Maplewood History: An Explosive Article Brought to Light by the Research of Luke Havel

Some posts are easier than others. This is one of the easiest of all. For me it is like shooting fish in a barrel even though I can’t imagine why anyone would ever want to do that.

For those of you who may be young enough to be unfamiliar with the phrase, like shooting fish in a barrel implies that something is as easy as taking candy from a baby even though I can’t imagine why anyone would do that either.

Enough of this. This is just fill. Read this article. We can discuss it in the comments section. Hats off to Luke Havel for finding this and sharing it with us.

Maplewood History: The Top Ten Things You Never Knew About Maplewood’s Big Bang

9 thoughts on “Maplewood History: An Explosive Article Brought to Light by the Research of Luke Havel

  1. I’m having a ball! Found out you can subscribe to 6 months of the Post Dispatch historical archives for $30. These things go all the way back to something like 1850s. Delivered right to your computer desktop and infinitely searchable by date and name.

    I’m finding out all sorts of things about the history of my house and the people that lived here. Turns out Otto Reik was an alderman in Maplewood. He and the Mayor sued his challenger for $25,000 for slander right before the election in 1933. I have his picture! The owner of the house prior to the Otto and Amanda, Mrs. Hooper W. Warren, was an avid (obsessed?) cat lover, keeping 30 award winning Angoras and Persian cats worth more than $5000 in the house, featured in a Post article about a coming St. Louis Pet Cemetary in 1909. Third owner of the house was the inventor of the Worsham Shakerette Coal/Gas stove and the author of 2 books on salesmanship. His wife was the president of the local bookclub and gave fancy teas at the house, their daughter was the top tennis champion at Northwestern University in 1940.

    Such fun! For $30, it’s a hoot!


    P.S. Couldn’t tell from your earlier article about the 1916 blast if you had the Post Dispatch coverage to compliment the crisp photos you shared. Pretty fascinating stuff. I’ll be glad to send along a copy of the article if you don’t already have it.

  2. Reading both posts, it seems that there were two explosions from contractors building sewers. I guess things were not well regulated back then.

    • I think you are probably correct, Margaret. The 1916 explosion caused the creation of the still popular no dynamite allowed in sheds ordinance.

  3. interesting thing to read “Mounted District Police” I am guessing no patrol cars yet but we also see that there were engines running machines. Now I want to take look at the addresses and see if any of those homes are still around.

    • Mark, Luke Havel in his email to me mentioned that the two homes in the photo are still there.

      • They sure are, and look to be pretty well preserved. Doug, when sending this to you I was struck by the fact that this was 6 years prior to Maplewood’s “Big Bang”, but if I am not mistaken, is in the same location and due to similar circumstances, ie Dynamite! I didn’t notice the article in the top right until just now, the “Paul Revere of Maplewood.” That’s interesting too!