The village of Hollow, located on Highway 100 in far west Wildwood, is about five miles west of Highway 109. The village’s name started as “Deutsch Hollow” so called by the German settlers, and named for “Dutch” Charlie Paffrath, who came to the area in 1834 and kept a tavern on the much traveled highway. “They liked the way this valley - or hollow - looked like their homeland” according to Hollow historian Bebe McKenzie. Later the name was shortened to Hollow.
The tavern was widely known and a popular stopping place for travelers. During the California and Kansas migration, there was a celebrated camping place at the Bartold Farm. Hollow was also a relay point for the Jefferson City stagecoach line. The railroad came in 1851 but was south along the Meramec River, making it difficult to get animals and products to market.
Not much remains of the old settlement except a few houses and the historic dance hall and roadhouse called Stovall’s Grove, which remains today as a well-known venue for live music. A small portion of the original Route 66 still runs just outside of the front door of Stovall’s Grove. This hamlet was once a busy stagecoach stop, and in the mid 1900s when the road carried more traffic, there were a number of stores and other businesses in the area, including two general stores, one operated by the Hencken Brothers and one operated by Henry Poertner. There was also a shoemaker, a harness maker, two blacksmiths, one operated by Joseph Tieman, and a carpenter shop.
Manchester Road travels west from Hollow to the Franklin County line and is undoubtedly one of Wildwood’s most picturesque roadways.
Beck, Jo 2009 Wildwood
Thomas, William L. 1911 History of St. Louis County – A Story That Attracts
1883 History of St. Louis City and County
1920 History of St. Louis County
Images of the Historic Community of Hollow
Hollow School 1931
Anna, and her father Henry Poertner, in front of their store in Hollow