La Grange de Terre and Mound Market

Inaugural, Big Mound, Tillie's Corner, Ville, St. Louis Plac 010

Update: A new Big Mound monument was constructed as part of the new bridge.

While searching in the Whipple fire insurance maps for the northern counterpart of the French Market on the Near South Side, I realized that the history of St. Louis’s Native American inhabitants and this northern market are intertwined.? The Mound Market (seen in the map in the extreme bottom of the image), so named due to its proximity to La Grange de Terre, or Earthen Barn, the largest mound in the city of St. Louis. The market once sat where the large memorial rock for the mound now sits, on a little triangular plot of land.

Mound Market Big

By the Twentieth Century, the site was run-down with trash-strewn streets and billboards.

William Swekosky, Site of Great Mound, 1950, Missouri History Museum, N07196

Nothing remains of the Big Mound, the Grange de Terre’s alternate name, as was recently determined by an archaeological survey done by the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Inaugural, Big Mound, Tillie's Corner, Ville, St. Louis Plac 008

That’s right, the new Mississippi River Bridge goes right through the site of the old mound in between Brooklyn Street and Mound Street, which can be seen below had already become the site of foundries and other industry after the Civil War.

Big Mound Big

Ironically, MoDot is making its own earthen mound, rather eerily similar in shape and size to the original mound.

But alas, it seems that the only memorial to the mound will continue to be nothing more than the large rock (its memorial plaque long ago stolen by scrappers) and a street sign for Mound Street.

Inaugural, Big Mound, Tillie's Corner, Ville, St. Louis Plac 011

3 Comments Add yours

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      Cool, glad to hear about this.

  1. Matt says:

    This is un-enduringly fascinating to me. I like the fact that dEspite my general feeling that this town doesn’t know how to hang on to it’s history, it is still worth having archeological excavations done for certain purposes. What a great thread of research is could start. I never knew what that circulAr rock memorial thing was for up on north broadway…

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