Most of the area was originally the northern portion of the Grand Prairie Commonfield, composed of a series of narrow eastwest strips laid out by the French for agricultural use. This commonfield portion extended from the present St. Louis Avenue on the south to Carter Avenue on the north and was bordered by Grand Boulevard on the east and by Marcus and Newstead Avenues on the west. Remainder of the areas was comprised of several former land grants designated as surveys. Ownership of both the commonfield strips and the surveys was first held in the name of French colonial land holders. For example, the long strip between Natural Bridge and Ashland Avenues, running westward from Grand, was designated as U.S. Survey #1261 originally owned by Richlet Verdon and later by John Watkins. Between Grand and Glasgow, was a similar survey, #658, which was acquired by Watkins from Jean Marie Cardenal, and extended northward from present Montgomery Street to Florissant Avenue. North of Natural Bridge and west of Newstead was survey #422, extending beyond Kingshighway and originally owned by Auguste Dodier. A portion of survey #458 was north of this, reaching beyond Florissant Avenue, called the Clamorgan-Brazeau tract.
Image - Main entrance to St. Louis Fairgrounds in the 1880's