Located near the northern St. Louis County municipalities of Bellerive, Bel-Ridge, Hanley Hills and Normandy is the small city of Bel-Nor. With a population of 1,499, at the time of the 2010 census, Bel-Nor’s region makes up no more than 0.63 square miles … making it the 29th smallest municipality within St. Louis county. Originally founded as a village in 1937, residents voted for city status in April of 2015.
Upon original foundation, many homes in the area were more than 50 years old. The current region of Bel-Nor was made up of nothing more than a variety of small communities linked together through popular streets of the era. In 1923, the region was given the name “County Club Park Addition of Normandy Park,” thanks to its close vicinity to the Normandy area. However, the area was considered by many to be “far out in the country” due to being located just far enough away from many other developing communities of the time.
The community incorporated as a village under the name of Bel-Nor, a popular street within the region, and plans were laid out to develop new residential and commercial areas. Unfortunately, the Great Depression and World War II put a halt on major construction until 1945. During that time, Bel-Nor (although a sufficient area) was in limbo until manufacturing could move forward.
Once progression to the city was ready to go, a key change in Bel-Nor’s boundaries took place in December of 1949, as the city annexed a decent amount of land acreage that included popular local destinations such as Belleview Park, Normandie Golf Club and Lake Charles Burial Park. The village’s expansion ended near 1952, making up the current 0.63 square miles of current day Bel-Nor.
Notable residents of Bel-Nor include “Wizard of Oz” actor Mickey Carroll and St. Louis Globe-Democrat executive editor, George Killenberg. The 1973 iconic horror film “The Exorcist” is based on the book of the same name by William Peter Blatty, which took inspiration from an actual exorcism that occurred in Bel-Nor in 1949.
Residents are served by the Normandy School District.