The Meeting of the Waters fountain depicts the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.

​St. Louis History

The ambience here is enough to live for. Our multi-dimensional metropolitan area offers a broad array of exciting activities within a 15-minute drive from Washington University. Established in the 18th century, St. Louis is regarded as “the Gateway to the West,” the home of toasted ravioli and the center of business for several Fortune 1000 companies.

Gateway to the West

French fur traders established St. Louis in 1764, naming it for King Louis IX. Located near the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, St. Louis was the launching point for the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

The city grew rapidly during the 20th century. St. Louis held the 1904 World’s Fair and invented hot dogs and ice cream cones. Famous for our footwear and breweries (but not for the Browns baseball team), we were “first in booze, first in shoes and last in the American League.”

Through the years, numerous Fortune 500 companies have called St. Louis home. Corporate headquarters for A-B InBev, Charter Communications, Emerson, Energizer, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Express Scripts, Monsanto, Nestlé Purina PetCare, and Solutia are located here.

We also have an impressive healthcare industry. In U.S.News & World Report’s 2016 list of “Best Hospitals,” Barnes-Jewish Hospital, along with the School of Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, had 12 nationally ranked specialties. And St. Louis Children’s Hospital ranked nationally in 10 pediatric specialties. The School of Medicine is internationally renowned for its medical research.

In the past decade, St. Louis has become a center for biotechnology particularly in plant and life sciences. More than 400 local ventures support this effort, such as BioGenerator, the Nidus Center for Scientific Enterprise, and the Center for Emerging Technologies.

Ask any St. Louisan, we’re a premier sports town. And we have some of the most devoted fans in the country. Called “Baseball City USA,” one of the St. Louis’s best-loved heroes is the late sportscaster Jack Buck. Buck was idolized for his play-by-play commentary during Cardinal games and his signature signoff, “That’s a winner!”