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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Maplewood History: Mammy’s Crazy Quilt, Mary Rannells Left Us A Treasure

Hi Folks, Editor Miner and I are still stumbling in the dark as per getting this site up and running again.  We know that a lot of the articles that are visible when you sign on to 40 South are very old.  We just don’t know how to handle them.  Until we can figure out how to relegate them to the digital closet, we ask for your patience. Woodside, as far as I know, is the oldest building in the City of Maplewood.  I have written much about it and our pioneer Rannells family that built it.  For 17 years, I was involved in the effort to save the home.  One of the very enjoyable parts of the process was the contact that I had with the descendants of Charles Samuel and Mary Warder Rannells, the builders and first occupants of Woodside. If you would like to read some of my previous posts about the Rannells family, this link will connect you to several others. Through the photographer Greg Rannells who now lives in Maplewood, I made connections with other descendants scattered in different states, including Louisiana, Virginia, California and Texas. In Richardson, Texas, I met Elise Rannells Todd and her husband Glenn.  Elise was the family historian.  She and her husband were as open and welcoming as they possibly could have been. She shared anything and everything that she had concerning Charles and Mary.  Documents, furniture, silver, linen and images, photographs and paintings.  Ultimately, she generously donated nearly all of their documents...

40 South is back, it’s a work in progress

Some of you have noticed that 40 South is back, and it's changed. It went away in the first place because it's based on a WordPress theme, and apparently these themes have a lifespan. 40 South's was going on 10 years, which is pretty old in WordPress years, I've learned. The good news is that when it crashed all the content from almost 10 years didn't go away. With the very kind help (gratis) of local WordPress expert Justin Kussman, and with contributions of all kinds from Maplewood history guy Doug Houser, we're bringing it back. We're using a theme recommended to me, used by others who also have local news sites. As you can see it's different, though with Justin's help, it can be rearranged to fit our needs. So we need to figure this out, and put things where we want them. For instance, the comments disappeared from the front — that needs to be fixed! It's a work in progress, starting with this post. If you comment, hopefully soon we will all be able to see it, not just me.

Maplewood History: Katz Drug Store and the Ghost Sign

Just a few days back, I got a tip from our Community Development director, Laura Miller, that a ghost sign had been partially revealed during a remodeling project that was currently happening at the rear of the Katz Drugstore Building on the NW corner of Sutton and Manchester. By the time I arrived on the scene the excitement was over.  The mentally sharp folks on the Facebook page, Maplewood, had already deciphered the meaning of the sign of which just a couple of letters were visible. The mystery was quickly solved but I can add a bit more to the story. The remodeling project, by The Blue Duck Restaurant, exposed this vertical strip of an old ghost sign. If you haven't seen this before, have you got the meaning yet? The sleuths on Facebook decided that the sign must have read, "Parking Here" and also had a large arrow.  I think they must be right. We can tell from this aerial photograph from the 1950's that the ghost sign was probably directing motorists to the alley which leads to a parking lot. If you'd like to see more old photographs of the Katz Drugstore, check out my past post, Let's Bring Back the Big Kat. As always, I appreciate your interest and support. Doug Houser      June 18, 2023 Reader Dave P. kindly sent the image below.  He can make out "Parking Entrance" as the text for our now mostly missing ghost sign.  Much thanks, Dave  

Maplewood History: Saving Woodside – Maplewood’s Oldest Home

These beautiful summer days are just not allowing me any time inside on the computer so let's try this. Summer Reruns Saving Woodside Woodside was recently sold.  Has anyone met the new owners? When I last stopped by I couldn't spot any activity. These are page spreads from my book, Maplewood History - Volume Two.  Copies of which are still available from me or at Scheidt Hardware, (True Value to you newcomers) at 7320 Manchester. I sure hope everyone can read these on whatever device you are using.  Let me know if you can't.  I will post more historic images from my own family collection in the future. I hope you are able to enjoy the wonderful summer air. Doug Houser           June 10, 2023  

MoDOT: Manchester Rd. in Maplewood and Brentwood to be completed in July

Missouri Department of Transportation communications specialist, Andrew Gates, has sent a June 2023 update on the department's work on Manchester Road. Maplewood and Brentwood should be wrapped up by the second week of July, with a few exceptions, he says. Over the next month, crews will be wrapping up resurfacing and striping Route 100 (Manchester Road)  in Brentwood and Kirkwood. Most of the work is finished in Brentwood, and then the resurfacing crews will move to the Kirkwood area. This work is happening at night, and although crews do limit extra noise, residents along the corridor may hear truck noises, or back-up alerts as crews work to get this portion of the roadway finished by the end of the month. During the day, crews will also be in those areas finishing up the various items to fully complete the project. Maplewood and Brentwood, as well as the Kirkwood section east of Kirkwood Road should be wrapped up by the second week of July, with a few exceptions. For the section between Kortwright and Kenmore, crews continue to work on sidewalks and entrances.  At this time, we are anticipating that section should be complete and resurfaced by mid-fall.

