Don’t panic. To the best of my knowledge there are no Nazis in Maplewood. At present anyhow.
There is a persistent rumor that I’ve heard from a few different folks that concerns Nazi spies or someone spying for the Nazis on railroad traffic through Maplewood during WWII. These dastardly fellows supposedly were tracking everything that came down the track from a room they let near the intersection of Greenwood and Big Bend. One version of this story has them in a room above a popular restaurant once located there by the name of The Tulip Box.
I have never seen a newspaper clipping that might verify this rumor. If one of you careful researchers should ever locate an article about vintage Nazi spies in Maplewood, I’d love to get a copy.
The last photographs of this post are about swastikas that were once used many different ways to promote peace and good luck prior to the Nazis changing that forever. Much can be found about the svastika (sic) (the name comes from Sanskrit) on Wikipedia.
It is a shame this symbol used for thousands of years by too many different cultures to name will now be associated with the horrors of the Third Reich.
The back of a matchbook cover showing the Tulip Box Restaurant. Courtesy of matchbook collector extraordinaire Gene Kitson. Mr. Kitson has since passed on I was sorry to learn.
An aerial view of the intersection of Greenwood and Big Bend probably from the 1950’s. Courtesy of Maplewood Public Library.
A painting of the intersection of Greenwood and Big Bend by the talented Ruth Grubb. Three of her paintings are known. Two are on display at the Maplewood Public Library. The Tulip Box is on the left.
The original gas valve from 3134 Edgar in Maplewood. The county has a build date of 1890 on this home. I suspect this may not be accurate but I’ve been unable to find anything else on it. Both the house and the valve are from the collection of the author.
This antique bearing scraper was once a necessary tool for rebuilding babbet bearings on machinery. Collection of the author.
The flip side of the bearing scraper head displays this svastika (I’m deliberately using the Sanskrit spelling to identify these pre-Nazi era symbols).
While not in Maplewood, this building on Cherokee in St. Louis has a terra cotta shield that contains a svastika. Notice that it is flipped in the opposite direction of the others. Photo by the author.
On the flag of the Nazi party this once great symbol is rotated a bit. It is now impossible to look at any of the older examples and not think of the unspeakable horrors perpetrated by the Nazis. The flag image is from Wikipedia.
Looking to the SW at the intersection of Big Bend and Greenwood in 2010. I don’t know exactly when the Tulip Box Restaurant disappeared from this scene. The widening of Big Bend and the building of the railroad viaduct would have certainly necessitated its demolition if it was still there at the time. From memory I think those events happened prior to 1965.