As Jill and I were walking down Main Street, I happened to notice what looked like a headstone. It was a marking of that spot as the RENDEZVOUS SITE (May16-21, 1804) of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
In short, it tells of President Thomas Jefferson's message to Meriwether Lewis about the object of his expedition. It also quotes a passage from William Clark's Journal when they arrived in Saint Charles from St. Louis.
"we arrived at St. Charles at 12 oClock a number Spectators french & Indians flocked to the bank to See the party. This Village is about one mile in length, Situated on the North Side of the Missourie at the foot of a hill from which it takes its name Petiete Coete or the Little hill. This village Contns. about 100 houses, the most of them Small and indefferent and about 450 inhabitents Chieffly French, those people appear pore, polite & harmonious.." 16 May 1804
"...Set out at half passed three oClock under three Cheers from the gentlmen on the bank..." 21 May 1804
Note that the quoted material is copied just as William Clark wrote it in his journal, mistakes and all.
Fondest memory: Having just visited St. Louis, we were quite aware of the significance of the bicentennial celebration of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and now our attention was focused on Saint Charles' role in that famous event in American history.
This year on May 15th, a replica keelboat from that famed expedition will arrive at Saint Charles to start a week of events to "mimic" the one 200 years ago. They will have period foods, crafts, and music of the time. there will be demonstrations and encampments as well. This reenactment will conclude on May 23, 2004, as the keelboat will depart from Saint Charles to begin their travel adventure just as Lewis and Clark did 200 years ago.
CLICK ON PHOTO TO ENLARGE
Jill and I both are voracious readers. We read, trade books, talk about what we read, and haunt bookstores. So, when we saw the sign for MAIN STREET BOOKS at the Old Schoolhouse, we rushed right inside.
To our surprise, there were two woman seated (both were authors), and they were at the Main Street Books to sign any of their books that were sold.
Mary Fran Rash is the owner, and she introduced us to Elizabeth Grayson and Eileen Dreyer.
These authors showed us their books and told us what the books were about and how they ( as authors ) had "researched" before writing.
Elizabeth Grayson's Book MOON IN THE WATER takes place on a riverboat and a new steamboat. Therefore, Elizabeth did her research by going on a cruise. Both Jill and I purchased her book; she signed it with a note and three bookmarks.
Her other books are:
COLOR OF THE WIND
PAINTED BY THE SUN
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Eileen Dreyer's Book WITH A VENGEANCE is about a woman who is a tactical emergency medic for the St. Louis SWAT team and a trauma nurse. This book is a mystery. Eileen's research was to take courses to be a tactical emergency medic. Jill and I also purchased her book and received her signature, a personal note and an unusual ballpoint pen in the shape of a hypodermic needle advertising another novel of hers that is still in hardback called HEAD GAMES.
Her other books are:
IF LOOKS COULD KILL
A MAN TO DIE FOR
Fondest memory: Meeting such talented women authors was a real treat. Elizabeth Grayson writes historical romances and Eileen Dreyer writes Mysteries...both genres are ones that we often read. This experience just added to the enjoyable day we experienced in Saint Charles, Missouri.
Main Street Books at the Old Schoolhouse
621 South Main
St. Charles, MO 63301
Mary Fran Rast, Owner
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!
Fondest memory: 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.
Favorite thing: No longer used as a postal branch, this building now houses a variety of offices. Its quite similar in design to the old post office in Alton IL, which is sadly standing vacant. It's interesting to contrast the two old river towns - there's certainly a lot more activity in St. Charles.
Favorite thing: This handsome building is currently being used as a branch of the national AmBanc chain. I don't know if it was originally constructed as a bank, but it does look like a place which _I_ would trust with my money.
Favorite thing: Some interesting exhibits here about the history of the railroads in St. Charles County. It's very appropriate that this is one of the major "trailheads" for the KATY trail - one of America's most successful "rail-to-trail" projects, stretching almost 200 miles across Missouri.
I love these brick buildings in the historic district of St. Charles. The cobblestones and old buildings make it feel like stepping back in to the 1800's. St. Charles was founded in 1769 by French settlers. There is still a Frenchtown district there to shop for antiques in.
Fondest memory: Our fondest memory was getting our car fixed! On the way to St. Charles Becky's car broke down. We broke down on highway in middle of the night and all the hotels were full. We had to sleep in the car on the side of the road.
Favorite thing: As the Missouri River approaches its merger with the Mississippi, it takes a final "big bend" about 20 miles west of St. Louis. As it passes St. Charles, it is actually flowing northward.
I miss cabooses.
The word caboose is from Middle Dutch, _kabuys_, meaning cabin house or ship's galley.