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

|
Jan
31
2015

Fete de Glace ... Ice Carving Competition

This ice festival is the perfect family…More
Jan
31
2015

X - Treme International Ice Racing

XIIR, pronounced "X, double I, R, (Xtreme…More
Feb
5
2015

MPBA Basketball

St. Charles welcomes the Midwest Professional…More
Feb
6
2015

St. Louis Ambush

Come out to the St. Charles Family Arena and…More
Feb
7
2015

An Evening with Bernadette Peters

Throughout her illustrious career, Tony…More
Feb
13
2015

St. Louis Golf Expo

Start the season off right with free rounds…More
Feb
14
2015

The Beach Boys with Mike Love & Bruce Johnston

From humble roots in Hawthorne, Calif., The…More
Feb
19
2015

MPBA Basketball

St. Charles welcomes the Midwest Professional…More
Feb
20
2015

Working Women's Survival Show

This show is the "Ultimate Girl's Day…More
Feb
21
2015

St. Louis Ambush

Come out to the St. Charles Family Arena and…More
Feb
26
2015

MPBA Basketball

St. Charles welcomes the Midwest Professional…More