the end of the line, at Rue St. Ferdinand and Rue St. Catherine. Converted to an electric line in 1892, trolley mail was introduced and mail posted in the morning in Florissant could be delivered in the afternoon in St. Louis. In 1969, the architectural preservation society known as Historic Florissant, Inc. moved the little railroad station to a small city park on Rue St. Catherine at Florissant Road and restored it.
Casa Alvarez, 1790
Located at Rue St. Denis at Rue St. Pierre, this home is a wonderful example of French Colonial architecture. It was built for Eugenio Alvarez, military storekeeper for the King of Spain. In 1914, Dr. Herman von Schrenk, a botanist, plant pathologist, and timber engineer, acquired the property and made additions to the home. Today, Casa Alvarez is privately owned.
Auguste Archambault House, circa 1850
Auguste Archambault lived an extraordinary life, courageously advancing western exploration and expansion as one of the last of the mountain men. He served as a guide and hunter for Fremont in his Third Expedition to California Battalion during the Mexican War. Archambault came to Florissant with one of his fellow guides, Antoine Tesson, and married Amanda Piera. He acquired numerous tracts of land and is believed to have built the house at 603 St. Denis about 1850. Archambault died in Florissant in 1881.
Mercantile Building circa 1885
Henry Albers arrived in Florissant around 1875 after emigrating from Hanover, Germany. He built the store on Rue St. Francois between 1884 and 1886 and shared the space with his brother August. Henry sold shoes and fabrics on one side, and August sold farm implements and hardware on the other. In 1904, August built his own store on Jefferson Street at St. Francois, where he sold hardware and auto supplies.
Franz Gittemeier House circa 1858
Franz Gittemeier came to the Florissant area in 1870 from Rebbeke, Westphalia Germany, but soon headed to the gold fields of California to make his fortune. After seven years, he returned with enough gold to buy 50 acres of farmland and to build this two-story brick home. He married Prussian-born Gertrude Gerling on September 25, 1858, raised 10 children here, and increased his land holdings to 500 acres. In 1938, Mrs. Mae Pondrom purchased the building, and her descendants lived in it until Shell Oil Company purchased it in 1990. The home was slated for demolition so that Shell could build a large service station, food shop, and car wash. Because the community expressed its desire to preserve the house, Shell asked Historic Florissant, Inc. to assume the responsibility of its restoration and maintenance. Historic Florissant met the one-year deadline given them and the property is now of their offices, bookstore and Resource Room.
Great Rivers Greenway is the public organization leading the development of a region-wide system of interconnected greenways, parks and trails, known as the River Ring. The River Ring will join two states and cover an area of 1,216 square miles. Great Rivers Greenway (GRG), formerly known as the Metropolitan Park and Restoration District, was established in November 2000 by the successful passage of the Clean Water, Safe Parks and Community Trails Initiative (Proposition C) in St. Louis City, St. Louis County and St. Charles County, Missouri. For more information about GRG, visit www.grgstl.org.