The next few cakes on the list hold a special place in my heart because when I was doing the actual cake hunting, in 2014, I was living in a pretty sketchy apartment in Maryland Heights (by the Trainwreck Saloon…get it?). But when I went out to Kirkwood to see these cakes, I remember being so impressed with the area that I couldn’t stop thinking about how much I wanted to live there one day. Well fast forward two years, to 2016, where, as luck would have it, I’m now living just down the street from several of these cake locations. Definitely an upgrade!
But let’s go back, back before I was all settled in my new place, and even back before Miles James and I scouted out the cake at the Kirkwood Train Station, way back to 1852, when the land that was to become the Kirkwood Train Station was acquired. On May 11th, 1853 the first train pulled into the Kirkwood Train Station and due to the popularity of that stop, Kirkwood (named for the chief engineer of the Pacific Railroad, James Kirkwood) became the first planned suburb west of the Mississippi and the area around the train station was built up to accommodate this new suburb.
The original structure of the train station hung on for about 40 years but in 1893 the wood structure of the train station was replaced with more permanent and sturdy stone. The train station was active for many years until in 2003, due to budget cuts, Amtrak decided to remove all station agents from the Kirkwood train station which would seem to derail the use of the station. However the city rallied around the train station and bought it from the Union Pacific Railroad choosing to staff the train station with volunteers from the city itself instead of paid workers which has worked so well that it is still how things are run there today.
As a resident of Kirkwood, I pass the train station quite frequently, but on a recent trip to some local Kirkwood shops, Mercutio Krispytreats and I even stopped inside the train station to poke around for a bit. The train station still retains a lot of its old time charm and even has a little library where you can pick up a book before your train departs, but Mercutio gave me a stern look when I tried to take one myself, so I did not bring back a souvenir from that trip, but there will be more!
As for Miles James, he enjoyed this adventure in particular because not only was this his first cake hunt in quite a while, but when we stopped at the train station to take a commemorative photo with the cake, all the little old ladies who were passing by stopped to pet him on the head and tell him what a good boy he was, so he was pretty pleased with the area as well.
Plus on the way to the next cake, I happened to see a piece of art in the middle of a median that I wanted to get a picture of. And since we were stopped at a stoplight when I reached for my camera, Miles decided to take that opportunity to jump into my lap and see the artwork as well. Needless to say, we were both feeling the call of the Kirkwood even during that first trip to the area.