In the news: Immaculate Conception and St. Luke the Evangelist slated to close

A sweeping reorganization of the Catholic church in St. Louis, announced last week, includes the closing of Immaculate Conception in Maplewood and St. Luke the Evangelist in Richmond Heights. Catholic News Agency — St. Louis Archdiocese reorganization will cut parishes from 178 to 134 Courier Tribune — Here are the Catholic parishes that will close or merge in the Archdiocese of St. Louis Fox 2 — Local Catholics react to final plan for ‘All Things New’ at Sunday mass St. Louis Post-Dispatch — Archbishop of St. Louis closes 35 parishes, reassigns 155 priests in Catholic church reorganization St. Louis Post-Dispatch — Here are the Catholic parishes that will close or merge in the Archdiocese of St. Louis St. Louis Public Radio — Reorganization will cut St. Louis Catholic parishes from 178 to 134 St. Louis Review — Parish restructuring starts new chapter in archdiocese St. Louis Review — Catholics share their reactions to All Things New announcement

L’Arche St. Louis seeking to fill caregiver position

L'Arche St. Louis, in Maplewood, is seeking an overnight caregiver. The position includes full benefits. The compensation package includes 100% employer-paid insurance premiums and a 401(k) retirement plan. All details below. See link for details about L'Arche.

Maplewood History: My Own Family Story – The Lindbergh Letter

Or My Baby, He Wrote Me A Letter (apologies to the Box Tops). All right.  Maybe you’ve been thinking, he’s carrying this a bit too far with all of these posts from his own family’s history.  I do have some more posts about the history of Maplewood in mind.  Previously unpublished, as well.  I know of several, large archival deposits that I have yet to tap. The problem is sunshine and 80+ degrees wins every time over the conditioned air spaces that the archives inhabit.  The longer days don’t help, either.  I rarely head indoors while it is still light out. Anyway, take a look at this post and then tell me, “Is this cool or what?” This is an undated photograph of my grandfather, Lowell Hobart, my mother, Dolores Jane and my grandmother, Ora Marguerite Jackson.  They are standing in front of their home at 6329 Elm in Wellston, Missouri.  My mother was born on November 20, 1921.  I have no skill in guessing how old she was when this picture was taken.  But I include it because I think it is as close as I can get to how their family looked around the time the letter was written in 1928. This is the fourth post of images from my own family archive.  The other three can be liked here. I think there is enough interesting material for, at least, a couple more of the Jackson side of my family.  But beware, my sister and I made a book from the Houser side.  You've...

Maplewood business announces closing brick & mortar, says shopping hasn’t returned

Owner of The Roughneck Grooming & Beard, Brad Jackson, says it's time for a change, which includes closing his brick and mortar shop, at 7282 Manchester Road, after this weekend. Hey, Maplewood! After 7 amazing years, we're making the hard decision to evolve and close The Roughneck Grooming & Beard Store in downtown Maplewood. This may come as a surprise to some of you (and not to alot of you), but the reality is that physical retail shopping just hasn't come back to pre-pandemic levels like we'd hoped. We endured the pandemic closures and a couple years of holding our breath to see how the world would look on the other side, and here we are. It's just not there like it was and that means it's time for a change. We're excited for the future! Change can be good. This move frees up a ton of time and energy for us to continue to grow and flourish. To keep up with the way things are now, we're transitioning to a full online platform and working to expand our online presence beyond our own website. We'll be hosting pop up events at boutiques and events all over STL! You'll be able to walk into a bunch of stores to buy our things, or order directly from us for lightning fast shipping and local delivery. We are going to continue occupying our space through the summer so you can still find us at all the Maplewood events and on some random days! For now,...

Maplewood History: My Own Family Story – My Mother – Dolores Jane Jackson Houser

My mother was 27 years old when she married my father in 1948.  He was 22.  They both were intelligent, sensitive, articulate, kind, caring, artistic, friendly, outdoorsy, non judgemental, unpretentious, tool users with well developed senses of humor. Of course, they were much, much more than what I have just written.  How could I possibly sum them up in just a few sentences or paragraphs?  Mama was 5 years older than Pop.  We lost them both at the end of 2020.  She lived one month longer than he did. My brother, sisters and I were truly fortunate to have had the parents that we did.  To try and write about them now is to start grieving once again.  I just couldn’t get this post out on Mother's Day.  Mama would understand. This is Mama's own handwriting.  Her beautiful penmanship would last nearly her whole life. From memory, I think she was 18 months old when this image was made. She read once that her first name, Dolores, meant "sorrowful".  Consequently, she never liked it and always went by Jane. Here she is with her mother, Ora Marguerite Layman Jackson, in the back yard of their home on Elm in Wellston. With her mother on the front porch of their Wellston home. Redevelopment has completely erased the neighborhood where she once lived. With her Dad, Lowell Hobart Jackson, and a few furry critters. 1924 With Mrs. Trafflet and her baby. The back of the previous photo. Hot Rod Jane. 1924 Must be her third birthday in 1924. This is her 4th birthday party. The back...


  1. Lived on 7200 block of Manchester above Cook’s Paint during the 60’s. Would love to see some pictures of that store back then. Walked to the newspaper and tobacco store every afternoon to pick up a newspaper.


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