Round Lake-Peripatetic Mounties

Two fixtures of Forest Park are Round Lake and the mounted police.  Both fixtures have been with the Park since its inception.  Where as Round Lake is where it has always been, the Park’s mounted police have had many homes.

Round lake, originally called Round Pond, was built in the 1870s.  The current fountain was installed in 1916.  It has over 500 nozzles.  It starts at six each morning.  The lake’s backdrop of cedars were planted in 1924.

The mounted police have had three homes in the Park, but now they find themselves homeless.  The original mounted police building was located in what are now the central ball fields.  It was built in 1890.  All that remains of this substation is a small granite marker, seeming left just to puzzle future Park goers.  This marker actually pertains to the building’s subsequent use as a meteorological station.  Within just a few years of the completion of the first mounted police substation, in 1894, a much larger, full sized police station was built in the Park.  Located near the planetarium, it stood until 1960. 

Saint Louis abolished its mounted police force in 1948 and it was not reinstituted until 1970.  When the Mounties were reformed, they chose the old airplane hanger, adjacent to their former location, as their new home.  This location served them well until 2009 when unsafe levels of lead were found on the premises.  Now the mounted police of Forest Park are homeless.  Budget constraints don’t permit the necessary lead abatement program at their former home.  Nowadays they bus the horses into the Park and the police officers use the former fish hatchery’s parking lot as their new base camp.

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