The Big Mound, 1869

From Switzler's Illustrated History of Missouri 1541-1877 (1879) comes this sketch of the largest Native American mound built in St. Louis near the time of its demolition in 1869. The Big Mound, as it was known, was near the intersection of Broadway and Mound Street in Old North St. Louis. It stood at least 30 feet high, was 150 feet in length, and had three terraced approaches facing the river for religious ceremonies. At one point in the 1820s, a small resort building was constructed at the top of the mound. Artifacts were found during its demolition.

Its only rival in size was the mound demolished to make way for Col. John O'Fallon's mansion in the 1850s. In 1875, ten years after O'Fallon's death, his mansion burned; it was demolished completely in 1893. The site is now O'Fallon Park.

St. Alphonsus Liguori, 1875

From Leaves from the history of St. Alphonsus's Church (1895) comes this photograph of the church prior to the addition of its steeple in the 1890s.

From Dry's Pictorial St. Louis (1875) comes this spliced image of two plates, showing St. Alphonsus Liguori in its earliest days. Note the lack of characteristic spire and no rock wall surrounding the building.

Interesting fact about St. Alphonsus: according to the Leaves from the history of St. Alphonsus's Church (1895), the altar was centered over one of the abundant Native American mounds that once dotted the St. Louis landscape. The mound was leveled to make way for the church.

St. Alphonsus Liguori, 1895

From Leaves from the history of St. Alphonsus' Church (1895) comes this splendid picture of St. Alphonsus Liguori Church at Grand and Finney avenues in North St. Louis. St. Alphonsus lovingly was nicknamed the "Rock Church" since its construction in the early 1870s. The 237-foot spire was added in the early 1890s, hence the booklet on the church.

The engraving, incidentally, was done by Sanders Engraving Co., located at 400 N. 3rd Street in 1895. More engravings and photographs to follow.