Somewhere in my files, I found a picture of my Dad and his family, taken at their modest home on top of Antire Hill, which is now a parking lot for the Conservation Shooting range there now. This picture was taken sometime in the late 1900s, as he was born in 1878.
At the time of his marriage in 1904, he was chosen to be the manager of the large Rankin Farm, which also had a unit at Antire which had a great Spring know as "Blue Grass Spring" because of the great growth of watercress that it supported and which supplied organic greens 12 months a year. At the time of the picture, I think the house was at the end of a farm road.
Suddenly Dad had a problem to solve as the farm needed a roadway between the two farm units, so his solution was to get out the teams, and using slips to dig a roadway down the hill connecting the roads that served the area. So all my life the hill was known as DUG Hill because it had been dug down enough to serve the need of the time.
It became a County Road to the West which also became the Famous Route 66 in the 1930s and then in the 1950s became a segment of I-44, which is finally being repaved which will make it good for another century, making it a topic for a blog to record the history of the road, because a member of my family, my father, William "Bill" Weber, oversaw the first improvement there. Now 100,000-plus cars a week use it and in 1965, I added a suggestion to Missouri Department of Transportation, to develop the sign which was developed to hopefully cut down the number of trucks which turned over on the west side as they weren't aware of the steepness with a turn at the bottom.
Then of course the use of the land which ended up as Lone Elk Park and the beautiful tract of unspoiled forest which makes approaching St. Louis from the West on I-44 such an attractive site.
I record this memory of how this came about in my book, "Four Generations of Service" that is linked to my site for the current campaign for Congress and which covers the area more fully. It is available at: www.georgedweber.webs.com