Main Street Walking Tour    

St. Charles History

Founded in 1769 as Les Petites Cotes ("The Little Hills") by French Canadian fur trader Louis Blanchette. The Spanish government controlled the Mississippi Valley between 1762-1800, and for a dozen years "The Little Hills" became "San Carlos Borromeo." In 1804, on the banks of the mighty Missouri River, Lewis and Clark met here to begin their westward expedition. Shortly thereafter, the city became known as "Saint Charles."

Meanwhile, Daniel Boone and his family built a homestead in nearby Defiance. His Booneslick Road later become the eastern starting-point of the Santa Fe Trail and the Oregon Trail. Jean Baptiste Pointe Du Sable, the "Black Frenchman" who founded Chicago, lived the last 10 years of his life in Frenchtown and died in 1818.

Also in 1818, Saint Philippine Duchesne established the first free girls' school west of the Mississippi. It's not surprising that statesmen decided Missouri's First State Capitol should be here, between 1821 and 1826. Lindenwood College, a landmark private fine arts school, was founded in 1827.

Throughout the 19th Century, German settlers developed a wine region and brought their food, fellowship and commerce to a booming pioneer town. During the 20th Century, residents worked to preserve homes, stores and streets from every period.

As destination for almost one million visitors each year, Saint Charles history comes alive to welcome you. Experience the charm and beauty of a city that has been welcoming visitors since 1769.


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Featured Events

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Feb
19
2017

GymQuarters Invitational

  The 2017 GymQuarters Mardi Gras…More
Feb
24
2017

Working Women's Survival Show

  The Working Women's Survival Show, now…More
Feb
26
2017

St. Louis Ambush

The Family Arena will be rocking as the Ambush…More
Mar
9
2017

St. Charles Boat Show

Join all of your favorite Marine Dealers from the…More
Mar
17
2017

2017 NCAA Women's Frozen Four

The St. Louis Sports Commission and Lindenwood…More
Mar
19
2017

St. Charles Municipal Band Spring Concert

Listen to contemporary American Band music…More