Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

City Starts Piecing Together Its Past Fixation on Future Gives Way to Preservation of the Past

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

City Starts Piecing Together Its Past Fixation on Future Gives Way to Preservation of the Past

Article excerpt

St. Peters has grown up so quickly that some political leaders are rushing to preserve the past.

Alderman Betty Woelfel, 1st Ward, has been out front as a supporter of preserving the Old Town area. Mayor Tom Brown has been pushing hard for the city to buy an old farmhouse that could be restored and used to illustrate how life once was for the early farmers around Dardenne Creek, which then was Dardenne River.

St. Peters has grown from a village of 486 in the early 1970s to about 52,000 people today. For two decades, St. Peters was the fastest-growing city in the state and one of the fastest-growing in the nation. On the average, builders put up 2 1/2 structures in the city every day for the last 20 years.

Former City Administrator Robert Irvin said it was "like mushrooms popping out of the ground."

The growth now has slowed. As St. Peters catches its collective breath, it is beginning to piece together a recorded history.

Bill Loyd, who works for the Parks and Recreation Department, has been given a four-month assignment to research the history of St. Peters, collect old photographs, articles, letters, documents and other forms of memorabilia that he can use to record the history of the city.

Anyone wishing to donate items or lend them to the city can call Loyd at 278-2244 or 447-4440, ext. 418.

Loyd has a background in historical research, as he has worked at the first Missouri State Capitol in St. Charles and in Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia.

Others have done solid work in researching the history of St. Peters, Loyd said, and he is trying to put that work into chronological order. He is interviewing longtime residents who may have new information.

This much is known:

* The first records of a settlement were recorded in 1796, and it was known as the Village on Dardenne. The first settlers were French fur traders. …

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