Be sure to see ALL THE PICTURES
The Catholic Church in Sainte Genevieve is called Church of Ste. Genevieve, and it is the third church on this site. The first was an old log church in "Le Grand Cham" [Big Field] located southeast of the present townsite. In the late 1700's, they dismantled it and moved it to its present site and enlarged it. A stone church was built starting in 1831, but in 1876 work began on a new church that was to be built around and above the old stone structure. Note that the "pillars in the present church are part of the old rock church, and the foundation was left in place to help support the brick church." They enlarged the church to its present size in 1911.
Today, the clock tower and steeple rises 193 feet above the street level and houses four huge bells that chime throughout the day. There are five people interred beneath the altar area.
We discovered that the painted statues in the sanctuary represent Christ, St. Paul, the twelve Apostles, and Saints Gregory, Ambrose, Augustine, and Jerome. There are 49 statues in the church.
There is a baptistry that is located in the Ste. Genevieve chapel, and "it contains an old stone bowl which is claimed to be the ORIGINAL baptism bowl from the log church of 1794."
There are beautiful stained glass windows [see photo #2]. I was also impressed with the white Texas marble.
Special tours can be arranged if you call the number:(573) 883-2731.
Although I had visited Sainte Genevieve before, my husband Allan had never been so we took a little road trip from Farmington to Sainte Genevieve. It is located on the west bank of the Mississippi River. Many of its first residents were French-Canadian who were farmers and produced salt and lead from the nearby creeks and mines. This French influence is evident throughout the town.
There is so much to do in this small town that one day might not be enough. If so, there are wonderful Bed & Breakfast Inns to stay such as Inn St. Gemme Beavais on North Main Street, La Dee Marie Bed and Breakfast on Jefferson Street, Main Street Inn Bed & Breakfast on North Main Street, Somewhere Inn Time on Jefferson or Southern Hotel on South Third Street.
Ste. Genevieve is in Wine Country so there are plenty of places to taste and/or purchase wine.But, we found the most interesting activity was learning about the Ste. Genevieve's French Immigrant Architecture that is nationally famous, especially the "vertical log" cabin construction. We visited the BOLDUC HOUSE MUSEUM AND WAS IMPRESSED with the Gardens, the Museum Shop, the Colonial Dames Parlor, the 1821 LeMeilleur Family Period Room, the Hands-On History Room and Gallery, and especially the explanations about "the vertical log [poteaux sur soles] house with a cedar shake hipped roof surrounded by a hand hewn Norman truss." It has been restored to its original eighteenth century condition and is furnished with genuine French colonial artifacts and furniture. It's interesting to note that it survived the 1811-1812 earthquakes along the New Madrid fault!
If you enjoy architecture as we do, I would suggest seeing:
Felix Valle House State Historic Site
Jacque Guibourd House
The Ste. Genevieve Museum
For those who love the outdoors, there are plenty of recreation and leisure activities. We visited Hawn State Park and Pickle Springs Natural Area, but you could also visit John J. Audubon Trail, the Magnolia Hollow Conservation Area, The Mississippi River Trail or the Pere Marquette Park.
For shoppers, there are at least 25 unique shops, antique stores, an ice cream shop, a winery shop, art galleries, and plenty of dining places.
Regardless, I'm sure that you will enjoy the narrow streets, fenced gardens, and the beautiful eighteenth-century architecture.
The information we had on the area said there was a "National Tiger Sanctuary" with five tigers. I found this hard to believe. I took Bob out on all the alphabet roads - We went up D, crossing OO and K and C and several one lane bridges until we got to Y which we took through St. Francis until we got to the tiger sanctuary. But the gate was shut and there didn't appear to be anyone around.
The lady at the Visitor's Center said that Joe Scott, Sr. who owns most of the things in the area (Crown Valley Winery, Crown Point Golf Course, Crown Valley Wine Store, Eagle Lake Golf Club, Crown Ridge, Crown Equipment etc etc) had a fight with the tiger caretakers running the tiger sanctuary, and the caretakers wouldn't let Scott keep the tigers at the B&B which advertises them as an extra perk of staying there.. So then the Scott, went and got some tigers of his own.
To get to the B&B, take I-55 south to exit 150 (Hwy 32) west, then make a quick left onto outer road (State Route B.) Continue 8 miles. Crown Ridge is on the right at 19620 State Route B.
The general tours are available Tuesday-Friday 11am till 3pm; Saturday-Sunday 11am till 3:30pm. Or, for an eye-to-eye experience, schedule the Siberian VIP Tour, which includes a visit to the photography platform and the living classroom. Call 24 hours in advance.
The internet says:" from a basic tour to see the animals for $8 an adult and $4 a child to a $75-per-person "behind-the-scenes" option in which guests can feed the tigers, if it's their regular feeding time.
So actually there's two tiger sites near Farmington. Who knew?