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7 cool treats in historic St. Louis: Part 3

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Cool treat #3: Wet your whistle at the Kirkwood train station.

St. Louis is chock-full of sites that claim to be the “first ______ west of the Mississippi River”; Kirkwood fills in that blank with “planned suburb.”

James Pugh Kirkwood had grand plans of building a railroad line from St. Louis all the way to the Pacific Ocean; by May 1853, most of the passengers departing on the furthest westward stop of his Pacific Railroad line were there to buy real estate lots in the newly established town of Kirkwood. As the Pacific Railroad grew in importance, so did Kirkwood, and in 1893 the station was rebuilt in a Romanesque style; the building is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Across the street and a bit further down the block, the Sugar Shack, 151 W. Argonne Dr., doles out history in a sweeter vein; wax moustaches, cotton candy (in 16 flavors), Moon Pies and Chic-o-Sticks prevail, but you’ll also find phosphates -- a tingly, carbonated drink popular in the mid-1800s and available at the Sugar Shack in a variety of flavors, such as gingermint, egg cream and wedding cake.

Pick up a phosphate at this nostalgic candy store, stroll down the street to the train station and grab a bench. A train will be by soon; you know it because there likely will be a railfan waiting eagerly near the tracks with a video camera on a tripod.