Dogtown Days of St. Louis

Here’s a list of every municipality and neighborhood that I’ve lived in since I moved to St. Louis in 1995: Kirkwood, Ballwin, Clayton, Dogtown (first Hi-Pointe, then Clayton-Tamm), University City, Creve Coeur, and finally, Lindenwood Park (where I live today). I think that’s a fair amount of moving during a 23-year run in St. Louis. And…

My Gin Craze

Here’s a fun Distilled History tidbit. I briefly mention in it the “About” page on this blog, but the first version of Distilled History didn’t have anything to do with history. Initially, this blog was going to tell people how to drink. No joke. After brainstorming ideas with an old friend, I came up with an idea to write…

A Toast to Minnie Kleeman

Sometimes even the littlest of things can make a tremendous impact. I should know, because I watched it happen two years ago. And it all started with a little piece of paper with the name “Minnie” written on it. To be more specific, this little piece of paper is glued to the inside of a kitchen cabinet at the Campbell…

The St. Louis Water Towers

In the past few years, I have been fortunate for many opportunities that I have been given to share my take on St. Louis history. In presentations, tours, and talks to various groups and organizations, I’ve found that I really enjoy getting out and talking up the great history of this city. I also always try to…

The Hero of the Southern Hotel Fire

I know I must sound like a broken record, but please pardon my lack of activity here (again). But this time, I think I have a pretty good reason. I am happy to announce that I have a book coming out on April 15, 2017. It’s not Distilled History in book form (baby steps), but it was…

Closing Out the 2016 (& 1904) Olympics

Well, the Rio games are finally over. And I can say that it went well. Meaning, my absurd Olympic appetite was fully sated in the last two weeks.  I watched hours upon hours of every badminton match, fencing duel, and steeplechase that I could. During my sixteen-day obsession, I took the opportunity to post daily Olympic history tidbits over on…

George Eyser’s Big Day at the 1904 Olympics

Here’s what I typed into Google a few days ago: “What is that clicky thing on an Olympic bow?” While enthralled with NBC’s archery coverage of the Rio Olympics over the past week, I kept noticing this little piece of metal (or maybe it’s plastic) on an archer’s bow flip down and “click” (it makes an audible “click”) just before an arrow was…

The Magnificent Southern Hotel

As much as I love the rich history of St. Louis, I must admit that a vivid imagination is often necessary to enjoy much of it. This city has always had an inclination for knocking down old stuff, and that fact makes it tough for many in St. Louis to recall what the streets, buildings, and people who…

The Indian Delegation of 1831

During a visit to Calvary Cemetery in north St. Louis a few years ago, I learned about a remarkable event in the history of St. Louis that many people aren’t aware of. Standing off by itself in that beautiful cemetery is a monument that honors four American Indian warriors. Standing over eight feet tall, the granite carving of two eagle feathers…

Compton & Dry in Color

Well, that map is still driving me crazy. Compton and Dry’s 1875 Pictorial St. Louis, the same map that led me on an exhaustive brewery hunt earlier this summer, has completely derailed my summer plans once again. I can’t say that’s actually a bad thing, but it does mean that a dozen or more potential Distilled History ideas have to take a back…

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