historic castlewood, missouri

"meet you out at the river"

Meramec River and Lincoln Beach

View from cliffs


During its pre-1950s heyday, the center of attraction at Castlewood was Lincoln Beach on the south bank of the Meramac River (shown at a distance in the photo above). But the major concentration of clubs were high above the river to the north of the cliffs. A Grand Staircase connected the residential area with the river. At the river, there was a hotel and small store. A 10-cent ferry took bathers across to the beach. During the 1930's children would walk across the rapids in groups to avoid paying the fare.

Lincoln Lodge

Location: on the north bank of the Meramec River, at the end of Keifer Creek Rd, well to the east of the view above.

1972 Burned down, reportedly by volunteer firemen who want the $2 fire-response fee to party.

Memory. "Prohibition. A St. Louis County officer came out to the Lodge, trying to enforce the no-liquor law in the joint. The bouncers in the place pulled out their "hardware", took his pistol and threw it in the river, and told him not to come back!" [story told to Chuck Simpson]

Memory. "I witnessed the aftermath of a drowning which took place near Lincoln Lodge. My father, being a volunteer fireman, was out in a boat looking for a boy who had drowned, when I saw a second boy, being escorted on the arm by his father, down to the river. His father made the teen point to the area where the other boy went down in the water. They found the body the next day a little farther down stream. People are right in stating that there are whirlpools and treacherous undercurrents in that river."

Memory. "I found your site looking as I pondered the past. Briefly in the 60s I lived on top of the hill overlooking Lincoln Lodge. I was probably 5 at the time. I no longer live in Missouri and only visit every few years. However, on a visit about 5 years ago, my older brother and I visited Castlewood. Only the foundation of our home remains. I fondly remember my dad taking us to Lincoln Lodge for sodas and sessions of that old bowling game where you slide a metal puck down a table. As it crosses over little metal triggers in that table surface, the pins retract into the top of the machine. I also remember a train that ran through the area below our home- I remember as the Tooterville Trolley, but I don't know if that is the real name or a name my mom made up. It amazes me the little bits of trivia a person stores up that resurfaces 40+ years later. [Tony Y, 2005, to SBP]

Photo: view from cliffs looking west, down at railroad tracks and Meramec River. Circa 1940 Contributed by Kathleen Price.