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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Jul
31
2014

St. Charles Municipal Band Concert

Bring a picnic basket, blanket, or lawn chair and…More
Aug
7
2014

St. Charles Municipal Band Concert

Bring a picnic basket, blanket, or lawn chair and…More
Aug
9
2014

Statehood Day Celebration

Help celebrate Missouri's 193rd birthday.…More
Aug
10
2014

St. Charles Community Big (Jazz) Band

Enjoy an evening of Jazz, bring a…More
Aug
14
2014

2nd Thursdays at The Foundry Art Centre

The Foundry Art Centre and Saint Charles…More
Aug
14
2014

St. Charles Municipal Band Concert

Bring a picnic basket, blanket, or lawn chair and…More
Aug
15
2014

Festival of the Little Hills

The largest festival of the year, activities…More
Aug
19
2014

Food Trucks in Frontier Park

Join us at Frontier Park located in Historic St.…More
Aug
20
2014

Music on Main

Join us the 3rd Wednesday of the month…More
Aug
21
2014

St. Charles Municipal Band Concert

Bring a picnic basket, blanket, or lawn chair and…More
Aug
23
2014

Race for the Rivers & Festival

Whether you're an avid paddler looking to get in…More
Aug
28
2014

St. Charles Municipal Band Concert

Bring a picnic basket, blanket, or lawn chair and…More
Aug
30
2014

RK Gun and Knife Show

R.K. Shows has a reputation for bringing you the…More