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.


E-Newsletter

Sign up and learn about upcoming events and things to do in St Charles!

Featured Events

|
Sep
6
2014

Symphonic Orchestra Performance

The Orchestra performs in a variety of…More
Sep
11
2014

2nd Thursdays at The Foundry Art Centre

The Foundry Art Centre and Saint Charles…More
Sep
12
2014

Illumination

Join the Saint Charles Parks & Recreation…More
Sep
12
2014

Jay Leno: Live at Lindenwood

** SOLD OUT ** Acclaimed TV late night show…More
Sep
17
2014

Music on Main

Join us the 3rd Wednesday of the month…More
Sep
19
2014

Augusta’s Harvest Festival

Capture 159 years of Culture and Tradition. …More
Sep
19
2014

MOSAICS, Missouri Festival for the Arts

Several blocks of North Main Street in Historic…More
Sep
20
2014

Lewis & Clark Fife and Drum Corps

The Corps will be marching and playing on Main…More
Sep
20
2014

Pioneer Days

Spend the day at the Historic Daniel Boone Home…More
Sep
26
2014

Oktoberfest

Gemütlichkeit for the whole family . . . …More
Sep
27
2014

Dick Fox's Golden Boys

Frankie Avalon went from a ‘50s teen idol…More