For those who plan on visiting the St. Louis Arch, why not take the extra ride to Kansas City, Missouri to see what was sold to those early settlers in the Arabia Steamboat Museum at 400 Grand Street, Kansas City, Mo 816-471-1856.Great Image of the Steamboat Arabia's first owner's store
Steamboat Arabia docked here since Nicholas Springer, Arabia's clerk owned 1/4 of the Arabia from August 1853 to August 1854. Springer worked as a clerk at the same time in the "Boat Store" firm at 28 N. Levee (under the JM Mc Faddin & co sign) known as James O. Carson & co. Soon after in 1855 Springer became a partner changing the firm to Carson & Springer and in 1857 to Carson, Springer & Wannall (sign is under the 3 awnings). Collection of Elizabeth B. Isenburg
Image show signs of early st. Louis
On May 17, 1849, the steamboat White Cloud caught on fire and caused the biggest fire with a loss of 430 buildings (most of the commercial district), 4 blocks of the river front, including 23 steamboats.
The only buildings that survived the flame were several four story "fireproof" buildings along the levee. So, the building on the far right of the levee photo was build before the fire (pre-1849).
The middle building's roof line shown below is decorated with 18 RG 49 (built summer or fall 1849) and the far right building was put up probably in the early 1850s.
All new construction by law after the fire had to be made of stone or brick causing a boom of new buildings that were build with new innovations such as steam for heating and powering industry. I believe that helped St.Louis compete with Cincinnati as a wholesale market as well as a major manufacturer supplying emigrants and western settlers with all their needs.
Compare the 1848 St Louis map to the Present day map from Google- X marks the spot the spot these stores were located (Corner of Olive & North Levee/ Water Street) Besides being inside the National Park, this site is near the north foot of the Gateway Arch. TOUCH IMAGE TO ENLARGE