Happy Birthday, City of St. Louis!
1764: St. Louis founded
1803: Louisiana Purchase
St. Louis becomes part of the U.S. when the Louisiana Territory is purchased from France for $15 million dollars.
1817: First steamboat
The Zebulon M. Pike, the first steamboat to make it up the Mississippi, arrives in St. Louis, ushering in a new era of trade and travel.
1849: Great Fire
The Great Fire of 1849 starts on the steamer White Cloud, spreads to 15 city blocks along the riverfront and destroys 23 steamboats.
1850s: Construction of railroads begins
In 1852, construction begins on the Pacific Railroad, the first railroad west of the Mississippi. By 1855, the first train of the Pacific Railroad departs for the West.
1855: St. Louis Agricultural & Mechanical Fair
Established in what is now Fairground Park, what began as a small county fair grew into a large exposition on more than 100 acres.
1867: Eads Bridge
Construction of the first large bridge spanning the Mississippi begins. Completed in 1874, it makes St. Louis less dependent on steamboats and ferries to transport manufactured goods.
1904: Lousiana Purchase Exposition
The St. Louis World’s Fair attracts 20 million visitors who sample new culinary delights like the ice cream cone, iced tea and cotton candy.
1963: Gateway Arch
Standing 630 feet high and spanning 630 feet across at ground level, the Arch celebrates the Louisiana Purchase and St. Louis’ title as “Gateway to the West.”
Read more about St. Louis from this issue: