When James P. Kirkwood was building the Pacific railroad, it is quite unlikely that he ever imagined that he could have a town named after him. After all, he was just the chief engineer of the Missouri Pacific railroad.
Kirkwood was the first planned suburb west of the Mississippi. It is located in the western suburb of St Louis in St Louis County. Officially, Kirkwood was founded in the year 1853 and only had a handful of locals. Now, the town's population stands at over 27,000.
The history of Kirkwood, St. Louis
One of the issues that has defined Kirkwood is a large devastating fire known as the St Louis fire of the year 1849. Alongside the fire was also a cholera outbreak, an epidemic that brought the city into its knees and cost it more than one-tenth of its residents. In fact, the fire led to the creation of a municipality outside the boundaries of St Louis city.
In the year 1853, the railroad built by James Kirkwood reached a small community that resided where modern day Kirkwood is. The railroad opened up the area and sparked development from investors who were looking to capitalize on the arrival of the new mode of transport.
According to the town's original plans, industrial developments were restricted to ensure that the neighborhood remained family friendly. In the year 1893, the Kirkwood train station was built and opened officially. The station featured a Richardsonian Romanesque style and was listed on the national register of prehistoric sites. This made the station a symbol of the neighborhood.
For a long time afterward, many people associate the town with the rail station because it was like the center of Kirkwood. Interestingly, the station was the only stop that Amtrak made outside the city limits of St Louis metropolitan areas.
In the late 19th century, Meramec resort was built just above Meramec River. The resort also became a major landmark in the area because of its popularity. Kirkwood, St. Louis, MO has won various awards including the Arbor Day Growth award four times.
In 2007, for instance, Kirkwood, St. Louis, MO won the American in Bloom community involvement criteria award. Winning such awards proves that Kirkwood, St. Louis is one of the best small cities in the country.
Kirkwood also boasts of numerous cultures and traditions, with most of them captured in arts. The city is home to the national museum of transportation, a museum founded in the year 1944. It specializes in restoration, preservation, and display of various vehicles that cut across several decades of history.
The national museum of transportation houses some of the earliest and oldest forms of cars, boats, locomotives, rail building equipment, as well as aircraft from all over the USA.
Every September, the city of Kirkwood holds the annual Greentree festival. The festival allows families to participate in many activities revolving around art and craft for kids as well as the display of various foods from different cultures.
This festival has been observed in Kirkwood for more than half a century since it made its debut in 1961. This festival was created to replace the trees that had been stricken by drought in the park. It is made up of a fair as well as a parade, and it has always been held at Kirkwood Park.
Due to the city's rich history and traditions, many residents take pride in ensuring that the city is well curated. Many parks, schools, and public areas, therefore, have green space. Most of the green space is covered by grass.
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