Carondelet Business Association Celebrates Its Carondelet Past.
In 1767, Frenchman Clement Delor DeTreget founded the settlement of Carondelet five miles south of the furtrading post of St. Louis. From its beginnings, the river town was home to Creoles, African-Americans and Indians. During the nineteenth century the little town grew with the arrival of Anglo-Americans, and German and Irish Immigrants. While the town was still healing from the divisiveness of the Civil War, it was annexed by the booming, neighboring City of St. Louis. Even as a neighborhood of St. Louis, Carondelet continued to grow and develop with an unique ambiance and distinctive architecture. Today Carondelet boasts a wealth of Victorian-era buildings ranging in style from Greek Revival to Romanesque.
Historic South Broadway
In the days before the Civil War, when a farmer named Ulysses S. Grant was traveling the streets of Carondelet, the South Broadway business district offered a host of stores, shops and services near to the light industry along the river and near to growing Victorian neighborhoods.
Today, the two-mile stretch of South Broadway in the Carondelet neighborhood is coming back as it was in the days of the early Creoles and the German and Irish Immigrants - a commercial district offering businesses, services and a growing antique row in an historic community.
The Past Still Lives
Several businesses founded in the nineteenth century still thrive on the historic street. They include Hoffmeister Funeral Home, 7814 Broadway, established in 1858; the South Public Market, 7701 S. Broadway, established in 1870; Rathbone Hardware Store, 7625 S. Broadway, established in 1885; and Southern Commercial Bank, 7201 S. Broadway, established in 1891.
Treasures and Antiques All in a Row
More than a dozen resell-its and antique stores offer for sale Victorian furnishings, old photos, period jewelry, vintage records, embroidered linens, collectibles and knickknacks. Similar items were sold new in the furniture and five-and-dime stores that once lined South Broadway.
Steak, chili, chicken - even brain sandwiches - with cold steins of beer refresh visitors in tavern buildings where cavalry officers from Jefferson Barracks once enjoyed home brews.
Drafting shops, barber shops, chiropractors' offices, and offices for real estate, tree service and insurance companies have filled the old storefronts that once housed blacksmith shops and dry goods stores.
The century-old Alumax Company produces aluminum foils in the buildings of the old Johnston Metal Company.
The Borden Company recently invested more than fifty million dollars building the largest pasta plant in the United States near the industrial site were German workmen built the Civil War ironclad gunboats.
Text by NiNi Harris, author and historian
© 2006 - 2008 South Broadway Merchants Association (SBMA), St. Louis, Missouri. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.