Tower Grove South Coal Diggings, Beckville, Beck Avenue, North Side

Heading back east on Beck Avenue in what was once the small town of Beckville, laid out in 1871 as the Beck Addition (we looked at the south side of the street yesterday), we spot a very, very old house above, sitting at angle in disregard of the street grid. It almost certainly was built before the platting of the Beck Addition, and its form also points to a very early construction date.

Tower Grove Brick Works. View 1. Works, West Side of King’s Highway. Photograph by unknown, no date. Missouri History Museum Photographs and Prints Collections. Industrial Buildings Collection. ID Number=P0024-00006.

The houses to the east, while now converted to single family houses, were clearly built as a tract, and were originally two family duplexes, with probably one room down and one room up.

The house below is further evidence of a later porch and the second front door sealed up and converted into a window.

But as you can see below, and what proved my suspicions, this house below has the door jamb preserved, though it is filled in.

I wouldn’t be surprised if these were built by one of the families who controlled the coal mines, constructing these all at once for their employees.

And then, we see the appearance of another a kilter house. looking almost French in its form. It is another very old survivor.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Alan Creek says:

    Thanks for the post! I hadn’t really explored this neighborhood very much!

  2. Michael R Boyd says:

    This is a fascinating series you’ve explored here. Probably untouched by others until now. Thanks.
    Mike Boyd

    1. cnaffziger says:

      Thank you! I have to give credit to several readers who alerted me to the fascinating book, The Old Gravois Coal Diggings, which is available from the St. Louis Public Library. It is a must-read for those interested in St. Louis history.

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