Located in southern St. Louis County near the municipalities of Bella Villa and fellow unincorporated areas Affton and Mehlville is Lemay. As of the 2010 census, Lemay’s population was recorded at 16,645 residents. The city covers a total of 4.5 total square miles making it the fifth largest unincorporated region in all of St. Louis county.
The history of the region begins much earlier than even the development of St. Louis. The French were the first European inhabitants in what is now current-day Lemay. As early as 1700, French missionaries established a village at the convergence of the Mississippi River and River Des Peres. Through these French settlers is how the River Des Peres name of “river of the fathers” came into fruition. One of the area’s more popular roads in “Lemay Ferry” began development in 1789 when had its beginnings in 1789 when Spanish settlers needed a road to unite St. Louis to a ferry situated by the Meramec River.
The actual name of Lemay comes Francois Lemai who helped operate the ferry service for crossing the Meramec River. As far as is known, the first time “Lemay” was used, as a place name was when the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad built a Lemay station, completed by 1909. As late as 1930, names such as Luxemburg, Dewey Heights, Longwood and Point Breeze were often used to name the region interchangeably.
In 1930, Naborhood Link News was established with the purpose of linking these scattered neighborhoods into one community. In 1936, with the opening of the Lemay Branch of the U.S. Post Office, “Lemay” was officially applied to the entire community. Since its inception, Lemay has functioned without a local government.
Residents of Lemay are served by the Hancock Place School District.
River City Casino is one of the St. Louis area’s newest gaming establishment that opened in the early spring of 2010. It features more than 2,000 slot machines, 55 gaming tables and a full calendar of live entertainment . A notable dining restaurant in the casino is the Great Food Exposition which features an all-you-can-eat buffet.
Lemay’s Jefferson Barracks was once a U.S. Army post from 1826 to 1946. The museum buildings were part of the ordnance section built in the 1850s. Now serving as a community park, the Jefferson Barracks County Park includes the several museums, museums that house artifacts and history of Jefferson Barracks while it was an active United States Military Post. An entertainment amphitheater is located in the historic section of the park and includes a large stage surveying a grass seating area that can hold nearly 5,000 people.
Several St. Louis County parks are located within Lemay. Sylvan Springs Park, Lemay Park, Black Forest Park, Union Road County Park and Jefferson Barracks Park. The amenities that these parks provide the community include almost 520 acres of parkland, pavilions and picnic facilities, playgrounds, athletic fields for softball, baseball, football and soccer, basketball, volleyball and tennis courts, a nine-hole disc-golf course, an archery range, a spray fountain play area, camping sites and more.