By Matthew Hathaway
St. Louis, Missouri (AP)

The last couple of hundred years have been cruel to Sugar Loaf Mound. Quarrying nearly destroyed it in the 1800s; construction of Interstate 55 further scarred it in the 1960s. Now, as preservationists strive to save the city’s sole surviving Indian mound, they’ve found a natural ally: the descendants of its ancient builders, the Osage tribe of Oklahoma.

Sugar Loaf, between the highway and the Mississippi River about 4 miles south of the Gateway Arch, is all that remains of a network of Indian earthworks that gave St. Louis the nickname “Mound City.” Last fall, an elderly couple who own the 900-square-foot house on top of the mound put the property up for sale. There are two other houses at the base of the mound.