One of the reasons that Jill and I stayed overnight at Saint Charles is because Jill wanted to visit Lindenwood University where she attended college all those years ago.
It is located on Kingshighway and First Capitol. It is the oldest school west of the Mississippi River. Sibley Hall is on the National Historic Register. Today on campus is a 3,000 seat performance arena and a cultural center with a 750 seat auditorium. When Jill attended, it was an all girls school; today, it is co-educational.
As we drove into the campus, Jill became quite animated and pointed out places she recalled. We visited the small gravesite, and, as one can see in the photograph, Jill is examining one of the headstones.
Here is Jill's personal account of that incident.
"In 1823, the Sibleys established Lindenwood, a college for girls, the first west of the Missouri River. I attended college there for a year and remember that Lindenwood was named for the campus Linden trees.
I lived in Nichols Hall, a red brick fortress-like building,and I dreamed of living next door in antebellum Sibley Hall. There, I remember a Victorian parlor where we conducted class meetings.
Many years have passed since I attended; Lindenwood is a co-ed university now with big new dorms and classrooms. A football team practiced in the rain on the Saturday that we were there.
Unchanged was the Sibley family cemetery that I remembered; its old tombstones resting behind a wrought iron fence, but outside the fence was a new stone for a longtime teacher.
The campus still has its Linden trees and the swings beneath them. A lovely, private liberal arts school has survived by adapting in this age of public education just as the town of Saint Charles thrives by adapting."
We knew that Saint Charles was a wonderful town filled with quaint shops, good restaurants, historic buildings, brick streets, gas lamps, and unique museums. But, we had never seen such a beautiful elevated Gazebo with steps leading to it and surrounded by black wrought iron fencing. But here's the real surprise. Under this elevated Gazebo they have constructed Public Toilets! It is all very "Classy", and solves a constrant problem for store owners who hate to be asked to use their private facilities.
Lewis and Clark Center is at 701 Riverside Drive. I believe the entrance was not facing the street but is around the side. We almost missed it. There is a fine little museum there. Many dioramas and exhibits for children. I wonder how it was for Lewis and Clark to see this country before any other Europeans.
This faceless soul-less structure is just a block away from historic Main Street, and across the street from the historic St. Charles County Courthouse.
Even the County Jail has windows!