A surge of images along the banks of the Big Muddy.

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photograph by Jason Gray

“‘Your St. Louis’ Speaks” by Nathan Benjamin Young Jr., 1937:

I was a Metropolis when Chicago was a trading post;
I was a cosmopolitan on the bank of a moody river when Philadelphia and Boston were pulsated only by town-criers;
Along my levee French and Spaniard and Aborigine and African met and understood each other.
I was founded upon a hardy brotherhood.
I became asylum to a horde of freedom-bent Germans from an oppressive Fatherland;
I was a bosom to the shorn lambs of Ireland.
When Gold polarized the West, through my bounden limbs converged the Argonauts of ‘forty-nine.
Frugal Yankees and touchy Southrons came and fetched their feud over slavery;
Slave pens and a public mart are among my relics in limbo, but I supplied History with the cause celebre named for black Dred Scott.
I was a Union City in 1861, yet I gave succor and occasion to Confederate sympathizers–(I should be the most liberal city in the U.S.A.).

I am the center of the Continent. I am the centripetal capital of these United States, for I am proud of all sections;…
I am the American City of manifest destiny–I am St. Louis.

St. Louis, the city of a robust and complicated history, turns 250 years old in 2014, and the organization tasked with celebrating the occasion is stl250. Throughout 2014, Photo Flood Saint Louis has partnered with stl250 to photograph their many wonderful and historic events as they unfold.

1. Mini-Flood 14: First Night Grand Center

2. Mini-Flood 16: Burnin’ Love Festival

3. Mini-Flood 17: Reenactment of the Founding of St. Louis

4. Mini-Flood 18: The Biggest Birthday Ball


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Mini-Flood 16: Burnin’ Love Festival


photograph by Jason Gray

Popular opinion suggests that St. Louis was founded upon February 15, 1764. Still, arguments can be made for the important occassion having happened on either the 14th or 16th of February that year. Therefore, it is probably not such a big deal that Mother Nature ruined, with her display of ice and brutal cold, the first big attempt at celebrating St. Louis’ 250th anniversary.


photograph by Theresa Harter

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Mini-Flood 18: The Biggest Birthday Ball


photograph by Janet Henrichs

On February 16th, stl250 invited St. Louis residents and visitors to attend a fun and upbeat event at the Missouri History Museum that honored St. Louis’ 250th anniversary with food, music and performances that reflected our region’s history and traditions. In addition, the Museum unveiled its new exhibition, “250/250“, which is a loving portrait of the city painted by 50 images, 50 people, 50 places, 50 moments and 50 objects that inspire and challenge.


photograph by Jason Gray

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Mini-Flood 17: Reenactment of the Founding of St. Louis


photograph by Patrick Gioia

St. Louis was founded 250 years ago by Auguste Chouteau (then 14 years old), under the guise of Pierre Laclede. Some argument remains about whether this date was February 14th, 15th or 16th; a speculation in some part due to Chouteau’s difficult to read at times handwriting. Nonetheless, when the small group of settlers finally ran their canoes aground at the future city site, the eventual prosperity of St. Louis must have been alive in their imaginations.


photograph by Sasi Suruliraj

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Mini-Flood 14: First Night Grand Center


photograph by Alison Carrick

First Night Grand Center is a yearly ritual in St. Louis that provides a family-friendly atmosphere for yearend revelers. However, on December 31, 2013, First Night was something more; it marked the beginning of a historic anniversary celebration for the city, 250 years in the making.

Photo Flood Saint Louis has partnered with stl250, the organization responsible for making St. Louis’ 250th B-Day something for the record books, and First Night Grand Center represents the first event that we will be covering as media sponsors of the organization.


photograph by Jarred Gastreich

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