South St. Louis

Osage Nation Purchasing Sugarloaf Mound

by Michael R. Allen

According to the office of U.S. Representative Russ Carnahan (D-3rd), the Osage Nation will purchase the property that includes Sugar Loaf Mound near I-55 and Broadway in south St. Louis. The Osage Nation plan to use the site for interpretive and educational purposes. Sugarloaf Mound is the last remaining mound in a city once nicknamed “Mound City.”

The news brings to a close efforts to preserve the mound, which had been for sale since last year since the owner had to vacate the house on the property due to health reasons. Representative Carnahan convened a task force last year to secure a buyer that would preserve the mound and dedicate it to educational purposes. With that work done, a new chapter in the effort begins. Perhaps some day St. Louisans will be able to tour a mound site in their own city and learn about part of their built past that has been almost entirely lost.

Andrew Weil, Research associate at Landmarks Association of St. Louis, published an excellent history of the mound in November 2008: “The Last Standing Mound In Mound St. Louis City Is For Sale.”

Also, filmmaker Kevin Cook made a documentary about Sugar Loaf Mound in March 2008, and it is available on YouTube in two sections included here.