Maplewood History: The Historic Papers of Woodside 1838-1914

One of the many interesting things that have happened out of the effort to save Woodside involved the Rannells family papers. This collection is a wide variety of legal papers, household and farm receipts, cancelled checks and documents of many different kinds. The papers of Charles Rannells dated from 1838 to 1865. There are also many papers that were generated from the activities of his wife, Mary Warder Rannells and his son, Edward W. Rannells. Edward’s are the latest with the most recent dating from 1914.  Charles passed in 1877, Mary in 1896 and Edward in 1920.

In the news: masks in schools, Maplewood restaurant week, restaurant reviews,

In the local media recently: a past Olympian helps out at Maplewood pool, reviews of new restaurants, more. Fox 2 — Richmond Heights MetroLink halts service following a nearby shooting  
Fox 2 — Spike in car break-ins cause Richmond Heights Police to issue warning  
FOX 2 — Woman hit by Metrolink, sustains non-life-threatening injuries  
KMOV — Police investigating shooting near the Boulevard, MetroLink station in Richmond Heights  
KMOV — Multiple vehicles broken into in Richmond Heights  
KSDK — Past Olympian hoping to help prepare future ones in Maplewood pool  
KSDK — Requiring masks or not? St. Louis area schools decide what’s to come this fall  
Sauce Magazine — First Look: Mezcaleria Las Chupacabras in Richmond Heights  
St. Louis Magazine — PM BBQ and Hunan Wok have closed for good

Locomotive to steam through Maplewood August 30, leaving downtown STL at 8 am

The Union Pacific Big Boy  locomotive #4014, is set to leave downtown Saint Louis, heading west, on Monday, August 30. According to Union Pacific, the locomotive is scheduled to be on display in St. Louis on Sunday, August 29 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., departing Monday, August 30, at 8 a.m., heading west, toward Maplewood. There are eight surviving Big Boys, with most on static display at museums. One of them, #4014, was re-acquired by Union Pacific and rebuilt to operating condition in 2019, regaining the title as the largest and most powerful operating steam locomotive in the world. In 2016 Union Pacific steam locomotive #844 precviously passed through Maplewood in 2016.

Maplewood History: Edward “Ned” Rannells of Woodside

Long summer days and beautiful weather (to a heatophile) conspire to keep me away from my computer until the last hour or two before I turn in.  As I mentioned in my last post, I have accumulated a large amount of information on one of our earliest pioneer families, the Rannells.  It is my intention to post as much of this material as I can.  For this reason I thought it worthwhile to refresh my readers’ memories by posting these pages from my latest book Maplewood History, Volume Two. Please keep in mind that the more of you who spring for a copy of my latest book, the less this adventure will wind up costing me when it is all said and done.  Your purchase will be helping me to pay for this retirement hobby of mine that I am sharing with you. Due to my lack of experience with or understanding of eBay, my book is no longer available on that site.  I don’t know what venue would be the best way to sell  it over the internet.  If you do, I’d appreciate the advice.  I also don’t know anything about these more modern ways of exchanging money that I have heard just a little about. Meanwhile, I better get to bed so I can get up early enough to be at the pool when it opens at 11 this morning. As always, I appreciate your interest and support.

Maplewood History: Woodside and the Rannells Family

Longtime followers of this space may remember that for about 17 years I and many others were involved in several schemes that were designed to keep Woodside, Maplewood’s oldest home, standing.  Due to the efforts of many, Woodside has not only survived but has been beautifully restored by her new owners. Over the course of that long project, I met many members of the Rannells family whose ancestors built Woodside.  They generously shared a very large amount of the historic documents, artifacts and images that they had carefully preserved.  I intend now to post as much of this material as I possibly can. I think a good way to bring everyone up to speed is by posting a couple of chapters from my latest book, Maplewood History, Volume Two, copies of which are still available from me or Scheidt Hardware (True Value to you newcomers) and on eBay.  

Aren’t those pretty?  If you like the looks of these pages, you can get all 177 of them neatly contained within a softcover for only $35 or a hardcover for only $50.  If you live close enough, I’ll be happy to deliver.  Or you may just want to make it over to Scheidt Hardware at 7320 Manchester.  The books were available on eBay but have disappeared.  I think I’ll try listing them on Amazon. And remember I designed these books to become valuable collector’s items.  They are printed and assembled by some of the best folks in the area.  Only the highest quality paper was used.

