2658 Delmar, St. Louis, MO, 63103 / Cake artist: Bruce Howard
‘The King of Ragtime Music’ Scott Joplin was born in Marshall, Texas in 1868 (date not verified), and later moved to Sedalia, Missouri to expand his craft in playing several music instruments and enroll at the George R. Smith College for Negros, where he studied music. He moved to St. Louis in 1900 into the flat at 2658A Morgan Street (now Delmar Boulevard). While there, he composed some of his well-known compositions, including the Ragtime Dance and The Entertainer. Joplin even composed a song about the beautiful fountains at the 1904 World’s Fair (titled ‘Cascades’) even though he had already moved out of St. Louis at the time. He had spent most of his life on the road, eventually moving to New York City in 1907, hoping to expand his success. Joplin died in a mental institution there in 1917 after a year of suffering from syphilis and dementia.
His work would become popular again thanks to the exposure in the film, The Sting, in 1974. During that time, historians wanted to preserve the house, which was being rented out to locals. Sadly, most of Joplin’s written scores and possessions were long-destroyed, but they were able to preserve with items from the early 20th century to make it look like what it did back then. This is the only museum in the world dedicated to Joplin and his musical legacy.
Cake placement date: February 21
Where is the cake now?: The cake still sits outside the building. (October 2017)