Spanish Lake

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Spanish Lake is a census-designated place (CDP) in St. Louis County. The population was 21,337 at the 2000 census.


Spanish Lake is located at 38°47′9″N, 90°12′46″W (38.785849, -90.212879).

The Spanish Lake Community is located in the northeastern portion of St. Louis County. The community is bounded by the Mississippi River to the east, the Missouri River to the north, Highway 367 to the west, and Interstate 270 to the south.1

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 7.5 mi². 7.4 mi² of it is land and 0.2 mi² of it (2.13%) is water.


Spanish Lake, originally called Spanish Pond until the late nineteenth century, was named after the Spanish troops who stayed there while building a fortified post for Spain in 1768. Much of the area was once the property of James De St. Vrain, a brother of the last Spanish Lieutenant governor of Upper Louisiana. It was in this district, near Spanish Pond, that an old log cabin, said to have been used as a government building by Lieutenant Governor De Lassus De St. Vrain, the last Spanish executive to rule this section, was erected.1

Spanish Lake prospered in the nineteenth century as a crossroads farming village came into being. The Bellefontaine Road area was settled largely after General Bissell relocated Fort Belle Fontaine. Fort Belle Fontaine was established in 1806 by Gen. James Wilkerson, then governor of the territory of Louisiana. The fort served as one of the most important military posts west of the Mississippi River until the troops were removed to the Jefferson Barracks Military Post in 1827. Traffic between St. Louis and the fort was busy; many officials had homes in both places, and visiting dignitaries usually went to both sites. The liveliest traffic was effected by the farmers riding back and forth to the city.1

Spanish Lake became a well-developed neighborhood with the arrival of the German immigrants. Farmland was intensely cultivated and small businesses and industries sprang up around the intersection of Bellefontaine, Parker, and Spanish Pond roads, forming the village’s center. The Catholic parish of St. Aloysius in Spanish Lake was founded by, and for many years served as, a mission of Baden, located in the northern portion of St. Louis. The Bank of Baden played a large role in farm financing in Spanish Lake, and many county farmers also had business interests in Baden. The German dominance of the region was almost complete by the 1870's, and most of the surviving farm houses and outbuildings are associated with that era.1


As of the census of 2000, there were 21,337 people, 8,381 households, and 5,673 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 2,900.4/mi². There were 8,852 housing units at an average density of 1,203.3/mi². The racial makeup of the CDP was 42.25% White, 54.79% African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.66% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.46% from other races, and 1.61% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.03% of the population.

There were 8,381 households out of which 38.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.4% were married couples living together, 23.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.3% were non-families. 27.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 30.4% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 31.3% from 25 to 44, 17.3% from 45 to 64, and 11.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 86.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.0 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $37,410, and the median income for a family was $44,139. Males had a median income of $32,340 versus $26,644 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $18,976. About 10.2% of families and 11.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.4% of those under age 18 and 8.0% of those age 65 or over.

Notes and References

1 - St. Louis County website


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