Happy 250th Birthday, St. Louis

St. Louis--Small

250 years ago today, a fourteen-year-old boy commanding a party of 30 men began construction on a small handful of rough timber cabins clinging to the western bank of the Mississippi River. Crossing the ice-cold water by boat the previous day in late winter of 1764, he had arrived on behalf of his stepfather to found a fur trading post at the edge of the known world. Thus began St. Louis, Missouri. As the thud of their axe strokes echoed across the lonely wilderness, a bitter wind would have Continue Reading

An Autumn Ritual


The sun was shining on the Mississippi as we headed upriver along the bluffs above Alton, Illinois. The oppressive St. Louis summer was winding down and the first notes of fall were in the air. A touch of cool through the open car windows hinted at Halloween, leaf piles and hot cider without coming right out and stating it. It was apple picking time. An hour north of St. Louis in the highlands above the little river town of Grafton, Illinois, is Eckert’s orchard. Replete with red barn and a Continue Reading