#IRON-WILLED
South Side District

July 19, 2017

Written by Miles Ramsay | Photos by Alysa Ramsay

CHARACTER TRAIT: Iron-willed

DEFINITION: A burning determination that cannot be stopped or hindered by anything; Extremely resilient.

The Southside Fall Festival, the best steaks in town, and baseball. There’s a lot to love about St. Joseph’s Southside. This tight-knit community is making a major comeback.

The South Side has long contributed to the city’s economic growth. Some of its more mature residents reminisce about the glory days when the district was THE hot spot in St. Joseph, boasting rodeos, fine dining at one of the Midwest’s earliest resorts, and a popular amusement park at Lake Contrary with elephants, bathing beauties, and roller coasters.

As flood waters and fires plagued some parts of the district over the years, the development of the city moved east and north while the South Side began to fade from the spotlight. South Side Rotary Club member Martial Thevenot says, when his business, Perka Buildings, first moved to the district, he was warned about the area’s unfortunate aura. What he found, however, was the polar opposite of negativity.

“The people are very down to earth in this part of town. They’re very neighborly.”

Thevenot also compliments the businesses and organizations working to fix up aging properties.

These days, as you drive down Stockyards Expressway, you’ll find clean, high-tech companies settling in. Animal science, meat processing, leather products and pet food businesses all rise from the location of the former St. Joseph Stockyards that anchored the area for at least 130 years. While these industrial and manufacturing jobs are the lifeblood of the South Side, there’s far more to be explored.

Wanna sink your teeth into a juicy, hand cut, wood fire grilled steak? Hoof and Horn Steak House is ready to take your order! This century old staple in St. Joseph’s landscape was recently reopened by new owners who received help from Missouri Western’s Craig School of Business Center for Entrepreneurship. Got a hankerin’ for some garden fresh fruits and veggies? Check out the South Side Farmer’s Market at The Junction! In addition to being a delicious source of local produce, this revitalization project is working to develop an arts and entertainment destination. Don’t forget the legendary breakfast served up at Betty’s Cafe or a torpedo sandwich for lunch at Marek’s.

And there’s no better place to work off some of those added calories than the 2,300-acre Bluff Woods Conservation Area. Just a few minutes from the South Side, this 2,300 acre hiker’s paradise features rugged trails, accessible Missouri River scenic overlook trails, and bird watching opportunities.

The South Side also is a hub of St. Joseph’s baseball culture. The South Side is home to the Hyde Park baseball fields, where most Little League games in St. Joseph are played and Marek Baseball Academy, which trains young baseball and softball players from around Northwest Missouri and Northeast Kansas.

And lest we forget, it’s not officially autumn until you’ve been to the South Side Fall Festival.

#CURIOUS

All you curious, brave, intrigued or surprise-seeking persons, preferably who have young people in your care:  Check out Super Science Saturday for an uncommon learning experience. You can always settle your hair down on Monday.

#INVESTING

No community is separated from homelessness and poverty, regardless of location or size. It’s a complex and universal challenge involving poverty, mental health and numerous community partners. In St. Joseph, residents and leaders are taking a very focused approach to real solutions toward homelessness, with most of these efforts geared toward the Imagine 2040 “invest in people” goal.

#DEDICATED

Striding through the doors of Artcrafts Engraving Co. transports you from the modern streets of St. Joseph back through our history in manufacturing.

#MYSTERIOUS

Looking for a little spooky fun this Halloween season? Look no further than the uncommon fun found in this city of Uncommon Character, St. Joseph.

#ESTABLISHED

When visitors and locals visit historic Hall Street in St. Joseph, they usually look up. A lot. And then they stop and stare. They take pictures and walk very slowly. They usually return, because this neighborhood known as “Millionaire’s Row” tells the story of St. Joseph’s turn-of-the century wealth and opulence like nothing else.