Saturday, September 15, 2007

Pictorial St. Louis

This image of the St. Louis Base Ball Park is taken from Pictorial St. Louis - The Great Metropolis of the Mississippi Valley - A Topographical Survey drawn in perspective A. D. 1875. This work, illustrated by Camille Dry and published by Richard Compton in 1876, is an extraordinary work of art as well as a valuable research tool. David Lossos, in his "Index to Pictorial St. Louis 1875", writes that "This book is actually two books within one. Besides the pictorial views, noted as "Plates" (of which there are 110), there are also verbose descriptions on many of the persons and places listed on the "Plates". These show up on the "Pages"(of which there are 215)." There are several sites that have the entire topographical map online, including the Library of Congress and the David Rumsey Map Collection.

The St. Louis Base Ball Park was located on North Grand Blvd. between Dodier St. and Sullivan Ave. Some of you might recognize the address as the future home of Sportsman's Park. In 1875, the ballpark was home to the St. Louis Brown Stockings of the NA as well as the amateur Empire Base Ball Club. Professional baseball would be played at this site until 1966.

The image in the side bar to the right is also taken from Pictorial St. Louis (see this post). It shows the Compton Avenue Base Ball Park, also known as Red Stockings Base Ball Park. In 1875, it was home to both the Reds and the amateur Atlantic Base Ball Club. Located near the intersection of Compton and Market St. (just south of the present day location of St. Louis University), the ballpark would be used until it was torn down in the late 1890's.

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