Floodwaters, Castlewood

This photograph was taken just beyond the park rangers’ station, looking towards the parking lot for the trail that goes up to the bluffs, which is still above water. Needless to say, for those who know Castlewood well, the floodwaters backed up a long way, completely covering large areas of the lowlands of the park…

West From Castlewood

Many of the old lodges from the resort era at Castlewood still stand over on New Ballwin Road, but I’ve noticed an interesting trend recently. As can be seen below, in-fill housing, made to look like traditional architecture, has begun to pop up. Back over to Sherman Beach, the water was low again, just like…

Return to Castlewood

One of my most popular posts was one of earliest out at Castlewood. It still draws me back, as I see changes over the years. The old road above, which had begun to suffer from terrible erosion, has been stabilized. Originally, the road led to the various cabins on the bluffs, as well as the…

Cheramis, Castlewood

It’s a little blurry, but this photograph provided by Joyce Pharriss of her family’s Cheramis cabin records what many of the now completely lost cabins along the Meramec River would have looked like. It’s an era that is now long gone, but worth remembering.

Castlewood, Revisited

I visited Castlewood State Park for a post (I’ve been there dozens of times before and since) back in 2008, when this website was new. I always find it fascinating that very little ever changes out here. It’s comforting, in a way. The old ruins of the summer camps and resorts still survive, such as…

Vignettes from Castlewood

Valued reader Joyce Pharriss provided an invaluable window of life in what would become Castlewood State Park when it still operated as privately owned resorts along the Meramec River. From the mid-1920ís until about 1961, my mom and dad spent a lot of time on the Meramec River near Castlewood State Park. At some point,…

Castlewood Lodges, Revisited

I photographed the old hotels and ruins around Castlewood again a couple of weekends ago; I would be interested to hear from readers if they can identify these structures. Is this house below once a rental cottage from the resort era? I know with some certainty that this apartment building was once a hotel; does…

Castlewood State Park

Castlewood State Park was created back in the 1970’s out of the remains of what was once a thriving resort community along the Meramec River. The name comes from the gigantic cliffs, once the edge of an inland sea, that dominate most of the park. The views from the top of the cliffs surely drew…

In Search of the Kaes House

As mentioned before, the Meramec Valley in western St. Louis County is an isolated, but history filled region that remains largely unspoiled due to the creation of Castlewood State Park and other subsidiary trails and county parks. Update: I went back and found the Kaes House again in late 2015. What is fascinating about the…