If while you were traveling you told someone that you were from "St. Louis", the first thing they might ask you is, "Isn't the Arch in St. Louis?" It is a St. Louis landmark that is recognized worldwide, but few people outside the St. Louis area, and probably a good amount in it, don't realize that the correct name for the "Arch" is the "Gateway Arch" and that it is also part of a National Park called the "Jefferson National Expansion Memorial".
From the early Native Americans that settled in the area to the French explorers and fur traders, European emigrants and freed slaves that came to make their fortunes or find a better life, the story of the Arch is all about memorializing the big part the city of St. Louis played in the westward expansion of the United States. The history of the St. Louis area is a rich one. Sometimes mirroring what was happening nation wide and at other times very distinct in what occurred here. Below are links to brief snapshots of that rich history.