8f2bd3b07

DRESSEL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION
This Lindbergh Schools webpage includes a slideshow of the new Dresse School.
Dressel Elementary School will be Lindbergh’s sixth elementary school when it opens in fall 2017. Dressel is designed as a neighborhood school with the capacity to serve 650 students in grades K-5. It will provide essential relief to overcrowding district wide. The 99,116-square-foot building will sit on 10 acres of land. Features include:

    • Designated classroom wings for each grade level
    • 21st century modern, student-centered library
    • STEM areas in each grade level to enhance student learning and exploration
    • Energy-efficient LED lighting and mechanical system
    • Competition size gym
    • Accessible, modern playground
    • New main entrance on Tesson Ferry Road, with secondary access from Musick Avenue
    • Tornado safe rooms that double as multipurpose meeting rooms

Lindbergh sets open house for Dressel Elementary
http://www.callnewspapers.com/Articles-School-News-i-2017-07-12-286924.112112-Lindbergh-sets-open-house-for-Dressel-Elementary.html

Hamby to serve as Dressel Elementary principal
http://www.callnewspapers.com/Articles-Our-Town-i-2016-12-07-285327.112112-Hamby-to-serve-as-Dressel-Elementary-principal.html

Aug. 2 Public Tour Of New Dressel Elementary
South County Times

Below is the Lindbergh School invitation to the public to attend the Dressel School open house on August 2, 2017.

South County Times article 7-28-17

 

The Sappington-Concord Historical Society is featured this morning on the front page of the South County Times. It is in conjunction with the opening of the new Dressel School next Wednesday, the SCHS 25 anniversary and the new SCHS Ross A Wagner History Center. The paper is on your driveway in the red wrapper. Or see it on-line at: http://tinyurl.com/ycxyzsfl Of related interest is the President’s message.

The people in the photo are all current board members. The photo was taken by Ursule Ruhl at the new Ross A Wagner History Center. Please note that the Wagner Center is not open to the public at this time.

In the foreground of the photo is one of the fences on Ross’ farm. The cedar fence posts are said to have been installed during World War II by German prisoners of war.

Ross’ house is in the background. Currently plans are under way for the maintenance and development of the property with an eye toward maintaining the legacy of Ross Wager as both an historian and a farmer.

If you would like to offer time, dollars, or your special skills to this effort, contact Stephen Hanpeter at schs.webmanager@gmail.com.

 

 

 

Message from the SCHS President

 

Sappington-Concord Memorial Park looking towards the former Johnny's Market property

The view from Sappington-Concord Memorial Park toward the Johnny’s Market property which was bought by the Lindbergh Schools for its new district offices. In the foreground is the World War II Honor Roll monument, first erected in 1945 as a wooden monument and rebuilt in 1995 by Sappington-Concord Historical Society with Missouri red granite. Photo, January 14, 2016

Developments for Sappington-Concord Historical Society in its 25th year

See new photo of Ross A Wagner History Center as of 7-28-2017 published in the South County Times or on page about the article.

Sappington-Concord Historical Society is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. As it turns 25, it can look back on many accomplishments, including its history book, “Sappington-Concord: A History” and its book on local veterans, “Hometown Heroes.” Early on, the Society started quarterly presentations and its wonderful, informative Newsletter. In 1995, the Society restored the World War II Honor Roll monument in Memorial Park in front of the former Johnny’s Market and started the annual SCHS Memorial Day ceremony, now held on the green at St Lucas. The Society also held fundraiser/social events, including its famous turtle soup fish fries for a number of years. For educating students, the Society for some years ran hands-on activities both in schools and outside, the Past and Present Partnership, and held its Tombstone Tales programs for kids. In 2016 and 2017, SCHS  partnered with AIA (the Archaeological Institute of America, St Louis Society) and the Sappington House in running an archaeological dig at Sappington House for high school students. As the Society continues to serve the Sappington-Concord community, times change and with it so do the programs and other activities of the Society. Listed below are three major announcements that were made at the SCHS 25th Anniversary Celebration on April 23, 2017 and also at the 2017 annual Memorial Day ceremony on the green at St Lucas. They are;
The gifting of a memorial plaque to the Lindbergh Schools for its new administrative offices
The re-landscaping of Memorial Park
The bequest to SCHS from Ross Wagner of his house and farm
Dressel School plaque

Sappington-Concord Historical Society, was founded in conjunction with the Lindbergh Schools in 1992. A major purpose of of the Society was to help Lindbergh students learn more about their local history. The Society’s close relationship with the Lindbergh Schools has continued ever since. On its 20th anniversary, the Society restored the Concord School bell which was sealed in its cupola for many years. It now sits at the entrance to the school where students can see it every day as they enter.

