Best Hidden Historical Site - 2011
Ellen Clark Sculpture Park
This year marks the sesquicentennial of the Camp Jackson massacre at this site, then known as Lindell Grove on the western edge of the city. On May 10, 1861, federal troops — already on edge and spooked by the sound of gunfire — fired into the crowd, killing 28 civilians, including several children, and wounding nearly 100 more. From 1929 to 1959 a monument to the event stood nearby, but it was banished when a descendant of Daniel M. Frost, general of the pro-Confederate Missouri militia, donated funds for Saint Louis University to purchase the midtown Frost Campus. Today, the site houses the Ellen Clark Sculpture Park, which is full of colorful abstractions reflective of Saint Louis University president Lawrence Biondi's taste in art. Not even a small plaque commemorates the historic event or the two dozen-plus civilians who died here.