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

|
Aug
29
2015

Race for the Rivers & Festival

Whether you're an avid paddler looking to get in…More
Sep
6
2015

St. Charles Community Big (Jazz) Band

Enjoy an evening of Jazz, bring…More
Sep
10
2015

2nd Thursdays at The Foundry Art Centre

The Foundry Art Centre and Saint Charles…More
Sep
12
2015

House Tour

Nine houses have committed for Saturday…More
Sep
16
2015

Music on Main

Join us the 3rd Wednesday of the month…More
Sep
18
2015

Augusta’s Harvest Festival

Capture 160 years of Culture and…More
Sep
18
2015

MOSAICS, Missouri Festival for the Arts

Several blocks of North Main Street in Historic…More
Sep
19
2015

Pioneer Days

Spend the day at the Historic Daniel Boone Home…More
Sep
19
2015

The Katy Depot Quilt Show

We really missed Quilts on Main! All of the…More
Sep
19
2015

Tony Bennett In Concert

No one in popular American music has recorded for…More
Sep
25
2015

Builders Home & Remodeling Show

The Builders Home & Remodeling Show has been…More
Sep
25
2015

Oktoberfest

Gemütlichkeit for the whole family . . . …More