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
14
2016

GymQuarters Gymnastics Invitational

GymQuarters Gymnastics Center is proud to host…More
Feb
14
2016

St. Louis Golf Expo

Start the season off right with free rounds…More
Feb
19
2016

St. Louis Ambush

Come out to the St. Charles Family Arena and…More
Feb
19
2016

Working Women's Survival Show

The Working Women's Survival Show, now in its…More
Feb
20
2016

St. Louis Ambush

Come out to the St. Charles Family Arena and…More
Feb
25
2016

St. Charles Boat Show

Join all of your favorite Marine Dealers from the…More
Feb
26
2016

St. Louis Ambush

Come out to the St. Charles Family Arena and…More
Mar
3
2016

2016 GLVC Basketball Championship Tournament

The Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) is…More
Mar
4
2016

The St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra

Founded in 1860, the St. Louis Philharmonic…More
Mar
5
2016

Moolah Shrine Parade

Come watch the famous little cars of all colors;…More
Mar
12
2016

St. Charles Firearm & Military Collectibles Show

Gun & Knife Show, Military…More