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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Gateway to the West


I’m currently working on two projects at one time. I know it sounds crazy, especially when you consider that they’re from two separate time periods in history and wonder how in the world do I keep them separate. I have a research notebook dedicated to each time era, full of information. So when I pulled down the one I use for westerns I started thinking back to my trip across country to New Mexico two years ago. We stopped to visit the St. Louis Arch for a day which is fondly called “The Gateway to the West.” 

The Gateway Arch reflects St. Louis' role in the Westward Expansion of the United States during the nineteenth century.  The Jefferson National expansion memorial museum below the surface though was my favorite part of the trip simply because of all the interesting history of our country packed into this space. What a fascinating history we have right here at home. 

So I thought I would share some of the photos from the museum. The Arch is the nation's tallest monument at 630 feet. The Museum of Westward Expansion at the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial contains over 150 quotes from diaries, journals, letters and speeches. 





During a nation-wide competition in 1947-48, architect Eero Saarinen's inspired design for a 630-foot stainless steel arch was chosen as a perfect monument to the spirit of the western pioneers. Construction of the Arch began in 1963, and was completed on October 28, 1965, for a total cost of less than $15 million. 

And of course, I headed right for the information on ships. =D

This tipi is constructed of nine buffalo hides stretched around a frame of fifteen, 18’ lodgepole pine. 



The Exhibits on the American Indians. Generally, the cultures of American Indians were not monetary and they bartered for their needs. They utilized the land and did not understand the European concept of land ownership.


The Exhibits of Buffalo soldiers. Four African-American regiments are established in the peacetime U.S. Army, and designated as the 24th and 25th Infantry and the 9th and 10th Cavalry. The units eventually acquire the nickname "Buffalo Soldiers" from the American Indians.

I hope you enjoyed my trip to the Western frontier and perhaps decide to take a trip there for yourself. It's a fascinating collection of American history and a trip that even my three-year-old enjoyed. They have several programs available for kids and make sure to take a trip to the top!






8 comments:

  1. I have to say, I'm so very jealous. I dream of going to the West. I think there are so many unique, beautiful places within our own country. National treasures. I'm particularly fascinated by the study of on the natives of North America. I took some tremendous anthropology courses and always dreamed of going out west and expanding my studies. Alas, mommy-hood and full-time work has put most travel on hold for now.

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    1. This was my first real trip anywhere, Christi, so I can really relate. I've been to some of the surrounding states to NC like the beach in SC, but I've never really "traveled." I'd love to travel more and it's on my agenda in the future. There really are so many places here with fascinating histories. Did you know that Benjamin Franklin modeled our Constitution on the League of Iroquois Nations which consisted of The Mohawks, Onondagas, Senecas, Oneidas, Cayugas, and Tuscaroras formed the League. It was the biggest political unit north of the Aztec nation. Love me some Indian history. It's never too late for an education. I plan on going back here asap myself. Thanks for stopping in and sharing!!

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  2. Awesome! I love road trips and I love seeing what other people do on their road trips. I saw the St. Louis Arch one time, from the window of a Greyhound bus as my husband and I journeyed from Texas to Maine. It was so cool because the sun was shining through the arch--made quite an impression. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. It is truly quite beautiful. I hear that it attracts lightening during storms and you'll see quite a show. I'd love to see that. Perhaps someday you'll get to see it up close and personal. It was well worth the money honestly. I had a blast and learned quite a bit. Thanks for stopping in, Lily!

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  3. Wonderful post, Suzi. I've been to St. Louis, but never to the museum. I enjoyed the pictures. Tweeted.

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    1. Thank you, Ella! So glad you could stop in!

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  4. Hi Suzie! I don't know how you manage to work on two projects at once! I can barely focus on one. :) I'm not a big traveler (with my 3 kids, road trips start in Hell and go downhill from there). Unfortunately, that daunting reality doesn't phase my travel-loving husband. He would drag me all over the U.S. if he could! Love all the history though. ;}

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    1. Yes, Andris, I can totally relate to the three kids in a car for many hours syndrome. It's an awful sickness and I don't wish it on anyone lol. I don't travel myself, in fact this was my very first trip across country so it was very exciting. So glad you could stop in though!

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