The mixture of French Normandy architecture with the sturdy brick German homes, and the American influence makes Ste. Genevieve a delightful place to visit. Its National Landmark Historic District gives you a glimpse into the colonial past because the residents of Ste. Genevieve believe in and carry out wonderful preservation.
There is so much to see and do in Ste. Genevieve that you need more than one day. We visited twice.
1. Ste. Genevieve County is a winemaking area. The French and the Germans both settled here and both contribute to the wonderful wine vineyards.
2. Many residents have taken historic homes and turned them into delightful Bed & Breakfasts.
a. Inn St. Gemme Beauvais
78 North Main
b. Main Street Inn Bed & Breakfast
221 North Main
c. John Hael Gasthaus
159 North Main
d. Somewhere Inn Time
e. Southern Hotel
146 South Third
f. Steiger Haus Downtown
g. Dr. Hertich's House
99 North Main
3. National Landmark and Register Homes
a. LaMaison de Guibourd-Valle Home
One North Fourth
b. Bolduc House
125 S. Main
c. Felix Valle House State Historic Site
Merchant & Second
d. Amoureux House
327 St. Marys Road
e. Bolduc-LeMeilleur House
123 S. Main
4. Thirty Five Shoppes for antiques, gifts, and
5. Dining in Historic District
a. Anvil Saloon & Restaurants
b. Hotel Ste. Genevieve
c. Historic Old Brick House
e. Little Choice Cafe (lunch)
f. Olde Towne Cafe (lunch)
g. Treasured Memories Tea Room (lunch)
6. Ste. Genevieve's Historic Memorial
7. Ste. Genevieve MODOC Ferry
8. Mississippi River Trail starts in Ste.
9. Magnolia Hollow Conservation Area is
ten miles north of the city.
Bonne Terre Mine in Bonne Terre, Missouri is over 80 square miles! It has been designated A NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE and Jacques Cousteau made a dive into the mines ; it was filmed.
People in Missouri have worked with hand picks and shovels and then with the help of the Missouri Mule to carve a five-level "subterranean Grand Canyon" called Bonne Terre Mine. The underground mining began in 1870. The mine is larger than the town of the same name!
If any of this interests you, it is possible to take a tour. You enter the mine at the old mule entrance. You have a tour guide who gives you background on the century of mining. You descend for 80 feet using 65 steps. That gets you to the first level that is always 62 degrees. As you explore, you are able to see geological formations. Do you realize that this mine honeycombs the earth UNDER THE TOWN!
You can take a boat tour, which also includes a walking tour. You go on a 22 passenger pontoon boat in order to explore remote, historic portions "of the 17-mile-shoreline.
SCUBA divers love to dive here year-round because of the constant temperature.
You ask, Why is the mine flooded? After a century, the mine was finally shut down in 1961, and the pumping system which had kept it dry was shut down too. The lower three levels are filled with clear, filtered water. Thus, a subterranean lake (world's largest) has been created.
The town of Bonne Terre is called "historic" also. It is 60 miles south of Saint Louis. If you want to SCUBA dive, you are in for a real treat. Divers report that they are able to see all the items left over from the mining days, including elevator shafts, ore carts, & tools such as drills. DIVING INFORMATION CALL
While staying in a time share near Imperial, I had difficulty knowing whether Imperial and Kimmswick were the same place. They are near each other, and some maps have them as the same town. However, Imperial is the site given for the 425-acre MASTODON STATE HISTORIC SITE. Evidently, Ice-Age mastodons and mooly mammoths once lived in this area. Interestingly, bones of these massive animals have been studied a great deal, and the visitor center displays the results of the work. They display an actual mounted skeleton of a giant Mastodon! They also have archaeological artifacts that link early people who lived at the same time as the Mastodons. At this historic site, there are hiking trails and picnic areas; however, there are NO overnight camping.
There is a historic bridge at SANDY CREEK COVERED BRIDGE STATE HISTORIC SITE. This bridge was built in 1872 after the Civil War. Floodwaters destroyed the bridge in 1886; it was rebuilt the next year. This historic site is 206 acres which includes a picnic area and an interpretive kiosk with exhibits about the history of Missouri's covered bridges. Sandy Creek bridge is one of only a handful of covered bridges in Missouri.
