Bel-Ridge is a city located in northern St. Louis County nestled between the municipalities of Bel-Nor, St. John and Bellerive. Encompassing a total land area of 0.80 square miles, its population at the time of the 2010 census was recorded at 2,737 residents. The region shares a similar development history like that of the neighboring sister city of Bel-Nor.
At its earliest history during the late 1800s, the community was made up of small residential homes built by traveling families looking to settle into the area. These small towns were bounded together thanks to popular streets of the time and were constructed in a way that allowed for both privacy and comfort. Although the region was growing thanks to a rising population, it never became overtly confined with commercial development as to residents insisted on keeping the area as “country life” as possible. It was in traveling distance to booming cities like Berkeley and Normandy, but just outside enough to live a quiet lifestyle.
As the 1930s approached, the neighboring area of Bel-Nor eventually incorporated under village status and residents of current day Bel-Ridge were going through the motions to undertake a similar path. No historical documents are certain into how the region’s name became that of “Bel-Ridge”, but some suggest it was a combination of the Bel-Nor name and a tribute to Natural Bridge Road that makes up a good portion of the region’s boundaries.
Unfortunately, progression towards village incorporation was put on the backburner as most of the country was feeling the fallout of the effects of World War II and the Great Depression. Families had to manage with what they could possibly spare at the time and steady work was in incredibly short supply. Thankfully by the late 1940s, the country began to enter recovery mode and the village picked up where it left off and incorporated under village status in 1947.
The village would grow to a population peak of more than 5,000 residents in the 1970s. Bel-Ridge would continue to operate under village status throughout many years before reapplying for city status in the spring of 2015.
Residents of Bel-Ridge are served by the Normandy School District.