For its 25th anniversary, the Society is presenting to the Lindbergh Schools an historical plaque to put in the lobby of its new administrative offices. These offices are on the site of the former Johnny’s Market at the intersection of Gravois, Sappington and Denny Roads. The plaque illustrates the history of Johnny’s Market and all of the preceding businesses at that crossroads of commerce and community. It has photos of Johnny’s and a timeline listing all business on the site. Members of the Society will be invited to the dedication of the new offices in late 2017 and they will be able to see the plaque mounted on a wall in the lobby.

The Society presented another plaque recently to the Lindbergh Schools, the original dedication plaque from Dressel School. The plaque resided in the SCHS archives for a number of years, but it has been restored and will be replaced in the newly rebuilt Dressel School along with the new dedication plaque for the 2017 school.

SCHS members are invited to attend a Dressel School ribbon cutting and open house event on Aug. 2 at 10:00 am for the new Dressel School.

When you are driving through the intersection of Gravois, Sappington and Denny Roads, you will notice the progress on the construction of the new Lindbergh Schools administrative office building. The basic structure of the building is up and the roof is on. Eventually you will also see changes in Sappington-Concord Memorial Park. In the center of the park is the  SCHS World War II Honor Roll monument made of Missouri red granite erected in 1992. The Lindbergh Schools will be giving the park a new look as they re-landscape the park. This will be of mutual benefit to both Sappington-Concord Historical Society and the Lindbergh Schools and will ensure the long term care of the park and the monument. The park will continue as Sappington-Concord Memorial Park, and the SCHS World War II Honor Roll monument will remain in the park. The Society will continue its ownership of the monument and will maintain the World War II Honor Roll as needed. Lindbergh Schools will maintain the grounds of the park.

The SCHS World War II Honor Roll will probably be lifted to a higher and more prominent place in the park. This will ensure that the monument will continue to be within view of drivers passing by on all three sides of the park. The monument daily reminds us of the sacrifices of the men and women who have served our country.

Boy Scout Troop 646 of St Catherine Laboure maintained Memorial Park for a number of decades as a service to the Sappington-Concord community. Multiple generations of Scouts and their leaders showed their work ethic, team work and responsibility in taking care of the park as they cut the grass, and cared for the trees and flower beds. The Lindbergh Schools have now taken over maintenance of the park and the Scouts have retired from their community service taking care of the park.

At the SCHS annual 2017 Memorial Day ceremony, SCHS presented a certificate of recognition to Boy Scout Troop 646 for its years of hard work and dedication in maintaining the park. Sappington-Concord Historical Society looks forward to many more years of partnering with Boy Scout Troop 646 when the Scouts participate in the SCHS annual Memorial Day ceremony on the green at St Lucas.

Ross Wagner helped found Sappington-Concord Historical Society in 1992 and contributed so very much to the Society over the years when he was both archivist and chief historian. On his death in December 2016, Ross made one more huge contribution to the Society. He made a bequest to the Society of his house and farm at 9148 Sappington Road, a very generous and thoughtful act. Also included in his bequest are the extensive historical records that Ross put together over the years.

Ross was both an historian and a farmer. Farming was the Wagner family business and Ross continued farming until shortly before his death in late 2016. Some people only knew Ross as either an historian or as a farmer, but in the man and in the house and farm, the historian and the farmer came together. They were one and the same man.

