Mrs. Gratiot of Saint Louis

What it is:

Photo (5.75 x 7.75 inches) mounted on cardboard backing (6.5 x 8.5 inches) with gold beveled edges.

What I know about it:

Written on the back in pen:  Photograph of Mrs. Gratiot / Taken by her grandson Pierre Chouteau / Pierremont, Carondelet-on-the-Bluff, St. Louis / -Just after Sun-down / 1888


To my modern eyes she looks more like the ghost of Jacob Marley than a grand dame of society, but apparently the Gratiots and Chouteaus were prominent families in early St. Louis, Missouri, the sorts of people who get streets and even towns named after them (which, indeed, they did).   Carondelet is one of the oldest neighborhoods in St. Louis, but I’m not sure what Pierremont is/was.  I’ve found references to it online (as in “she died in Pierremont”), and I’m guessing it’s the family estate (presumably the building pictured behind our Mrs. Gratiot), but I’m not sure.  I’m also not sure which Mrs. Gratiot this would be, and the fact that there was more than one Pierre Chouteau just confuses things.  In any case, I think this photo is a treat.

2 comments on “Mrs. Gratiot of Saint Louis”

  1. Thanks for sharing Mrs. Gratiot. 🙂 You must have the most amazing collection of photos. And how fun to learn about them. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Thank you for the nice words! I doubt the Smithsonian will be hounding me for my photos anytime soon, but I do enjoy them. I’m glad it seems others do, too, which was the point of this blog. And I find that searching for information about these names and places is fun because it brings out the closet detective in me. 🙂

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