Maplewood History: Let Them Eat Art #1

It has been 15 years since the first Let Them Eat Art event in 2006.  Sometime before that I recall standing in front of one of the most famous paintings in America, Grant Wood’s American Gothic, and thinking that if the old white farmhouse in the painting was Woodside it would be completely restored and tour buses would be pulling up in front of it.  Such is the power of art. Woodside (2200 Bredell) is the oldest building in Maplewood that we know of.  It is safe today but in 2006 it was badly deteriorated and in danger of demolition.  Finding the money to restore it seemed like an impossible dream. Additionally, the Maplewood Mill buildings were for sale.  Owned for nearly 100 years by the prominent Blood family they would soon have a new owner.  I wanted the community to know that the chimney and cyclone dust collector were part of the historic fabric of the site and should be preserved.  They were both structurally sound.  I began to think of ways that the dust collector might become a feature to be appreciated.  Who better to ask than artists?  I have written about this so I won’t repeat the struggle here but you can link to those writings. I thought that we needed an art event in Maplewood which would allow me to farm some of the artists for ideas.  Fortunately a new community development director named Rachelle L’Ecuyer had recently been hired.  I called her and told her Maplewood should have an art event.  She had been thinking the same thing and suggested Bastille Day.  Jay Schober named it, Let Them Eat Art. The first year was wild.  We had very little money so we divided up and canvassed the business community for donations.  I still remember how much I was able to raise.  $0.  Despite that frustrating beginning, many other things went well.

Another new apartment building, and more in the news

The Post-Dispatch reports that the Sunnen Station Apartment complex is adding a second building. Also, Maplewood guitarist John Horton has filled a vacancy with Son Volt.

Call Newspapers — Board considers ‘protection’ resolution  
Fox 2 — Monthly outdoor market coming to Schlafly Bottleworks July 11
Fox 2 — Maplewood chef’s dish helped team win reward on Hell’s Kitchen  
St. Louis Post-Dispatch — Bottle Rockets guitarist John Horton is the right musician to fill Son Volt vacancy
St. Louis Post-Dispatch — Second building going up at Maplewood apartment complex
Victory Sports Network — Hannibal LaGrange Men’s Basketball Finishes Up Recruiting Class For 21-22

Hunan Wok in Brentwood closes: report

Brentwood resident Barry Williams has reported that the Hunan Wok restaurant at S. Brentwood Boulevard and Litzsinger Road closed permanently on Sunday, July 4. “Sad news” for patrons he says. He said it had been a Brentwood landmark for more than 20 years and was, he believes, the oldest Chinese restaurant in Brentwood. The small brick building it occupied, at 2428 S. Brentwood Boulevard, began as a Tom Boy’s IGA grocery market. Williams said the owner decided she wanted to spend more time with her family.

Maplewood History: The Amazing Lillian Weber Herold Collection – A Follow Up

OK. Now where were we?  When I ended Part Three, we left Lillian and her husband, Edmund, standing in the doorway of their store on the NW corner of Big Bend and Flora. The year was 1914. Perhaps we should back up a little further.  I’ll refresh your memory with the blockbuster photograph that appeared in Part One. That image (which follows) was taken in 1904 at the NE corner of Big Bend and Manchester.

Ralph Posley appointed to fill MRH board vacancy

Maplewood Richmond Heights School District reported on Sunday that Ralph Posley was appointed to fill the board vacancy left by Nikylan Knapper when she became mayor of Maplewood. According to MRH: After coming up short in the recent municipal election, Ralph Posley has found himself back on the Maplewood Richmond Heights Board of Education. In April, voters considered three candidates to fill two open board seats. Posley, the incumbent, finished third in the election. But another sitting board member, Nikylan Knapper, won her race for mayor of Maplewood and was thus obligated to resign her MRH position.

MRH golfer named All-Metro boys golfer of the year, and more in the news

MRH junior Kal Kolar was named the Post-Dispatch All-Metro boys golfer of the year. He won a district title for the second time and this year finished second in the Class 2 state tournament, the Post-Dispatch reports. Also in the news, a judge ruled in favor of a Maplewood woman who was handing out flyers on rental assistance. Fox 2 — Maplewood chef survives another week on “Hell’s Kitchen: Young Guns”
Fox 2 — St. Louis seeks ways to beat the heat as temperatures top 100
KSDK — Richmond Heights offers free concert with free COVID-19 vaccines
Riverfront Times — Bolyard’s Meat & Provisions Is Now Open in an Expanded Location in Maplewood
Sauce Magazine — 10 wines perfect for golden hour sipping
STLtoday — All-Metro boys golfer of the year: Kolar adjusts to growth spurt that makes game bigger and mostly better
STLtoday — Judge rules against landlord who sued Maplewood woman for giving out flyers on rental assistance
Webster-Kirkwood Times — Metro Orchestra Kicks Off 2021 Season Sunday, June 13, In Kirkwood (3 concerts scheduled at 2849 Laclede Station Road)

The National Building Arts Center: The Legacy of Larry Giles

In Pictures

The creation of the National Building Arts Center in Sauget, Illinois is the result of a lifelong effort by a Maplewood native, Larry Giles.  Larry once told me that he lived on Bredell near Woodside when he was a young boy.  He and his friends explored the surrounding area with curiosity that was sometimes dangerous. They played on slag heaps left by some unknown industrial operation near the location of the present day Loew’s store. Larry also explored the original mid-19th century Bartold’s Inn building once located at the Sunnen site.  By then it was abandoned and standing open.  About 1960, he found a painting of the Inn in one of the rooms there.  This same painting he gave to me to add to our collection of historic artifacts at the Maplewood Public Library.  He preserved the painting in good condition for 60+ years. Larry also insisted that there was no cave behind the building. He said the back walls of the lower rooms were the solid bedrock of the hill.

