Maplewood History: Dinky Streetcar by Billy Jones, Followed by a Veritable Cornucopia of Maplewood Streetcar Photos

In Maplewood, we youngsters from Lyndover Elementary School once monthly took our tour on our “Dinky” streetcar. Where Lindbergh now meets Big Bend were streetcar tracks and a trolley wire over Big Bend. Big trucks did not drive on Big Bend.

Our yellow “Dinky” streetcar stopped for us on the east side of Big Bend and our conductor manually took the fare box from the front to the back pole. He then engaged the rear trolley wire and tied down the front trolley wire. He enjoyed us showing up on Saturdays because we flipped all the seat backs so they faced the reverse direction.  We put our nickel in the fare box and enjoyed the ride to Creve Coeur Park. Our “Dinky” streetcar lasted through the 1920’s and the 1930’s.  The tracks now are a beautiful parkway stretching on Lindbergh from Big Bend to Bredell. The parkway that is now Lindbergh is one of the loveliest streets in Richmond Heights. My wife takes Lindbergh in the mornings to Claytonia to avoid the Big Bend traffic jam each day.

Creve Coeur Park was great. It was an afternoon of playing catch and dreaming of riding the many sail boats we watched. Treats were only a nickel but we sometimes needed to share because the “Dinky” would require our “other” nickel to get us back to Maplewood and Richmond Heights. We were sad the day they took down the trolley wire over Big Bend and ended our “Dinky” Saturdays.

My wife and I, on our honeymoon in New Orleans, had the opportunity to examine the “Streetcar Named Desire” and it was a duplicate of our “Dinky” from the 1930’s.

We Lyndover Elementary School kids really missed our Saturdays on our “Dinky” to Creve Coeur Park but we treasured the memories of that only street car with two trolleys and a fare box that was carried from front to back.

Billy Jones

Thanks once again to Billy for providing us with another of his always fascinating memories.   More recollections of Billy’s can be found at the following links. DH

Swiped from the internet (I sincerely hope they won’t mind) is this image of the streetcar used in the 1951 movie, “A Streetcar Named Desire”.

This 1916 postcard includes an artist’s rendering of one of our streetcars. Notice how it is scaled down to make the building appear larger. I love that. This was one of the first of our historic photos that I started carrying around. The long gone building would have been located where our Shop’N’Save is now. This image is either from the Maplewood Public Library or the Ratkowski collection. I’m not sure which.

A 1915 postcard from the collection of the Maplewood Public Library. The location is what is now the Sutton Loop Park but was then known as the Maplewood Loop. The view is to the NE. The old Maplewood Loop depot can be seen in the background. Just beyond it, Dr. Cape’s house can be seen on the SE corner of Hazel at Sutton … now a parking lot.

Still another postcard, this one of Manchester at Marshall in 1916. The view is looking west on Manchester. The brick building on the right may have been the first location of Kalb Electric. The wonderful building on the left and the next two were removed during the unfortunate redevelopment of our business district that occurred in the mid 1970’s. The location is now Citizen’s Park on the SW corner of the above mentioned thoroughfares. Courtesy of the Maplewood Public Library.

This image was found on a 1925 letter from the Bank of Maplewood. It also features that great scaling up of the building compared to the street life. I don’t think this building was ever built. I think I did four posts just on the Bank of Maplewood. I have quite a bit of information on it and neither of its two buildings on the 7300 block of Manchester looked like this letterhead. It’s possible there was one that was very short lived but I haven’t found any other evidence of it yet. Courtesy of the Maplewood Public Library.

The car is headed for Maplewood but the location is obviously somewhere else. I found this image on the Facebook page, Vintage St. Louis. On that website the architect Paul Hohmann says,”The location is 6th and Pine looking north. The building with the rounded corner was Barr’s department store which would merge with Famous to become Famous Barr.”

At Sutton and Manchester looking east. The second Maplewood Bank building on the NE corner of those two streets can be seen on the left.  The pointed parapet of the first Maplewood Bank building can be seen just past the far end of the streetcar. That building was on the NE corner of Oakview Terrace and Manchester.  Every one of the buildings in this photograph were destroyed for the aforementioned unfortunate redevelopment of the 1970’s. From the style of the automobiles I’d have to guess that this image was made sometime in the late 1940’s.  Courtesy of the Maplewood Public Library.

I believe our Community Development director, Rachelle L’ecuyer forwarded to me this image from the Missouri State Archives. This image could have been made sometime in the early 1950’s.  Again we’re looking east on Manchester.  We have a better view of the Maplewood Bank building in this photo.  On the left is Katz Drugs with the very famous Big Kat sign on the top, seen from behind here, which the current owner and restorer of the building apparently doesn’t even intend to acknowledge.

This last image has long been a favorite of mine.  I believe it was made about 1949.  The first Citizen’s Bank building was still there as was Golde’s which would disappear in an awful conflagration but not until 1966.  You can take a look at that using the following links.  I hope you enjoyed this cornucopia of Maplewood streetcar photos.  It will be a tough act to follow.

 

The Disastrous Immolation of Golde’s Part 1

The Disastrous Immolation of Golde’s Part 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 thoughts on “Maplewood History: Dinky Streetcar by Billy Jones, Followed by a Veritable Cornucopia of Maplewood Streetcar Photos

  1. While unrelated to the streetcar article, I was wondering if there is any photos of the Woolworth or JJ Newberry that occupied the still standing south side of Maplewood? My parents shopped at both, and as kids in the 60’s and 70’s, we went there often. Anyway, there’s lots of photos of old Maplewood, but I have yet to see some that include those 2 stores. Doug?

  2. My mom grew up in Brentwood and the Dinky ran in front of her house on Dorothy. There is a greenway there now I believe. She talks of taking the streetcar into Maplewood to shop as a young woman. I wish I had pictures of it, I should look through those boxes of photos….

    • Please do look through those boxes, Cathy. I had heard of the Richmond Heights Dinky but I haven’t seen a photo of it. Thank you for your recollection.

  3. When you look at how well preserved and interesting the south side of the 7300 block of Manchester has become, it really makes you regret that the north side of the street was not given the chance to evolve before it was razed in the name of progress.

    • I agree, Ralf. The south side of the block is interesting and well preserved in spite of what happened on the north side. Just imagine if those original buildings were still there. Can’t go backwards, I guess. We can just try not to make any more stupid mistakes. Have I mentioned to you the spectacular cabinetry of the Harper’s Pharmacy?

  4. The two pictures from Sutton and Manchester looking east are interesting in regards to the store signs. In the 1940s picture, you can see a sign for LEES about a 1/3 of the way down the block. In the 1950s picture, the LEES sign has moved to the south side of the street. Also of interest in the 40s is that very cool sign on the south side for what appears to be ‘SCHNEIDERS’. What did they sell?

      • You don’t KNOW, Doug? Well I never. 😉 The Schneiders sign in that picture makes me more sad to lose the Waldbart Florist sign in RH. Those are such great markers and features for the community.

        • Not only the sign but we’re losing the whole building. What a shame especially since there is another urgent care facility two blocks away.

    • Thank you, Mike. I should have pointed out that there is a Bill Jones story in the comments part of that link.