Eddie & Park is the consummate South County road.
Populated with single family homes, a park, two churches and four schools, the street cuts a path through Sunset Hills and Crestwood for 2.4 miles, from an office building on Lindbergh to the southwestern edge of Grant’s Farm.
And it’s been around a long time. As local history tells it, the road was once a dirt path. In the 1830s, the family of explorer Thomas Eddie lived on one side of the trail, and the family of Jonah Parke, Thomas Sappington’s brother-in-law, lived on the other. Neighbors weren’t separated by feet, but by miles.
Eddie was a fur trapper born in Scotland who came to St. Louis and met up with a group of explorers who discovered the Great Salt Lake. The story is he traded his boots for his plot of land when he came back. Parke was born in North Carolina and came here with his in-laws when the Sappingtons migrated from Kentucky. So he had plenty of relatives in area.
Not much else is known about their lives along the path in the early- to mid-19th century. But we like to think that the Eddies and the Parkes were good neighbors who got along so well, they decided one day to name the trail after themselves over beer and pizza. OK, maybe ale and salt pork.
The family names, minus one “e,” still grace our South County street. That same road will take center stage tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 7, as the route of a parade leading to SunCrest Fest, a joint celebration of two neighboring municipalities that might make the Eddies and the Parkes proud.
The parade, with firetrucks, classic cars and groups from the Lindbergh School District, begins at 10:15 a.m. at Southview School and will head west to the festival site at Kitun Park, just west of Truman Elementary. It’s being organized by the vivacious Rosann Shannon, so you know it’s going to be good.
The rest of the day? Rides, food booths, games, bands, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. It’s free to enter the festival but there are fees for the individual attractions and food. More information is on the SunCrest Fest Facebook page.
What makes this particular day so unique is that its a joint effort between two municipalities. City officials and volunteers in Sunset Hills and Crestwood have put in a lot of work to make it happen. The cities might be as different as the Eddies and the Parkes, but we are all friends and neighbors.
“Last year went so well, we’re doing it again,” said Eilien Ramirez, manager of recreation for the City of Crestwood and a planning committee member. “We are two different municipalities, but we are better together.”