I was rummaging through the bookshelves downstairs today, and came upon a fascinating book. Today I looked at a street guide of the St. Louis area from more than 50 years ago.
More specifically, it was Cunetto's 1957 Street and Sectional Guide Map of St. Louis and St. Louis County. It was printed before any of the area Interstates were built; the main East-West streets were Olive, 40, Manchester, and Watson. If you wanted to go North or South, the main choices were Broadway, Riverview, or Lindbergh. Route 66 meandered through the city on different roads-it came into the area from Illinois on the Chain of Rocks Bridge, followed Lindbergh down to Watson, then continued west approximately where Interstate 44 is west of the Meramec River.
The area where we live was nothing but farmland, although just a couple of miles away Manchester Road was relatively developed through Manchester, Ballwin, and Ellisville. According to the map, some of the streets I drive on every day have been improved to make them straighter, and some were realigned so they could meet up more easily with other through streets.
The guide showed the metro area's parks and cultural institutions. It also indicated the locations of country clubs (some of which are no longer around), cemeteries, and religious convents (most of which are no longer around).