Meramec Highlands General Store
The Meramec Highlands store was one of the first resort structures built in 1891. It served resort guests and the year round residents of the area. In 1892, a U.S. Post Office was added to the store. The storekeeper served as postmaster and station agent for the nearby Frisco Station. The Meramec Highlands post office was decertified in 1907. Over time, the business of the store shifted to providing groceries and included a restaurant as indicated in the 1913 era photograph below.
The store's notorious claim to fame was as the hideout of Pretty Boy Floyd and his accomplices while they planned and executed the September 1925 Kroger Payroll Robbery. For a short time, the store keeper's share of the loot was buried behind the store; however, the police recovered all of the stolen money. An attached large screened dining area served double duty as a restaurant by day and a gathering place used for square dances and parties by night. Later the screened porch was enclosed for use as a one-room primary school for Meramec Highland District # 51 students. The store also housed a barbershop circa 1930. In the mid thirties the store closed for good and served as storage space for the Osage Hills developers with part still serving as rental housing. In 1954, the store was saved from demolition by contractor Eugene Thumm. He converted the store into a residence, demolishing the attached restaurant/school structure and adding a new one car garage in its place. The garage has since been converted to a family room. The Meramec Highlands Store was designated as one of Kirkwood's first historic landmarks.
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