“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near North Riverfront in St. Louis, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)

Coast Guard Rest Stop

Coast Guard Rest Stop Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, July 7, 2017
1. Coast Guard Rest Stop Marker

Industry on the River

• The St. Louis riverfront is a working industrial and shipping center for the only area in the country that produces six basic metals: iron, lead, zinc, copper, aluminum and magnesium.

• The City of St. Louis Port Authority stretches 19 (unreadable) along the Mississippi River and is a major shipper of grain, coal, petroleum products and chemicals.

• Just north of downtown, Grossman Iron & Steel Co. operates a scrap metal processing plant on 22 acres near the Mississippi River bank. The business began there in 1920, as a wooden shack on an empty lot.

• Unique salt storage domes just north of downtown are owned and managed by Gunther Salt. In business since 1902, Gunther Salt brought crushed rock salt up the Mississippi River from Louisiana by barge for the 1904 World's Fair.

• Mallinckrodt Chemical Works (formerly Destrehan Street Refinery and Metal Plant) helped process uranium in World War II for the Manhattan Project, a top-secret Army project focused on building the first atomic bomb.

• Three miles north of downtown, at the break in the
Coast Guard Rest Stop Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, July 7, 2017
2. Coast Guard Rest Stop Marker
Marker was next to the Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing Rest Area on the Riverfront Trail.
floodwall, stand the ADM Growmark grain elevators. These elevators can hold 2,100,000 bushels of corn, soybeans, sorghum and wheat.

McKinley and Merchants Bridge

The McKinley Bridge is a 517-foot-long steel truss bridge across the Mississippi River. It opened in 1910 to (unreadable) rail traffic, and closed to all traffic October 30, 2001. (unreadable) first crossed the Mississippi here. The bridge will reopen (unreadable), with an outer lane for pedestrians and bicyclists.

While many think the McKinley Bridge was named in honor of former U.S. President William McKinley, it was actually named after its builder, William B. McKinley, who was the chief executive officer of the Illinois Traction System Interurban electric railway.

The city of Venice Illinois ran the McKinley Bridge as a toll bridge, but had difficulty enforcing the toll system. Toll revenue declined and the bridge fell into serious disrepair. Traffic over the bridge came to a halt when Venice, Illinois was unable to pay back property taxes on that part of the bridge in St. Louis and St. Louis City foreclosed on it.

Just three miles north of Eads Bridge, Merchants Bridge as a three-span, (unreadable) truss railroad bridge over the Mississippi River. Completed in May, 1890, the bridge connects St. Louis, Missouri with Venice, Illinois.

The Terre
Merchants Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, July 7, 2017
3. Merchants Bridge
Taken from the Missouri side, this bridge dates back to either 1889 or 1890. Since that time, it has carried multiple trains across the Mississippi River, with the exception of 1920-1926. In 2018, it underwent a renovation.
Haute and Alton rail lines crossed the Mississippi at Merchant's Bridge.


The Great Rivers Greenway District is the public organization leading the development of a region-wide system of interconnected greenways, parks and trails, known as the River Ring. The River Ring will join two states and cover an area of 1,216 square miles. The Greenway District, formerly known as the Metropolitan Park and Recreation District, was established in November 2000 by the successful passage of the Clean Water, Safe Parks and Community Trails Initiative (Proposition C) in St. Louis City, St. Louis County and St. Charles County, Missouri. For more information about Great Rivers Greenway District, visit
Erected by Great Rivers Greenway.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Bridges & ViaductsIndustry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels.
Location. This marker has been replaced by another marker nearby. It was located near 38° 40.585′ N, 90° 11.455′ W. Marker was in Near North Riverfront in St. Louis, Missouri. Marker could be reached from East Grand Avenue. Marker was next to the Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing/Rest Area, which is located on the North Riverfront Trail.
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The closest road is East Prairie, which is 0.2 miles from the Rest Area. At the end of East Prairie, there is a parking lot that has access to the Riverfront Trail. Touch for map. Marker was at or near this postal address: 28 E Grand Ave, Saint Louis MO 63147, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this location, measured as the crow flies. The Lewis and Clark Expedition Across Missouri (within shouting distance of this marker); Main Street of America ran right through Venice (approx. 1.1 miles away in Illinois); American Elm (approx. 2 miles away); Official Site of Sportsman's Park (approx. 2.1 miles away); Robert A. Barnes (approx. 2.2 miles away); Mounds Heritage Trail (approx. 2.3 miles away); Le Grange de Terre (Big Mound) (approx. 2.3 miles away); Presley and Amelia Cordell (approx. 2.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Near North Riverfront.
More about this marker. This marker, which suffered from wear and tear over the years, was replaced with a marker that instead, talked about the Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing. That one eventually went missing in 2020. Both markers were erected by Great Rivers Greenway.
Also see . . .  Grossman Iron & Steel. As the marker says, this St. Louis company dates back to 1920, and claims to be the leader in the scrap metal business in that city. (Submitted on January 28, 2021, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 28, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 28, 2021, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 43 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 28, 2021, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.
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Mar. 8, 2021