Visit / Points of Interest / Museum at the Gateway Arch

The Riverfront Era

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The Riverfront Era

In 1817, the first steamboat to arrive in St. Louis changed the city forever. Steamboats made the Missouri River a gateway to the West. During the 1840s and 1850s, the St. Louis levee bustled with intense daily activity. Hundreds of boats moored there each year. The city made a fortune on fees charged at the port. The Port of St. Louis was important as a Midwest distribution point for goods from other parts of the United States and for international imports, facilitating and fueling westward expansion.