Main Street, De Soto

The Arlington Hotel anchors the wide expanse of railroad tracks that cuts through the heart of De Soto.


Depending on who you ask on the streets of De Soto, the hotel was built in the 1850s or 1860s in the Greek Revival.

But wow, those railroad tracks. The railroad has operated a repair facility here since the 1870s, and this huge right-of-way accommodates the tracks through the center of town.

To the west of the tracks, the downtown spreads along the railroad, and the shoots up onto dramatic bluffs only a block or two west of Main Street.

Retaining walls hold back the hill, and there is a staircase and street that goes up to the top of the bluffs. The Joachim Creek sits to the east of downtown.

There is also a wonderful Art-Deco movie house.

Very little fits in between the one row of buildings along Main Street and the bluffs, but this store is one business that sits on a side street.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Alan says:

    Thanks, now I have a greater feel for and respect for DeSoto.

  2. Jim Potts says:

    Thanks for capturing some of the cool architecture of our picturesque small town. Your post with photos of the homes on our Silk Stocking Hill is appreciated as well. We never know when a classic structure will be lost in some real estate whim.

  3. samizdat says:

    My wife and I passed through DeSoto a couple of years ago, by way of just poking around, driving (“Oooh, look at that, an antique mall!”; my wife is rather devious at times). We, too, were quite impressed with the Melba. A nice little building. It looks to have received some love since our visit.

    Hmmm, I also remember wondering at the time if there was an IOOF hall in town somewhere. (It’s a weird little hobby of mine). Many towns of this size seemed to have one.

  4. Phil Jones says:

    I am 77 years old now and I lived in St. Louis ( north and south) until I went into the Coast Guard at 18. My parents came from DeSoto and I had a few relatives that lived there. I lived there for a year at my Aunt and Uncles house at 905 E. Main Street. They were Matthew and Nellie Merget. Uncle Matt worked at Kane’s Chevolet right across the tracks from our house. He worked in accounting. I went to St. Rose School in the 4th. grade. My Grand-pa Jones owned that big two story white house on top of the hill passed 5th and Joachim ( now Am Vets St.). Three of my uncles worked on Missouri Pacific Railroad. They were Frank Hartnet, Dick Sumner and Sid Boyer. My father and lot of relatives buried there. He was Ralph Jones. He passed away in 1962 in Minnosota. He was a postal inspector. Ursla Sellers is a cousin that still lives there.
    I love DeSoto. Every time we visit my family in St.Louis, we go to DeSoto. Thanks for the pictures.

    Phil Jones

  5. Phil Jones says:


  6. knew the mergets well dated beth for several years. they were great people.

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