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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Oct
25
2014

Saint Louis Pet Expo

Pet lovers in the St. Louis area should get…More
Oct
26
2014

Strings 'n Straw

Wandering musicians and free hayrides! …More
Oct
28
2014

Symphonic Orchestra Halloween Performance

The Orchestra performs in a variety of…More
Nov
1
2014

St. Charles Firearm & Military Collectibles Show

Gun & Knife Show, Military…More
Nov
8
2014

St. Louis Ambush

The St. Louis Ambush will return to the Family…More
Nov
15
2014

St. Louis Ambush

Come out to the St. Charles Family Arena and…More
Nov
22
2014

4 & 20: A Tribute to Crosby Stills Nash & Young

Terry Jones Rogers and Scott Nienhaus, of…More