Junkyard Owner Strikes it Rich Courtesy of St. Louis Officials, Busch Stadium


Opal's Salvage Yard lied just south of the Old Rock House at Seventh and Hickory.
  • Opal's Salvage Yard lied just south of the Old Rock House at Seventh and Hickory.
Chalk one up for the little man. Or in this case the little woman.

Yesterday a St. Louis jury awarded 80-year-old Opal Henderson $1,009,000 after the city took her junkyard in 2008 through eminent domain. Henderson and her family operated the scrap heap at 7th and Hickory, just south of downtown, for over 50 years.

City officials had long complained that the junkyard was a nuisance and an eyesore. With the construction of the new Busch Stadium, they finally saw a way to condemn Henderson's property claiming it interfered with the "Ice House District" bar and restaurant area south of the ballpark. (You know, the "Ice House District" as in, "Hey after the game meet us at the Ice House District!" Err, yeah. Exactly.)

Anyhoo, so the city offered Henderson $200,000 for the property. She and her attorney Chet Pleban balked and the matter finally ended up in court this week with a jury proving the axiom that one man's woman's junk is indeed another one's treasure. The city must now pay Henderson more than a million bucks.

Shrewd move, junk lady! I like your style.

P.S. You wouldn't by chance have a line on a rear bumper for a '94 Taurus would you? Holler if ya do.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.