Maplewood History: The 1970’s

For the tiny town of Maplewood, the 1970’s were a very turbulent era.  I moved here in December of 1975. Due to the naivete of youth (I was 26) and the demands of full time employment in an automobile factory, I was blissfully unaware of most of the drama that was playing out just a few blocks away.

The following pages are lifted directly from my first Maplewood History book – “The First Hundred Years, Maplewood MO”.  They were researched and written by my co-author Joyce Cheney (no relation to Dick). Shortly after the book was published the very talented Joyce moved to Colorado where I believe she is still.  Joyce is the author of several books including Aprons: A Celebration, Aprons: Icons of the American Home and All Our Lives: A Women’s Songbook.

Many of my readers are still making do without owning a copy of this first book which I have recently rebranded as “Second Printing – Volume One”.  There is no need to deprive yourselves any longer for the book is readily available at the reliable Scheidt Hardware (known to newcomers as True Value) where I am still the best selling author.  Or the book can be obtained at the Mid County Chamber of Commerce just a few more steps west at 7326A Manchester. At both of those places you will need a twenty dollar bill or something of equal value.

As you might suspect, reprinting these pages from my first book is taking the easy way out as far as blog posts are concerned.  I’d have to agree. These sultry St. Louis summer days are personal favorites. Sweat? You bet! Being retired is wonderful. I’m outside or in the Maplewood pool as much as possible.  The computer screen simply can’t compete with the glorious, too short, summer in Maplewood!

This was too easy.  I’ll have to remember in the future to just cannibalize the book whenever I’ve spent too much time in the sun.

By the Way:  My second book is very close to becoming a reality in the physical world. I have proof copies in my possession and have finished the tweaking  process.  Next I will receive a fully bound hardcover copy and a soft cover copy as well.  If they are OK, it will be full speed ahead.  Right now for the first 100 copies, I’m planning a collector’s edition printed on high quality paper with a dust jacket commemorating 112 years of Scheidt Hardware.  Do I have to say it?  Be the first on your block!

Doug Houser  8/15/2019

14 thoughts on “Maplewood History: The 1970’s

  1. The K-Mart development, with the creepy, dark, below ground garage, removed an entire street: Arthur Avenue, where I grew up. It was sad to see the neat old shops torn down with their interesting facades, similar to what are still seen on the south side of Manchester. I hope the Schnucks store is consistently kept clean inside and out. Despite those negatives, Maplewood has bounced back beautifully and is now an ultra cool place to live, shop, eat, drink, hear music and play.

    • I don’t recall seeing too many pictures of the houses on Sutton and Lohmeyer that were torn down for the K Mart expansion. Maybe I am not remembering but before the new curbs on the street went in you could see where there had been some driveway curb cutouts. That was years ago but I often wondered about what those houses were like, where did the people go, did they get forced out or were they bought out at a fair price.

  2. A huge loss in the K-Mart disaster was the Maplewood Savings and Loan. The marble interior was amazing and could never be recreated in today’s world.

  3. Glad to see a picture of the old parking garage structure. There are folks who have no knowledge of the thing, never saw it, never went to K Mart. It really was an eyesore it seemed to me. However somedays when I go the the parking lot for Schnucks or when it was Shop N Save I am surprised at the amount of trash on the parking lot. I don’t know how often the parking lot gets swept but it seems to be just about as much of an eyesore as the old parking garage.

    • Right you are. I don’t remember seeing junkies shoot up, hookers and other assorted petty crimes in the old K-mart parking structure that we have recently experienced with the SnS/Schnucks store. So much for progress….

      • Jedd: You didn’t look hard enough in the old K-Mart garage and lot back in the day. My business (Drum Headquarters) and my wife’s (Disc-Connection) were in front of the garage (i.e., connected to it) from 1984-93, so I was there about 3,000 days during that period (plus, I was in and out of the garage thousands of times) and we observed many “interesting” activities then (in the garage, on the lot and on Manchester Road). Additionally, I have been in downtown Maplewood virtually every single day since 1984. As for what might occur at the Schnucks lot today, it is my opinion that it is no different from what happens at gathering places in many parts of St. Louis City and County and throughout the country, for that matter. And as for the “progress” you suggest has not occurred in downtown Maplewood, there has been a TON of it in the past 30 years! You seem to be suggesting that things are worse (or the same) now and that is clearly not the reality.

    • Oh, no Mark. The old K-Mart parking garage was dark, dank and poorly build. Everything shook with car movement. You could even feel it in the store. The cracks in it were just plain scary. Terribly ugly and unsafe in many, many ways. A true eyesore Friday m early on. Even with a bit of litter here or there, the current parking lot is SO much better!!

  4. Really enjoyed reading this Doug. Brought back lots of memories for me. I worked at Citizens National Bank in 1953-54 and my Mom, Dorothy Fennell, was the switchboard operator there for several years. If I’m not mistaken Mr. Holton was bank president at that time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *