Spanish Lake, Missouri

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Spanish Lake is a census-designated place (CDP) in St. Louis County, Missouri, United States. The population was 21,337 at the 2000 census.

Contents

Geography

Spanish Lake is located at 38°47′9″N 90°12′46″W / 38.78583°N 90.21278°W / 38.78583; -90.21278 (38.785849, -90.212879).[3]

The Spanish Lake Community is located in the northeastern portion of St. Louis County. The community is bounded by the Mississippi River to the east, the Missouri River to the north, Highway 367 to the west, and Interstate 270 to the south.[4]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 7.5 square miles (19.5 km²), of which, 7.4 square miles (19.1 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.4 km²) of it (2.13%) is water.

History

Spanish Lake, originally called Spanish Pond until the late nineteenth century, was named after the Spanish troops who stayed there while building a fortified post for Spain in 1768. Much of the area was once the property of James De St. Vrain, a brother of the last Spanish Lieutenant governor of Upper Louisiana. It was in this district, near Spanish Pond, that an old log cabin, said to have been used as a government building by Lieutenant Governor De Lassus De St. Vrain, the last Spanish executive to rule this section, was erected.[4]

Spanish Lake prospered in the nineteenth century as a crossroads farming village came into being. The Bellefontaine Road area was settled largely after General Bissell relocated Fort Belle Fontaine. Fort Belle Fontaine was established in 1806 by Gen. James Wilkerson, then governor of the territory of Louisiana. The fort served as one of the most important military posts west of the Mississippi River until the troops were removed to the Jefferson Barracks reservation in 1827. Traffic between St. Louis and the fort was busy; many officials had homes in both places, and visiting dignitaries usually went to both sites. The liveliest traffic was effected by the farmers riding back and forth to the city.[4]

Spanish Lake became a well-developed neighborhood with the arrival of the German immigrants. Farmland was intensely cultivated and small businesses and industries sprang up around the intersection of Bellefontaine, Parker, and Spanish Pond roads, forming the village’s center. The Catholic parish of St. Aloysius in Spanish Lake was founded by, and for many years served as, a mission of Baden, located in the northern portion of St. Louis. The Bank of Baden played a large role in farm financing in Spanish Lake, and many county farmers also had business interests in Baden. The German dominance of the region was almost complete by the 1870s, and most of the surviving farm houses and outbuildings are associated with that era.[4]

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