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Some of the textiles in our collection
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Spring in St. Louis
A Walk in 1875 St. Louis
23, May 2014

Meet Me at the Tivoli, Tivoli

On Saturday, May 24 the Tivoli Theatre in University City's Delmar Loop will celebrate 90 years since it first opened. According to the Tivoli's website, when it debuted on May 24, 1924, St. Louis mayor Henry Kiel gave a speech, as did University City mayor Warren Flynn. The evening's entertainment included a showing of the silent film The Confidence Man and vaudeville acts. Read more »

18, May 2014

Civil War Love Letters: May 18, 1864

Macon Georgia
Military Prison
May 18th 1864

Dear Mollie

We were moved from “Danville” on the 12th inst. and arrived here yesterday after a most unpleasant ride and a short march in mud and rain. We are camped inside what was the fair grounds, in rather warm quarters, and exposed to the weather, but we expect to build sheds in a day or two and then I will much prefer it for the summer and fall to Libby. We have no longer any hopes of immediate Exchg. unless all our friends in the North unite to bring pressure to bear on our Government. Read more »

16, May 2014

Community Leader to Receive Honorary Degree at University of Missouri–St. Louis

We are pleased to learn that Elizabeth Gentry Sayad will receive an honorary degree at the University of Missouri–St. Louis commencement ceremonies on May 17. Sayad, an author, accomplished musician, fundraiser, and community leader, has dedicated most of her life to preserving the region’s French history and culture. After the flood of 1993, Sayad worked with the French Heritage Relief Committee to rescue the 1792 Beauvais-Amoureux House in Ste. Genevieve. Read more »

15, May 2014

Time in a Bottle: A 250 in 250 Object

While I feel like it changes every other day, my current favorite artifact in 250 in 250 is the “saloon in a bottle.” Carl Worner, its creator, had to be an interesting character. He would ramble from bar to bar, calling for a large bottle, cigar boxes, scrap wood, a hatpin, and glue. From those he would produce a vibrant miniature scene in a bottle, in exchange for food and drink at the bar. His creations are wonderful bits of folk art. One of my favorite things about this particular saloon in a bottle is that he misspelled “whisky” with two H’s on the barrel. Read more »

14, May 2014

William Clark and His Indian Museum

Most of us in the museum field cannot resist the opportunity to visit similar institutions, especially on travels out of town. When I accompanied my husband on his business trips, my first choice for our leisure-time activities was unalterably the nearest museum, preferably one that focused on local history, but actually any kind would do. (My husband favored golf courses.) Read more »

10, May 2014

Civil War Love Letters: May 10, 1864

Since his last letter, James left Libby Prison, which had been his home for just over six months. In March, Confederate authorities in Richmond, Virginia, had ordered the removal of most prisoners from the city. By early May, it was James’s turn to move. On May 6, 1864, James, along with several hundred other prisoners, traveled by train to a prison in Danville, Virginia.

Prison No. 3
Danville Va.
May 10th 1864

Dear Molly Read more »

7, May 2014

Reckless Demand: How Overharvesting Necessitated the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918

Commercially sold wild game was a hot commodity in the 19th century, and St. Louis played a major part in its distribution. Restaurants and hotels across the country craved the game birds of Missouri and Illinois, which caused overharvesting of the country’s wildlife. Some species were pushed to extinction, while others have yet to return to the numbers they once maintained. Read more »

5, May 2014

Civil War Love Letters: May 5, 1864

While James remained in Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia, the war progressed nearby. In March, General Ulysses S. Grant became commander of all Union forces, and in early May he launched a campaign against the army of Confederate general Robert E. Lee. Grant traveled with the Army of the Potomac, which crossed the Rapidan River on May 4, and planned to move between Lee’s army and Richmond, to the north of the city. The day after crossing the river, they met Lee’s forces in the Battle of the Wilderness. Meanwhile, Union general Benjamin F. Read more »

1, May 2014

Civil War Love Letters: May 1, 1864

On April 17, 1864, Confederate forces attacked Plymouth, North Carolina, in an attempt to recapture the port that they lost to the Union two years earlier. The Confederates captured Plymouth three days later, and Union general Henry W. Wessels, commander of the garrison at Plymouth, surrendered his forces. He was taken prisoner, and arrived at Libby Prison on April 26. As James mentions, Read more »

30, April 2014

Park Yourself at the Fair

Open ye gates! Swing wide ye portals! Provide respite ye benches!

Ok, maybe Louisiana Purchase Exposition president David R. Francis didn’t say that last part when he officially opened the St. Louis World’s Fair 110 years ago today. But those benches were pretty important to the daily throngs of pedestrians and their aching feet. After all, the fairgrounds covered 1,240 acres of Forest Park and surrounding areas. Read more »