Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park (also known as Creve Coeur County Park) is located in Maryland Heights, Missouri. It is a U.S. park that is 2,145 acres in size and a St. Louis County Parks System component.
History of Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park – Maryland Heights, Missouri
Creve Coeur Lake had formed thousands of years ago when an offshoot loop of the Missouri River was closed off.
The park’s name is French for “broken heart,” which is used as a figure of speech to describe grief, sorrow, and affliction. Although false tales of Indian maidens were told in the 20th century about the origins of the name here, the truth is that the Anglo settlers in this area never knew why the early French settlers had used this moniker.
Creve Coeur Lake eventually became the site of a large resort and vacation area. In 1881, the Missouri Pacific Railroad built a spur line to the lake from Laclede Station. Jacob Studt, a local farmer and general store owner, built the first of lodging establishments, dance pavilions, and boathouses on the Upper Lake. In 1889 he offered the grounds and a subsidy for the annual county fair, which was held there for about thirty years. The upper level of the park was once the site of a large amusement park known as “Electric Park.”
The brick building located towards the center of the park was originally a booster station for the city electricity that powered the streetcars. The brick building was also known as the “loop,” where the streetcars turned around to return to the city.
On June 3, 1945, the park was dedicated when four hundred acres of land were donated to St. Louis County, and Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park officially became the first county park.
Creve Coeur Lake, which comprises 320 acres, had been the home of many boating events decades before the park officially opened. In June 1882, the Mississippi Valley Regatta was held at the lake. The park also hosted the Creve Coeur Regatta and the Annual Races of the National Association of Amateur Oarsmen in 1904.
The park has recreational facilities for tennis, multi-use athletic fields, and an archery course. Creve Coeur Park also includes Crystal Springs Quarry Golf Course, an 18-hole golf course. In December 2003, construction for the Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park Bridge, part of Missouri Route 364, was completed.
In 2015, the County’s first Water Trail was added at Creve Coeur Park.
Over the past few years, Creve Coeur Park Lake has experienced an infestation of Asian Carp. These fish are not native to the U.S. and are classified as invasive species with detrimental impacts on native fish populations. These fish breed inflowing rivers such as the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, but they find their way into Creve Coeur Lake during periods of high water. The US Fish and Wildlife Service, the US Geological Survey, and the Missouri Department of Conservation are currently planning a coordinated effort to remove most Asian carp from Creve Coeur Lake.
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