Saint Louis Celebrates 250 Years

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When you turn 250 years old – you’re allowed to celebrate for an entire year.   That’s what they’re doing at the Missouri History Museum located in the Forest Park area of Saint Louis, Missouri.   Until February of 2015, guests will be able to explore a clever, out of the box exhibit that pays tribute to moments, both good and bad that help define Saint Louis.

The exhibit is called 250 in 250.  The breakdown of the presentation is in five sections:  people, moments, places, images and objects.

In each of the noted sections you’ll find 50 different pieces of Saint Louis history.   Growing up in Saint Louis, only one of the “people” I would have included was actually in the exhibit.  Names like Jack Buck, Tina Turner, Ozzie Smith and Bob Costas were nowhere to be found.  Stan Musial, one of my choices, is in fact part of the display.  I certainly don’t envy the folks who were tasked with coming up with just 50 names to represent 250 years of Saint Louis history.  The people that were chosen and their stories that go along with them – make for just the right amount of history, entertainment and quirk.

Chuck Berry grew up and currently lives in the Saint Louis area. One of Berry’s guitars is on display as part of the 250 in 250 exhibit at the Missouri History Museum.

The technology used to tell the story of well known Saint Louis area locations past and present is equally impressive.  A giant computer screen allows guests to select a place and then archived photos and stories pop up on the screen.  On the wall across from the screens are drawings of well known Saint Louis establishments and what they looked like in their early days like  Imo’s Pizza and Schnucks grocery store – both longtime establishments in the area.

Moments that stand out in Saint Louis history include a first hand account of David Freese’s home run ball being caught in game 6 of the 2011 World Series and a story about how the streets of Saint Louis were once nothing but mud.   Visitors can press a button and listen in on interviews from 50 different people telling 50 different Saint Louis stories.

One of the listening stations in the 250 in 250 exhibit celebrating the 250th birthday of Saint Louis, Missouri

The exhibit is cozy and will keep your attention.  After walking through with Andrew Wanko of the Missouri History Museum – I decided to walk back through once again to see things I may have missed.   A Chuck Berry guitar, a contraption used at the Lemp Brewery (pre-Budweiser days) to cork bottles and a jersey from the Saint Louis Browns baseball team were all fun to see.  There’s also a cool bench that was used at the 1904 World’s Fair which was held in Saint Louis.

If you’re in the area or passing through Saint Louis – it’s definitely worth catching before it closes for good in February 2015.

 

Follow Bill on Twitter: @ontheroadwithbc

 

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Bill is a travel journalist, broadcaster and freelance writer based in Saint Louis, Missouri. Bill travels all across the country doing positive stories, highlighting people and places making America great. He's the host of the weekly Rediscover America podcast and author of the new book 100 Things To Do In America Before You Die! Bill enjoys parks, talking to strangers, eating medium-rare steaks, playing Pickleball and telling good jokes.