Take the child to Forest Park, madame, medicine won’t do it any good, it’s air the little thing needs.
– A 19th century Saint Louis physician’s advice
Forest Park officially opened to the public on June 24, 1876. The Civil War had ended twelve years earlier. The United States was celebrating its one hundredth centennial and George Armstrong Custer would be killed the following day, at the battle of the Little Big Horn.
– Forest Park by Caroline Loughlin and Catherine Anderson
For its first ten years the Park was a rich man’s preserve. Only a wealthy man could afford to keep a horse and buggy and such was required to make the trip out to the Park from the city at that time. Starting in the 1880s trolley lines began to run to the Park. One such line ran to the Lindell Pavillion, built-in 1892, pictured above it still stands today. I can only say for sure that the red brick portion of the tower was part of the original structure. Although, based upon pictures, it appears that the original Pavillion corresponded pretty closely to its current floor plan. The Lindell Pavillion has changed over the years from a train station, to a golf clubhouse, to its current form, a visitor’s center.
People still came to the Park by buggy, but by then thousands more arrived by train. Still others arrived in the 1890s via a new form of transportation, the bicycle. Sometimes called the silent steed, the bicycling craze was sweeping the nation then. The following description is from the Post-Dispatch, “The afternoon is the favorite riding time and groups of pretty girls may be seen dashing over the western approaches to the park, disappearing into its shady lanes.” and “Riders who wished a longer ride would tour Saint Louis County, going perhaps to ‘Baldwin’ after meeting in Forest Park.”
I biked in the Park before work. I got 15 miles. Although the morning’s light was muted, I did get a couple of photos. Pictured above is a Black Crowned Night Heron, my first of the year. Below are Mallard ducklings, also a first.
Anne had the day off, as she hook slides into summer vacation. She also rode in the Park, being one of those pretty and dashing girls that disappear into its shady lanes. She got 17 miles. She caught the Snowy Egret with the totally rad hair doo for today’s header. Tuesday night, we all took Dave to Pi, where apparently we have already taken him before, go figure. Dan, Dave, Anne and I were joined by Annie and Joanie.