Saturday, February 15, 2014

Happy 250th Birthday St. Lou!

Happy Birthday St. Louis!

It's our semiquincentennial! According to people who study such things, it was 250 years ago today (more or less) that French trader and explorer Pierre Laclede, along with his teen-age sidekick, Auguste Chouteau, founded a trading post just south of the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. Laclede named it after le saint roi, Louis IX of France. Just look what happened.

As part of the festivities, 250 fiberglass "birthday cakes" are being placed all over the region. The first 50 are up and the lot of them will be around through summer. I'm sure there will be photos of many more but this is certainly #1.

The illustration below is a fanciful account of the event. It is supposed to show Pierre and crew notching a tree to mark the location. Well, they must have marked it the summer before 'cause ain't no one dresses like that here in February.

There is something else to mention that's good about this place.  We get our heat in this region from natural gas. People with little income could get very cold at this time of year. The public utility, Laclede Gas, sponsors an excellent program, DollarHelp, to keep such people warm. Customers like me and my wife voluntarily add a dollar or more to our monthly bill to support the cause. Of course, all contributions are welcome.

DollarHelp reached out to local bloggers to help publicize the program and a contest they are running. They are hosting a “Share the Warmth” photo contest on their Facebook page. Customers will have a chance to win the ultimate winter warm-up – a trip for four to Cardinals Spring Training in Jupiter, Fl., and a meeting with Cardinals star Matt Holliday.  All they have to do is submit a photo demonstrating how they “share the warmth.” Customers who share a photo by Feb. 25th will also be eligible to win one of nine runner-up prizes including regular season tickets to a St. Louis Cardinals home game. So, St. Louis, get snapping.

And happy birthday to us!              


Olivier said...

un joyeux anniversaire a St Louis, et puis 250 ans pour une ville c'est tout jeune puis tu as un nouveau sujet tout trouve ;))

Luis Gomez said...

Congratulations! and thank you for the post.

cieldequimper said...

That's a great idea, the cakes I mean!

Thanks for the email explaining about the history. For some odd reason I knew the name but didn't associate it with St-Louis.

Bibi said...

Pierre seems to have been a dapper chap; very French. Happy 250th!

Stefan Jansson said...

Might be an interesting series of photos. 249 to go.

William Kendall said...

A remarkable shot of the Arch, and quite an anniversary. We've got a few years before we see that date... we have yet to reach our two hundredth anniversary.

Norma said...

Think you can find all of the cakes, Bob?

Jack said...

A perfect arch photo, Bob.

Happy birthday!