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'Scenes Of Historic Wonder' Displays 150+ Photos Of Old-Time St. Louis

Courtesy of Missouri Historical Society via Reedy Press

What does St. Louis’ Robison Park have in common with the Wild West Chimpanzee Show at the St. Louis Zoo? Both no longer exist — and both are depicted in a new book showing off historic photos from the Gateway City. 

The book, “Scenes of Historic Wonder,” offers context for more than 150 snapshots of a city far different from the one today. Scenes include an 1865 shipwreck, a 1931 World Series victory and the Roosevelt High School Ukulele Club, circa 1935.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, author Cameron Collins joined us to discuss the book, co-authored by Jaime Bourassa and published by Reedy Press. This is Collins’ third book of local history, and he said that while the original idea for this one was a book of funny photos, he and his co-author labored to include the good, the bad and ugly.  

November 26, 2019 Cameron Collins
Credit Lara Hamdan | St. Louis on the Air
Cameron Collins' new book, co-authored with Jaime Bourassa, is "Scenes of Historic Wonder."

“I think that’s Jaime and I, our personal preference, and our love for St. Louis history,” he said. 

Collins said he’s come to the conclusion that St. Louis is “one of the most historically significant cities in the United States.”

He said, “I always joke with some other history friends of mine that the only city that can edge us out is New York.”

Related Event

What: Book signing with Cameron Collins and Jaime Bourassa

When: Dec. 7, 2019, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.

Where: Missouri History Museum Gift Shop, 5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63112

"St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan and Tonina Saputo. The engineer is Aaron Doerr, and production assistance is provided by Charlie McDonald.

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Sarah Fenske served as host of St. Louis on the Air from July 2019 until June 2022. Before that, she spent twenty years in newspapers, working as a reporter, columnist and editor in Cleveland, Houston, Phoenix, Los Angeles and St. Louis.