Clayton-Tamm Neighborhood Overview
Information concerning the neighborhood history, characteristics, institutions and organizations, planning and development.
Located directly south of the St. Louis Zoo, the borders are Oakland Avenue and Highway 64/40 on the North, Hampton Avenue on the East, Manchester Avenue on the South, and Dale and Louisville Avenues on the West. The neighborhood is a part of what is referred to as "Dogtown."
Part of what is also known as the Forest Park Southwest area, Clayton-Tamm began to be built up in 1852, when the Pacific Railroad extended its line into Cheltenham. Originally the area was known as West Cheltenham, and then as Dogtown, before being renamed Clayton-Tamm. The first major industries to move into the area were fire-brick companies. The earth contained plenty of excellent raw materials. The mining of clay brought immigrants into the area, notably Irish, Italian, German, and Polish, building up the housing stock around the mines. Many of the newly arrived immigrants were Catholic, prompting the local diocese to establish a mission in 1861, which grew into the St. James the Greater parish. Gradually, as the mines closed, subdivisions were build upon them. After the Second World War, almost all of the mines had been closed, but the legacy still remained. To this day, it is a highly residential, middle-income neighborhood.