A broad area west of Grand Avenue and south from Arsenal had a distinctly rural aspect in 1875. With the exception of a summer resort known as Bamberger's Grove, on the site which was later occupied by the House of the Good Shepherd at Gravois and Gustine, it was all fenced meadow land, with some corn fields and orchards. A large densely wooded area was located to the northwest of Bamberger's Grove, beyond this an area of orchards and pastures reached west to Oak Hill On the west side of that street, between the present McDonald and Tholozan Avenues, were several large dwellings of the Russell and Parker families. Further north, on Russell Place, was the estate of Edward Mead.
A few houses clustered around the Grand-Gravois intersection and along the west side of Grand northward for a few blocks. Morganford Road, then called Russell Avenue in this area, was the main access road to the Oak Hill Fire Brick and Tile Works near the present day Utah Street. Northward along Morganford were cottages occupied by workers at the plant and at Russell's coal mines near Arsenal Street. Westward from Morganford to Kingshighway and southward to Gravois, the land was entirely rural in character, with scattered farm homes and a few large estates. Another large clay mining operation was conducted on the extensive Christy estate, at what is now Kingshighway and Delor Street.