The name of Ross Wagner is well known in the Sappington-Concord area and will forever be connected to Sappington-Concord Historical Society. The Society will name and operate Ross’ house and farm as the Ross A Wagner Historical Center. It will most likely be operated as a research center and library. It will probably provide storage for the Society archives and it may eventually be a place for historical displays. The new Ross A Wagner Historical Center is south of the intersection of Sappington and Eddie & Park Roads, next to the Providence Reformed Presbyterian church. The Society is extremely honored and feels so fortunate that Ross left his house and farm to strengthen the Society and give it a permanent home.

You will continue to hear of many new exciting developments with the Ross A Wagner Historical Center over the next months and years as the Society develops it into a great asset for the preservation and sharing of our local history in the Sappington-Concord area. Ross’ bequest will be breathing new life and energy into the Society for the next 25 years.

Ross’ bequest will give the Society new capabilities and allow it to provide new services. Along with that will also come new responsibilities for SCHS as it develops and maintains the new Ross A Wagner Historical Center. Please join us as we imagine ways that the Society can use the Historical Center, Ross’ house and farm, to better collect and preserve the history of our area, as well as sharing that history with others. Please continue to tell others, your family and friends, anyone in the area, about the Sappington-Concord Historical Society, it’s Newsletter, and other exciting offerings.

For 25 years, Sappington-Concord Historical Society has dedicated itself to:
Honoring veterans
Educating students
Preserving our local history.
We continue to do it for the greater good of the Sappigton-Concord community, so that we as citizens may better know who we are and where we are from. Then we can better understand ourselves and where we are going.

Thank you all for your support!

Stephen Hanpeter, SCHS President
June 1, 2017
Send questions to Stephen at schs.webmanager@gmail.com.

SCHS President - Stephen Hanpeter

SCHS President – Stephen Hanpeter, January, 2014

 

Saving Meramec River Route 66 Bridge

HELP US SAVE THE ROUTE 66 MERAMEC RIVER BRIDGE!

The campaign to save the Route 66 Meramec River Bridge.

The campaign to save the Route 66 Meramec River Bridge.

The appeal below is from Ruth Keenoy of the Landmarks Association of St. Louis.

Route 66 is one of the most iconic roads in the world and we are lucky in Missouri to have the Route 66 State Park, which holds the Route 66 Meramec River (Times Beach) Bridge, constructed in 1931-32.

The bridge is one of the most visited stops along the nation’s entire Route 66 corridor.

The bridge has a Warren deck truss, which is a rare property type in Missouri. The state has only three (including the Route 66 bridge) examples left. The bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 2009 the bridge was closed and the following year, 2010, was listed on Missouri’s statewide list of endangered historic places.

In January 2016, Missouri State Parks agreed to take over ownership of the bridge but requires an endowment to help fund the bridge’s preservation and rehabilitation as a bicycle / pedestrian crossing.

If we cannot raise $575,000 by the end of 2016 to support this effort, the bridge will be demolished in early 2017.

We Need Your Help! Please contribute today by checking out our GoFundMe campaign at: https://www.gofundme.com/meramec-66-bridge or make a donation by  mailing a check to Landmarks Association of St. Louis (fiscal agent for the bridge), 911 Washington Avenue, Suite 170, St. Louis, MO 63101.

We accept pledges from major donors.

For more information, contact Ruth Keenoy at 314-637-6441 (ruthkeenoy@yahoo.com). All contributions are tax-deductible.

Bridge over the Meramec River at Route 66 State Park. Photo from MoDOT

Bridge over the Meramec River at Route 66 State Park. Photo from MoDOT web site: http://www.modot.org/stlouis/major_projects/Route66StateParkbridgevirtualpublicmeeting.htm

The extended text below is also from Ruth Keenoy of the Landmarks Association of St. Louis.

Route 66 is one of the most iconic roads in the world. The “Mother Road,” as it is called, was one of the first of America’s new highways that proliferated in the 1920s. It was purportedly the shortest direct route from the Great Lakes to the Pacific Coast. Although officially decommissioned in 1981, the highway continues to draw huge numbers of national and international tourists for its unique sense of history and place. A conservative total aggregate of money spent by all Route 66 tourists is about $38 million annually. In addition to the $38 million in tourism spending, it is estimated that there is an additional $67 million in Main Street spending and $27 million in museum spending, making the total annual investment in Route 66 $132 million.

