The Hodiamont streetcar may have stopped running more than 45 years ago, but that hasn’t stopped the Hodiamont right-of-way from making the news.

Seems folks just can’t quite accept the idea that the right-of-way is not a street open to traffic — and as a result, accidents happen. KPLR-TV reports that a recent accident involved a police car.

Says Jimmy Allen, who formerly lived near the right-of-way: “This is the old street car tracks, where the Hodiamont Streetcar ran. I used to ride it to go to school everyday.” He adds, “It looks like a street, people use it as a street, so I guess it is a street.”

Any Wellston Loop readers have memories of the Hodiamont right-of-way?

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3 Comments on Hodiamont Tracks in the News

  1. Wayne Brasler says:

    I grew up at Roosevelt and Hamilton in the 1940s, when to the west and north were open pastures. We lived in a four flat and the Rothman family downstairs, from which came a Missouri lieutenant governor and a famous sculptress and a famous nurse, had a born with horses next to it! The Wabash railroad ran on the north in a ditch, the City Limits streetcar line on a ridge on the west. My father was a streetcar motorman, so Public Service was his employer, our extended family, and our medical caretaker via its clinic at 39th and Park. My dad had one day off a week and he’d take me riding to Ferguson, Maplewood, Kirkwood. By the age of 4 I knew those lines by heart and today can still trace them and have in fact written extensively on them. We moved to the Normandy area in 1954 and I went to Harris College two years before leaving for Mizzou, so I rode the Hodiamont line all my St. Louis life. One thing I noticed is how the right-of-way would go below street grade and then above street grade and seldom at street grade. That was a legacy of the West End Narrow Gauge construction. I went to Soldan High one semester before we moved to Normandy; the Hodiamont line wound around a bit east of Union Avenue because then it was constructed there was large apple orchard there and the Narrow Gauge had to wind around it! The most beautiful part of the Hodiamont line was located behind magnificent “Meet Me in St. Louis” homes on Cabanne Place and the Hodiamont line really did pass behind the Smith family home on Kensington to the line in the movie about “down by the trolley” was correct. The Hodiamont ran mostly on right-of-way inherited from the Narrow Gauge line and that line’s barn was located on what became the site of a beautiful public elementary school. I will never forget waiting for City Limits cars to arrive at Suburban Garden, the former amusement park site at Kennerly and Hodiamont. The right-of-way was reached by a monumental cement double staircase. All you could see from streetlevel was the trolleys sliding along the wire. The Hodiamont cars were PCCs, the City Limits cars Peter Witts; at 4 I thought the Hodiamonts were girl streetcars and Peter Witts boys. My firm belief is that upon death I will find myself back on that right-of-way in the 1940s, the sound of birds and the Leschen Rope factory mixing with the wind on the plains, along will come a City Limits streetcar and driving it will be my father and on it will be all my family and friends who went before me.

  2. Linda Tate says:

    Thanks, Wayne, for your *wonderful* recollections. You’ve provided a wealth of information about the Hodiamont line and the right-of-way. Just an FYI: I’ll be running a contest starting Monday, April 4, asking folks to submit their memories of Wellston. Anyone who posts a comment will be entered into a drawing for the book “Streets and Streetcars of St. Louis.” I know that you’d love the book (if you don’t have it already), so I hope you’ll post again! LOVE your last sentence, by the way. Just great!

  3. Carolyn Kelley Bounds says:

    Wow, where do I start. After moving from a tenement flat in the Mill Creek area, we moved to 5943 Theodosia, where you could look across the parking lot at the booming Wellston Shopping district – straight at Woolworths. We shopped at all the stores. My aunt, who raised us loved going to Biedermans. I liked the hotdogs at Woolworths and the warm peanuts and jellybeans! Three Sisters Dress Shop was at the corner of, then, Easton and Hodiamont where I would look at the new fashions everytime we went down the street. I still miss Kresges, where you could find a little of everything, before it became Jupiters. We banked at the Wellston Bank and went to the Wellston Theater before the Victory Theater came with admission being only a quarter (whippee). Central Hardware was our Home Depot and further up the street was the Davey and Goliath store where you could get free samples of cookies and play out front while your parents shopped. Wellston was a booming place with lots of stores. After its demise we played baseball and touch football on the parking lot. I learned to ride my first bike – a Murray – on that parking lot, it was great.Do I have memories of Wellston, yes I do, and they are wonderful!