In 1901, St. Louis began constructing what would be known as the 1904 World’s Fair in Forest Park. This fair was to be a celebration of the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase. The city of St. Louis loaned Forest Park as the site for this exhibition. The only rule being that the park would return back to its natural state once the fair ended in December of 1904.
The fair opened in April of 1904 and covered 1,272 acres of land in Forest Park. This was the largest world fair to date. The fair consisted of 900 buildings, represented 22 countries, and of course, the famous 250 foot high ferris wheel transported from Chicago.
As one can imagine, this fair was spectacular to see, but what was to be done with all of the artifacts, including the ferris wheel, after the fair ended? Well, most of these artifacts were in fact buried in Forest Park by creating three makeshift landfills throughout Forest Park. Statues, parts of buildings, large vases and other goods, and the ferris wheel, were all buried in these landfills.
I am bringing all of this up now due to the fact that my husband happens to work in Forest Park and recently came across quite a find. He is the curious sort and tends to go on his own archeological digs over lunch hours. This may sound humorous, but he did discover a few artifacts. He has also determined one of the possible locations for the burial of the 250 foot high ferris wheel. A curator friend of his took a look at his findings and concluded that they were in fact from the 1904 World’s Fair.