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March 1, 2013 | 3 Comments

Flashback Friday: Berkeley Streetcar Line’s Last Day

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Did you guess what year our Flashback Friday photo was taken in?

If you guessed February 1948, you are right. This is just for fun so you don’t get a prize or but you do get the satisfaction of knowing you are correct! This week’s Flashback Friday was taken on February 21, 1948.

2-21-48 Snow

Andrew Young’s Streets & Streetcars of St. Louis

In this photo from Andrew Young’s Streets & Streetcars of St. Louis: A Sentimental Journey, we see Ferguson Junction.  The car on the left was running on the 02 Berkeley shuttle. The car on the right had come up from Ferguson and would have continued its trip to Wellston and Maplewood, according to Young. The photo was taken on the last day the Berkeley streetcar line ran.

Wait, it gets cooler! This next photograph, also from Streets & Streetcars of St. Louis, was taken a few minutes after the previous photo.

2-21-48 Snow Sweeper

Andrew Young’s Streets & Streetcars of St. Louis

Young points out that you can see Snow Sweeper 127 on the Berkeley tracks just north of the junction.

 Did you guess the right year the picture was taken?

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3 thoughts on “Flashback Friday: Berkeley Streetcar Line’s Last Day”

  1. DMG_42 says:

    This first picture was taken at what appears to be the intersection of what is now the intersection of Hanley road and Case Ave. just outside of I-170 and the airport. The area has changed a bit thanks to the airport, but the nearby Suburban Ave. used to be the trackage for the 16 it seems.

  2. Wayne Brasler says:

    I rode that streetcar line and my dad was a motorman on it! The junction is at what is now Hanley but not at Case. There’s no street junction where the streetcar junction was. The closest street is Suburban Avenue to the east. The tracks made a wide turn at the junction through Kinloch and that junction was always the site of a lot of activity. Suburban Avenue originated as the Ferguson streetcar branch, the road and homes coming later. When Suburban was constructed it ended just short of Carson Road, east of the present Hanley, and Kinloch residents could not drive to Ferguson to shop. When the tracks reached Florissant road the north track came from Florissant in a wide turn, the south track turned into Florissant with a sharp turn and the tracks joined into a single track because there wasn’t room on Florissant Road for double tracks. The streetcars then headed to a loop at the Wabash Railroad overpass, at Wesley Avenue. At the loop a second track emerged as a siding. How did motormen know if a trolley was not coming up Florissant? Facing the loop outside the Ferguson Department Store was a traffic signal. If it showed white it signaled a streetcar was on the tracks. A similar light face the tracks at the east end of the streetcar rail from Kinloch. The Ferguson line originally went to Kirkwood. In the early 1940s the southern destination was changed to Maplewood. On Skinker, from Delmar to Wydown, the Ferguson line shared trackage with the Clayton line. Between Etzel and Suburban Garden at Hodiamont an Kennerly it shared trackage with the Hodiamont line. The Page line also ran on the track for a block making a loop at Etzel. In the summer the Ferguson junction was in rich forest but I’ve never seen a photo of that. Its original name was Ramona Junction, a reference to Lake Ramona to the east, still there. There also was a loop at the lake.
    I have a photo of that. Hanley Road from I-70 to Airport Road is on the right-of-way of the Ferguson and Berkeley lines, which originally was the Florissant line. An entire thriving community north of I-70 along Springdale Avenue was obliterated when airport runways were extended, said to be because no one could live with the airplane racket. I stay at the Hilton Garden Inn on Lake Ramona frequently; it was placed in the valley next to the Lake and I’m not even conscious of the planes going overhead. I could not find Lake Ramona for 60 years until the Hilton Inn was built, I stayed there and to my surprise there was the lake, which I immediately recognized.

    1. MatthewHibbard says:

      Wayne, what an interesting story! Thank you so much for sharing your streetcar story with us. If you’d like, I’m always looking for customers to talk to for our Passenger Profile blog series. If you’re interested, please let me know. Email me at mrhibbard@metrostlouis.org.

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