Early Roads

The road to the fort later became known as Bellefontaine Road, which was named North Broadway within the St. Louis City limits of 1876. Before its designation as Bellefontaine Road, it was called the "Great Trail," running northwest from St. Louis to the Missouri River. Originally it consisted of two roads near the Baden area, with a lower road running through the bottom land near the Mississippi and an upper road which traversed the top of a ridge through what later became Bellefontaine and Calvary cemeteries. Baden eventually developed at the intersection of this road with the road to Hall's Ferry. Old Hall's Ferry Road was surveyed in 1815 from St. Louis to the Missouri River, where it was connected with a road in St. Charles County running to Portage des Sioux. Connection was made by a ferry operated by Edward Hall about 1836, before that it was known as James or Spring Ferry. In later years it was also called Musick's Ferry, named for the operator of an inn at the ferry crossing.

In approaching the Baden area, Halls Ferry Road followed the present route of Hall Street across the bottom land before turning northwestward and crossing Bellefontaine Road at the Baden wedge. Because of its location at this intersection of important roads, Baden became an early trading center. St. Louis County's first market house was built there in 1862 by Walter Espenschied of the wagon making family, at what is now 8200 North Broadway. At that time the site of Baden was swapland at the foot of the river bluff. It was said that in the early 1860's the only buildings in Baden were the market, a log cabin on the hill of Halls Ferry Road and a small house across the tracks from the later site of the Wabash depot. Before the Civil War, Halls Ferry Road was paved with wooden planks, but was later surfaced with a more durable material.

Columbia Bottoms Road, now Riverview Drive, was laid out about 1830 as a farm-to-market road leading to Baden and then to St. Louis.