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St. Louis, Missouri, Cracker Castle, The Home of Jonathan Pierce, historic photo

St. Louis, Missouri, Cracker Castle, The Home of Jonathan Pierce, historic photo

A historic photo view of "Cracker Castle" at St. Louis, Missouri. This house was located at the intersection of St. Agne and Chouteau. It was built in 1868 for Jonathan Pierce who had become wealthy as a co-owner of a company that produced hardtack for the Union Army during the Civil War. The house was heavily damaged during a tornado on May 27, 1896 and as a result was demolished afterward.

Hardtack was a type of cracker or biscuit that was produced in large quantities and was one of the primary food sources of Civil War soldiers. Hardtack is a rather simple baked combination of flour, water and salt. The resulting cracker or biscuit was able to be carried for extremely long periods of months or even years, as long as they were kept dry. When exposed to moisture, the crackers would usually mold or become infested with worms. Hardtack was rather bland in taste and became increasingly hard as it aged. Soldiers would sometimes break up the hard crackers and add water to make a paste that they heated or fried to give it a slightly more appealing flavor.

This photo is by G. O. Brown, probably from the during the 1870s to 1880s.

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