All of the states that support Route 66 share in the great economic boon of heritage tourism and the economies that are bolstered along the highway’s path. We are lucky in Missouri to have the Route 66 State Park. Located in St. Louis County, the park boasted an attendance last year of 216,432 – making it one of the most visited stops along the entire Route. Within the park is the Meramec River Route 66 Bridge. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009, the bridge is a rare property type –one of three similarly designed bridges in Missouri, featuring a Warren deck truss fabricated by Stupp Bros. Bridge & Iron Company of St. Louis in 1931.

In 2009, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) found the bridge deficient. Because the bridge is no longer part of the state’s highway system, it was closed and slated for demolition. A group of stakeholders organized in 2010 to save the bridge from demolition. MoDOT agreed to use part of the funds earmarked for demolition to remove the bridge’s concrete decking, eliminating further damage caused by the heavy surface and buying some time to find a new owner for the bridge. In early 2016, Missouri State Parks agreed to accept ownership of the bridge but in doing so requires an endowment, the $575,000 mentioned above, by the end of 2016 to support this effort, the bridge will be demolished in early 2017.

Other resources on the issue:

Facebook page for Save the Meramec River Route 66 Bridge

Historical overview of the bridge

National Park Service info on the Route 66 bridge over the Meramec

Wikipedia article on Route 66 State Park

Article from the Rolla Daily News on saving the bridge

Information about the bridge from MoDOT

GoFundMe campaign

 

See web page about SCHS presentation by Joe Sonderman on Route 66 in St Louis.

Lindbergh Schools to buy former Johnny's Market property

Sappington-Concord Memorial Park to get new neighbor!

SCHS Annual Memorial Day ceremony, honor guard in front of WWII Honor Roll in Sappington-Concord Memorial Park.

SCHS Annual Memorial Day ceremony, honor guard in front of WWII Honor Roll in Sappington-Concord Memorial Park.

As of today, January 13, 2016, Sappington-Concord Memorial Park will have a new neighbor! And the new neighbor, the Lindbergh Schools, is a long time friend. Former Lindbergh Schools Superintendent Dr Jim Sandfort was instrumental in the 1992 founding of the Sappington-Concord Historical Society, SCHS. The SCHS has been with Lindbergh Schools ever since, holding its meetings there and offering support to the Lindbergh Schools and Lindbergh students.

The former Johnny’s Market is across the street, Denny Road, from Sappington-Concord Memorial Park where SCHS has its World War II Honor Roll. The Memorial Park is maintained by Boy Scout Troop 646 of St. Catherine Laboure.

The Call newspaper states that current Superintendent Jim Simpson said, “Johnny’s Market is a local landmark, and we respect the long history it has in our community. We look forward to revitalizing this intersection with new construction and being a good neighbor to the surrounding homes and businesses.”

Sappington-Concord Memorial Park is destined to be part of the “front yard” for the new Lindbergh Schools central office!

See the SunCrest Call newspaper‘s article announcing the purchase of the former Johnny’s Market property by the Lindbergh Schools.

See January 14, 2016 South County Times article on the purchase of the former Johnny’s Market property for the new Lindbergh Schools district offices.

See January 20, 2016 SunCrest Call article on the planning and construction of the new Lindbergh Schools district offices.

Sappington-Concord Memorial Park has been the site of the annual SCHS Memorial Day ceremony sponsored by Sappington-Concord Historical Society since 1995. In 2015, the ceremony was held on the green at St Lucas UCC on Denny Road, a short distance up the hill from the park. The 2016 ceremony will again be held on the green at St Lucas UCC. The Memorial Day ceremony is a community wide event to honor the contributions and sacrifices of our veterans and armed forces to protecting our country.

See photos of past SCHS Memorial Day ceremonies.

Sappington-Concord Memorial Park looking towards the former Johnny's Market property

The view from Sappington-Concord Memorial Park toward the Johnny’s Market property which has now been bought by the Lindbergh Schools for its new district offices. In the foreground is the World War II Honor Roll monument, first erected in 1945 as a wooden monument and rebuilt in 1995 with Missouri red granite. Photo taken January 14, 2016