Timeline of Spanish Lake History
Tradition says that the name Spanish Lake (originally called Spanish Pond) refers to Governor Trudeau, Spanish Governor of Upper Louisiana, who built a home here. Spanish Lake was a farming community, with a general store - Barlbort's (dating to 1911) - located at Bellefontaine and Parker Roads. It was never a “village” like Florissant or “town” like Ferguson.
1798 – Chitworth-Prigge log cabin built
1803 – Louisiana Purchase
1804-6 – Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery expedition
1805 – Fort Belle Fontaine built
1805 – Bellefontaine Road constructed. It was originally a plank road designed for travel from the City of St. Louis to Fort Belle Fontaine.
1830-60 – Spanish, French, English, American and Germans settled in the area. Many of our Spanish Lake streets are named after these early immigrants; some are Trampe, Poggemoeller, Larimore, Prigge, Parker, Twillman and Strodtman.
1839 – John Henry Twillman came to the St. Louis area. An early settler, Twillman was born in 1827 in Bielefeld, Germany. He arrived with his family at age 11, settled originally in Black Jack, then called New Bielefeld, north of the city of St. Louis in what is now north St. Louis County. He married twice and had 10 children.
1850 – The Twillman School constructed. Originally a one room schoolhouse, tradition says that the Twillman family paid the salary of the teacher for the first year. In the 1920’s a new 3 room building was built on the same site and further additions were built later. Twillman School, at its same location at Bellefontaine and Redman Roads, is now an elementary school for K-6 students in the Hazelwood School District.
1863 – St. Peters Lutheran Church built on Columbia Bottom. The church was built to resemble the church the settlers left in Bielefeld, Germany. In the 20th century, the congregation moved to a new church on Trampe.
1870 - John Henry Twillman built a fancy farmhouse on 374 acres in Spanish Lake (at Bellefontaine and Redman Roads). Three generations of this family lived in the home.
1945 - The Twillman family sold the house. It became the Meadowlark Restaurant and later the Old Homestead Restaurant.
Post WWII (1945) – Suburban development of Spanish Lake. Because of its large farms, it was easier for developers to purchase one piece of property for development rather than assembling a number of smaller plots.