Arlington


Early Towns

An early settlement on St. Charles Road was Rinkelville, which grew up around a tavern and road house operated by George Rinkel, Jr. Rinkel resided in an estate located to the southwest of the present intersection of Goodfellow Avenue and Martin Luther King Drive. Compton and Dry's 1875 pictorial atlas shows a large house there with a "shooting park" situated behind it. Across St. Charles Road was Rinkel's Six Mile House, later the terminus of the Citizen's Railway horse car line.

To the west of Rinkelville, Erastus Wells, a St. Louis transit magnate, purchased a 66-acre tract from the Kienlen family in 1868. Here, he developed a fine country estate on the north side of St. Charles Road. In a move to provide access to the area and consequently aid in its development, Wells and others constructed and opened the West End Narrow Gauge Railway in 1878. This steam line began near Grand and Olive in St. Louis, and following what later became the right-of-way of the Hodiamont streetcar line, crossed St. Charles Road near Well's estate.

A station established there bore the name of Wellston and was the nucleus for the Wellston loop and shopping district. After Well's death in 1893, his country house burned and the estate was turned into a subdivision. In the 1875 pictorial atlas the land comprising the present Arlington area is shown as a section of sparsely built farms and country estates.

North of Easton and west of Clara was a densely wooded tract near the large estates of George M. Rea and Norton Newcomb. North of this section were estates of James C. Essex, John W. Burd and the well-known lawyer, Alonzo W. Slayback. Along Natural Bridge Road at about the present Darby Avenue intersection was another "Six Mile House" and to the south of the road were estates of W. H. Scudder and C. J. Aubin. Near the present site of the General Motors plant was a heavily wooded area with some orchards. West of this was the Goodfellow farm with the family home on a lane which was to become heavily traveled Goodfellow Boulevard. Dr. Rudolph Bircher's estate occupied most of the present site of the Small Arms plant and to its west was "Minoma", the Victorian mansion of Jefferson K. Clark, son of the explorer. North of Natural Bridge, at this time, Kingshighway was known as Schroeder Avenue.