What I remember the most about Meramec Caverns was the temperature. It was hot outside, and about 20 degrees cooler in the cavern. It is a constant 60 degrees.
The caverns are located off I-44, Exit 230, Stanton, Missouri.
The caverns are really quite beautiful with mineral formations and rare colors. These formations took millions of years to grow, and we are still enjoying them. Guided tours are given by trained rangers along well-lighted walkways. The formations, you learn on the tour, have strange names like "Wine Table", "Mirror River", and "Mother-In-Law's Tongue"! And, "The Stage Curtain" is the largest single cave formation in the world (we were told)! It is seventy feet high, sixty feet wide, and thirty five feet thick. They use the "curtain" as a center piece of the caves and have a light/musical presentation.
We learned that the Indians revered the cave and said it was home of their god. A French miner, Jacques Renault, was the one who found the Cavern's greatest natural resource, "saltpeter", which is used to manufacture gunpowder.
Jesse James, it is said, used the cavern as a hideout for men and horses.
The cave was opened in 1935 as a tourist attraction for the public. On the tour, you learn about stalactites, fossils, limestone, Indians of Missouri, Dramas of the Civil War, Train robberies and great escapes, Ballroom dances, World War II, and Hollywood movies.
My favorite information was about cavern used for Ballroom dances on the weekends. At the time, it was off Route 66; it became a popular site. Can you imagine dancing in the cave?
There is a motel called "The Meramec Caverns Motel" located in LaJolla Natural Park. In that same park is a campground. There is also a gift shop and a restaurant.
At the conclusion of my meetings in Kansas City, I headed into Kansas and worked my way south almost to the Oklahoma state line on a very enjoyable drive. The next day, I swung east, back into Missouri, crossing just above Joplin as I then headed up through the Ozark Plateau south of Jefferson City.
Strangely enough, I did not find this drive as scenic as I thought it would be. The hills and trees just did not impress me all that much, possibly because this turned into a mostly grey-sky day unlike the sunshine I had enjoyed in Kansas. There was a noticeable upsurge in traffic as well, even though I was keeping to the secondary highways. Maybe the fact that it was now Saturday had something to do with it. I had always heard of the Ozark Mountains and maybe had a somewhat distorted picture in my mind of what to expect.
In the end, after a brief stop at the Harry S. Truman dam and its reservoir, I headed north on Hwy 65 then west on Interstate 70 as darkness fell. I wanted to get close to Kansas City for my accommodations, in order to catch my flight to Albany, NY the next day.
There are several large dams in the Ozark Plateau, so I stopped for a closer look at one of them near the town of Warsaw.
The Harry S. Truman Dam was built by the Army Corps of Engineers to help control flooding on the Missouri River and was constructed over 15 years between 1964-1979. The dam holds back the water of the largest flood control lake in Missouri and also provides the energy to run six 27 MW hydro generators.
An interesting Visitor Center building overlooks the dam, housing an information desk, videos of the construction and a museum-like display of the geological history of the area. When I stepped outside for a brief photo opportunity, I was surprised at the number of birds that were moving around in the trees only a short distance from me. An entirely red bird dropped out of a branch and disappeared before I got a good look, but it must have been a Cardinal. In the same tree I saw a Woodpecker and then a Nuthatch moving headfirst down the trunk, one of their characteristic traits. Too bad darkness was starting to fall, I had to hit the road!
Union Covered Bridge is one of only four covered bridges which remain in the state of Missouri, and it is the only one of the burr-arch truss design. This Monroe Country landmark, across the Elk Fork of the Salt River, was built by Joseph C. Elliott in 1871. It was in service for 99 years, before becoming a Missouri State Historic Site.
This beautiful old bridge is in a remote location, just off Route C, southwest of Paris, MO. It may be visited any time and without charge, however, the visitor should be aware that there are no restrooms, picnic tables or other facilities. However, there is a nice interpretative exhibit which tells the story of the bridge.
