- 2 years ago
When you have a water fare as enormous as the mighty Mississip’, towns will spring up wherever there is a decent pace to bank, but cities will grow where you can make your passage across. St Louis was the spot you had to go through if you wanted to head out west. Papa Jacques first stumbled across the Native settlements there back in 1673 (see episode 12.4.15 – Marquette’s Mission) he had to run away back to Chi town, but it wasn’t much longer before the white man moved into the neighborhood and started raising the property values.
By the late 1800’s St. Louis was the largest city on the river, eclipsing N’Orleans, and with the construction of the Eads Bridge, became the spot to go west without getting your socks wet. By 1896 there were half a million folks packed into about sixty five square miles. And when population gets that dense, when things go wrong they go really wrong.