The Mississippi riverfront of North St. Louis in the 18th century was a beautiful, fertile country with densely wooded bottom land rising westward and heavily forested hills bordering uplands to the west. Among the spring-fed streams north of St. Louis was Gingras Creek, which arose near what is now Pine Lawn, crossed Broadway in Baden and emptied into the river near the present foot of Mallinckrodt Street. Rocky Branch Creek, coming from a source on the Grande Praire Common Field, was a picturesque stream with a rocky bottom and a shore lined with stone ledges. At a point near the present Salisbury Street and Natural Bridge Road, it flowed under a natural rock arch, hence the name, Natural Bridge Road. From there, it found its way into the Mississippi midway between Dock and Buchanan Streets. Banks of these streams were the haunt of fur bearing animals which fell prey to French trappers, who built cabins in this country as it was so heavily endowed with fish and game.
Image - Hyde Park and vicinity in 1875