Owned By Saint Charles for 170+ Years
Jill and I went to see the Saint Charles County Historical Society on a rainsoaked Saturday afternoon. There did not seem to be anyone there; however, it was open, and so we toured the building and its interesting exhibits. The staircase walls were lined with all the presidents of the Historical Society, and there were quite a few! There should be. The Society has been housed in this building for the last 22 years. Before that, from 1886 until 1973, (87 years) it was used as City Hall. Before it was City Hall, It was The Market and Fish House. It contained stalls or booths for produce with a scale to weigh wagon loads of goods, a large public bulletin board to post public and private notices, and wooden benches were located around the building. Farmers and Fishermen of the County sold their food items there. Can you imagine; this building has been here since 1823! We certainly enjoyed the exhibits inside the building behind glass windows. There was one on clothing and another one on the American Negro. Jill was quite interested in finding out as much as possible about it because she is an active member of the Historical Society here at home. She was really impressed with the library and geneology that is available for public use.
All in all, it was a productive and interesting visit. I would suggest that before anything else, you visit this fine society. They are there to help answer questions.
Oldest City on the Missouri River
"Missouri"s Largest Historic District"
Saint Charles was the LAST place we stayed on our Missouri trip, but I keep it in FIRST place in my memories. Like Ste. Genevieve, Kimmswick, and Saint Louis, Saint Charles is a River Town, an historic town,a restored town. Yet, it's even more...it's a town "Where History Comes Alive Everyday!" Yes, the town's motto is correct. While visiting Saint Charles, one is transported to another century. The gaslights, the brick paved streets, and the authentically restored buildings extend the entire length of Main Street, Missouri's largest Historic District. The ten block-long Main Street is a shopper and/or historians' delight. Saint Charles is notes for the ornate iron work on the balcony's and Stone Row houses where the front of the building faces the river and the side of the house faces Main Street.
At first, Saint Charles was Spanish owned and the district of San Carlos after 1769. In 1804 it became Saint Charles.
As seen in the photograph, these duplex or double houses and row houses were unique to this area.
Some interesting facts we discovered while we stayed in St. Charles:
Saint Charles was settled in 1769 by Louis Blanchette, a French Canadian who was a hunter and fur trader.
Saint Charles flew the flags of 3 countries during one day's time: They were owned by the Spanish, then the French, and finally the United States.
Daniel Boone came to Saint Charles and became a judge in the town in 1820. He lived and was buried nearby in Marthasville, Missouri. He was here and met with Lewis and Clark.
Here on the Missouri River Lewis and Clark organized and tranversed to North Dakota, which took one year.
Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable (founder of Chicago) is buried here in Saint Charles.
This was the temporary capitol city for five years.
There was a huge flood here in 1993, but the town survived.
Restoration of Saint Charles started in 1965. I'm impressed with the care taken to preserve the buildings and the area; countless organization and individuals had the insight to see the value of its heritage and so worked hard to preserve it. While visiting, I had the feeling that I was in an earlier century. It evoked an imaginary journey through history.
What a perfect place to stay while ending a perfect trip.