A Circa Guide to Dogtown
The Clayton-Tamm neighborhood is one of three (with Franz Park and the Hi-Point) which make up the widely renowned Irish section of St. Louis called "Dogtown".
While there are a number of theories as to why this neighborhood is known as Dogtown, the most credible account describes a group of coal miners working in what is today Forest Park. When the city acquired the land to build the park in 1876, these people found sparsely populated areas south of the new park and built shacks to live in as they found new work. In order to secure their ramshackle homes, many of the squatters used watchdogs, which would defend their territory.
Dogtown is home to the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade, which is the more authentic of the two St. Louis parades for this holiday. On March 17th, thousands gather to watch the Ancient Order of Hibernians' parade, which runs down Tamm Avenue and features many local Irish Schools of Dance.