Unusual columns part of home across the street from historic Maplewood home

When moving into an old house we usually inherit a grab-bag of ‘updates’ done over the years. The details of those changes are often anecdotal. That’s the case with Jim Owens, whose family moved into 2636 Roseland Terrace in 1998. One detail that stands out on Owens’ home is the carved stone columns, especially the capitals. He said one thing he knows for sure about his house is that it was built in 1914.

City of Maplewood hires new city manager: former former chief of staff for mayor of Columbus

The Maplewood City Council and Mayor has voted unanimously to hire Michael Reese to serve as Maplewood’s next city manager, the city of Maplewood announced Wednesday. Reese’s hire comes after an exhaustive search for a candidate conducted by the Maplewood City Council over the past 20 months since the retirement of Marty Corcoran, who previously served as city manager for over 30 years. See also: Marty Corcoran honored for 36 years as Maplewood City Manager

Reese comes to Maplewood with a wealth of experience in local government, including extensive history with the city of Columbus, Ohio. As the former chief of staff for the mayor of Columbus, Reese managed 14 directors, improved city services, used the budget to create safe and vibrant neighborhoods and business districts, interacted regularly with community and business leaders, partnered with the private sector to create jobs, and collaborated with the school district to advance educational opportunities. Reese holds a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and Government degree from Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio, and a Master of Arts in Political Science degree from Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio.

Casa Maya opens in former Maya Cafe location

Weathering the pandemic, Mexican restaurant Casa Maya has opened in the former Maya Cafe location (2726 Sutton Boulevard), which closed in December 2019 with the retirement of its owner. Casa Maya will be open 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. See also: Maya Cafe cuts reopening ribbon (2015)

The Irreplaceable Larry Giles

In 2002, Larry Giles paid a visit to a commercial art studio in Soulard named Fishing Creek.  Recently retired, I was interning there with the idea of possibly becoming a sculptor.  The Fishing Creek folks were bartering with Larry for some recycled steel trusses that they used to add a second floor in one of their buildings.  We had never met but I had followed his projects for decades in the newspapers. Following that initial meeting, I got to know and become friends with Larry who was surely one of the most amazing individuals that I will ever meet.  He was an architectural salvor and savior.  Put simply he acquired a vast collection of the most important architectural artifacts from many of the most important buildings that were ever built in St. Louis and beyond.  Eventually he consolidated his vast array of treasures at one location in Sauget, Illinois as a nonprofit named the National Building Arts Center whose mission is to educate the public on all aspects of the building arts. I am not exaggerating to say Larry was a genius many times over. One might think that removing parts from crumbling buildings is coarse, dirty work and it is.  It is also complicated, very dangerous and can be very high off the ground as well.  Many of the projects that he conducted (and it was mostly him) are mind blowing in scope.

Eckert’s Farm to open new location at former Lucky’s

The Metro East-based farm, Eckert’s, is moving into the former Lucky’s Market location on Manchester Road in Rock Hill. It’ll be called Eckert’s St. Louis Farm Market. It will have Eckert’s Farm produce, bakery goods and gift items, KMOV reported. President of Eckert’s Inc., Chris Eckert, told the St.

Maplewood anchor restaurant closes

Long-time Maplewood restaurant Jimmy John’s (7374 Manchester) closed its doors without warning Wednesday morning. It was in the location for 14 years, though not with the same owner through the entire time. The owner was Randy McNulty, according to Mid County Chamber of Commerce. Rothschild St. Louis owns the location.

Maplewood History: The Amazing Lillian Weber Herold Collection – Part Three

This post contains another blockbuster historic Maplewood image. This is the final post of the Lillian Weber Herold collection and what a collection it is!  The number of very fine images is impressive and there are still quite a few to view including the blockbuster promised earlier. Here are the links if you would like to review Part One or Part Two of this series.  For Part Three I have endeavored, once again, to put the images and information in chronological order where possible. This next image is not the blockbuster I advertised but it almost is.  Any images of Bartold’s Grove are treasures.  Many must have been made but I have found so few. OK.

Trash truck trashes pole

Tuesday afternoon a trash truck driver happened to back into an electric pole at the corner of Marshall Avenue and Sara Street. At the time an Ameren employee said power would be out to some customers while it was being repaired. Update: shops in the 7300 block of Manchester lost power. Some closed for the afternoon, some stayed open.