Don’t Use a GPS for this One

Street namers weren’t always good spellers.

One notable South Side thoroughfare is Itaska Street. The city named it for the lake in Minnesota that is the true source of the Mississippi River. A handy tip: don’t try to find an address on “Itaska Street” by saying it into a phone with a GPS app. That’s because the lake in Minnesota is actually spelled Lake Itasca, not Itaska. Not knowing about the misspelling of the St. Louis city street, the GPS may insist on leading you to the lake in Minnesota.

You won’t read facts like that in any walking guide of South St. Louis, only in my oddball tour of the South Side. Don’t miss it when it comes out early in 2023.

Published by Jim Merkel

Reedy Press published four of my books, Hoosiers and Scrubby Dutch: St. Louis's South Side, 2010; Beer, Brats, and Baseball: St. Louis Germans, 2012; The Making of an Icon: The Dreamers, The Schemers, and the Hard Hats Who Built the Gateway Arch; and the Second Edition of Hoosiers and Scrubby Dutch: St. Louis's South Side, 2014. They're available in bookstores and online. For an autographed copy, send a check for $21.50 made out to Jim Merkel, to Jim Merkel, 4216 Osceola St., St. Louis, MO 63116.

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