Photo Flood 81: Shrewsbury

photo by Christopher Taber

Once a family farm, Shrewsbury is now an inner-ring suburb of St. Louis. Though outside the city limits, this burb does possess some of the characteristics of those city neighborhoods nearby, Lindenwood Park and Ellendale.

photo by Sue Rakers

photo by Sue Donovan

 

photo by Ann Aurbach

 

photo by Ryan Stanley

In the mid-1800’s, as the city of St. Louis experienced dramatic, successive gains in population, owing mostly to immigration from Europe, the rolling hills of what would become Shrewsbury might as well have been a 1,000 miles away from the Downtown, at least in terms of its impact on the development of the would-be ‘burb. During this time, most of the land was owned by only two people, one of them being Charles Gratiot, whose massive land tracts in the city produced some of its best loved neighborhoods.

As the Century wore on, the land was eventually platted for development, spurring several sprawling farms, including the one owned by John Murdoch, named “Shrewsbury Park”. The Murdochs made most of their considerable fortune from Murdoch & Co., an outfitter business operated out of St. Louis City.

photo by Ingrid Borecki

 

photo by Ingrid Borecki

 

photo by Joe Rakers

 

photo by Ryan Stanley

By 1913, enough of the area in and around Shrewsbury Park had been developed for it to incorporate as the village of Shrewsbury.

Though the major transcontinental line (St. Louis-San Francisco Railway) passed through Shrewsbury, it mostly fed the nearby hub of Ellendale and Harlem Park (Lindenwood Park). Shrewsbury was serviced by a smaller, coal line, a portion of which would become the Metrolink Station that now extends commuter rail between the City and St. Louis. However, when Route 66 came through, Shrewsbury was more rightly situated, especially once the famous “Motel Row” sprang up just west of town.

photo by Sue Rakers

 

photo by Mike Matney

 

photo by Ingrid Borecki

 

photo by Joe Harrison

Perhaps most synonymous with Shrewsbury, however, is the distinctive, looming tower of Kendrick Seminary. The Seminary was founded in the area by Archbishop John Glennon in 1916. A tornado damaged the original structures in 1927, so the present-day campus was constructed and finally dedicated in 1931. Since then, the Kendrick Tower has been a symbol for the city, and a landmark visible from almost any point in Shrewsbury. Today, the school is the only formation program for Catholic priests in the area.

photo by Joe Rakers

 

photo by Ryan Stanley

 

photo by Mike Matney

Shrewsbury in 2019 is a pleasant, if quiet, suburb of St. Louis. The population of the town grew mostly steadily since its founding, until it tabled out in 2010 at just over 6,000 people, which feels like a good fit. This is a place where you are certainly going to want a car, though the Metrolink stop is a unique feature, that creates commuter possibilities (this stop was jam-packed for the 2019 Stanley Cup Parade Celebration). All in all, if you haven’t visited Shrewsbury before, put it on your list. There is enough of a mixture of old and new here to make exploring a worthwhile experience.

photo by Sue Rakers

 

photo by Ingrid Borecki

 

photo by Sue Donovan

 

photo by Ryan Stanley

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