Area News

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

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


Flag restored to pole at Memorial Park

Sunday, November 22, 2015;

Mehlville fire department restores flag to pole in Memorial Park, Sunday, November 22, 2015.

Mehlville fire department restores flag to pole in Memorial Park, Sunday, November 22, 2015.

The SCHS Memorial Park flag was restored to its pole this morning, Sunday, November 22, 2015, with a major assist from the Mehlville fire department station house No. 5 on Mueller Road. Ten days ago the flag was blown off its pole by the windstorms that hit the St Louis area. Someone found the flag and turned it in at the Gravois fire department in Afton.

The fire department called Boy Scout Troop 646 who maintain Memorial Park. Troop 646 called the fire department for an assist restoring the flag and firehouse No. 5 Mehlville came out with its platform truck, extension ladder and bucket. They put the ladder up in the sky, reaching from Denny Road in front of the former Johnny’s Market all the way to the flag pole in the center of the park and threaded a new halyard to the pole.

The flag was hoisted shortly after by Randy Ottinger of the SCHS Memorial Day committee, Joe Bender of Boy Scout Troop 646 and Stephen Hanpeter of the SCHS board. It is great to see the flag again in its place flying over Memorial Park and the SCHS WWII Honor Roll!

A heartfelt thank you to the men of Mehlville fire house 5 who came out on a Sunday morning and did the heavy lifting to get the SCHS flag restored to its pole at Memorial Park. Another thank you to the un-named citizen who found the flag and turned it in.

In photos below, Mehlville fire department makes the long reach.

The restoration is completed and flag raised. 

Flag restored at SCHS Memorial Park on a beautiful, calm, cold Sunday morning.

Flag restored at SCHS Memorial Park on a beautiful, calm, cold Sunday morning.

Flag restored at SCHS Memorial Park on a beautiful, calm, cold Sunday morning.

See more about Sappington-Concord Memorial Park and the annual SCHS Memorial Day ceremony. Better still, please attend the ceremony yourself next year on Memorial Day morning at 10:00 am! It will be on the green at St Lucas UCC. 

Sappington House hosts Sappington family descendants

 

Sappington family descendants

Sappington family descendants visit Sappington House, 2015

From Maine to the state of Washington, current Sappington family descendants came to visit the Thomas Sappington House complex on Friday, August 7, 2015.  Their grandmother Mrs. William Buxton, chair of the Crestwood Historic Committee, was instrumental in the 1966’s restoration of the home built during Thomas Jefferson’s presidency.  In the Library of Americana and Decorative Arts, they particularly enjoyed finding squares made by other Sappingtons in the 11’x11′ family quilt.  After a delicious lunch at The Barn restaurant, they browsed through the remodeled “rustic chic” Loft Gift Shop.  What could be more special than a family reunion at the Sappington “homestead!”

 

On the green at St Lucas

This year the SCHS Memorial Day ceremony will not be at Sappingtpn-Concord Memorial Park, but on “the green” at St Lucas. Get more info about the annual SCHS Memorial Day ceremony. See map to 2015 venue on “the green” at St Lucas.

11735 Denny Road
St. Louis, Missouri  USA 63126

As a hearty, patriotic welcome, the St Lucas Men’s Fellowship had a new flag pole installed on April 25, across the entrance driveway from “the green.” The next day, a Saturday morning, a few of the men responsible for the new flag and pole gathered for an informal flag raising. The photos of that informal ceremony are below. Photos are courtesy of Dan Wenk.

Flag raising ceremony April 25 at St Lucas.

Flag raising ceremony April 25 at St Lucas.