The centerpiece of this 356 acre state park in central Missiouri is a sandstone cave which was used for human habitation as long ago as 10,000 years. Visitors can explore the picturesque entrance to the cave which is 120-feet wide and 16-feet high. Inside you will find exhibits explaining some of the archeological finds which have been made here. These discoveries helped rewrite history, proving that humans lived in this area longer ago than was previously known.
I made an overnight stop here in July, 2004, on a road trip with my two grandchildren, and we enjoyed the modern camping facilities. There is also a Visitor Center, playground area, and opportunities for hiking, boating, fishing, picnicing, etc.
217 Hwy. TT
Montgomery City, MO 63361
Graham Cave State Park is in Montgomery County, East Central Missouri, two miles west of Danville off I-70.
Table Rock Lake is Located in West Branson, Mo. It's about 250 miles from St. Louis and there is alot to do in the area. There are resorts on the lake you can stay, and there are motels in the area. You can also drive into Branson and catch some shows. Branson is very family friendly.
Missouri is usually regarded as a "border state" during the Civil War, and regiments of Missouri soldiers fought on both sides of the conflict. Although the war ended in 1865, many soliders who survived the war continued to live until the mid 20th century. In 1891 the state of Missouri established a home for aging Confederate veterans on 135 acres of land
in the western part of the state. 1,600 veterans and their families lived here over a 60 year period, the last veteran dying in 1950, at the age of 108. Two years later the Confederate Veterans Home became a Missouri State Historic Site. It is an interesting, albeit sobering place to visit and to contemplate the darkest chapter in the history of the United States. Walking, picnicking and fishing are among the activities that may be enjoyed here.
211 West First Street
Higginsville, MO 64037
I heartily recommend this magazine's web site, for its coverage of all places and things in Missouri. From the many small towns to the cities and everything in between, as they say...
I really hope you will look at this, when planning your next visit to, or Through, this fascinating state, Missouri! No, I haven't been everywhere here yet, either. So many places I want to explore, too!!!
(will add photo sooon...)(
"If you ever plan to motor West...."
The old song praises one of the most celebrated American highways, the US 66, that since 1926 spans from Chicago to Los Angeles across nine States. This route became particularly popular during the infamous "Dust Bowl" period in the 30s. Years of uncontrolled agricultural practices in the Plains had resulted in an extreme impoverishment of the soil, causing a serie of severe dust storms that forced hundreds of thousands of people to move to California during that decade.
"The Mother Road", as Route 66 is also nicknamed, has slightly changed over the course of time and certainly superseded by the faster-pace Interstate road system. A true icon of the past times, driving today on Route 66 is a relaxing experience and a great occasion to sample the essence of America.
Take a day trip to Eureaka springs--40 miles south on hwy. 62 to this quaint victorian town--see more shows-tour the village and veiw these restored homes,See the passion play at night and stay in a victorian bed and breakfast.
This outdoor play is near Eureaka Springs Arkansas.It is a must-see after you have toured the town--starts at dusk--a touching and realistic play about the life of Jesus and his death.It involves real animals and children.The grand finally is amazing.It is about a 40 miute drive south on Hwy 62 3miles east -follow signs
This old jail was built in the Ozark Mountains town of Vienna, Maries County, Missouri, in 1856, and was converted into a museum beginning 100 years later. The limestone jail with a gable roof contains pioneer relics from the central Ozarks area. The structure was originally built by a Mr. Barnhard at a cost of $2,500. That seems a pretty good deal to me since it is still standing sturdily 160 years later.
Near the Old Jail Museum is another structure from the same era, the Felker Log House, built by John Felker, an immigrant from Hanover, Germany, who was one of the pioneer settlers in the area. Both buildings are owned and operated by the Historical Society of Maries County.
The Museum is near the center of Vienna, on Hwy 42 East (3 Blocks from Hwy 63).
Weekdays: Memorial Day weekend thru June
Closed July and August
Open Labor Day weekend thru last Sunday in October
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