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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Apr
29
2017

River City Raiders

The River City Raiders will take on the Savannah…More
May
5
2017

Symphonic Orchestra Performance

The Orchestra performs in a variety of…More
May
6
2017

Baby Kid Expo

The 11th annual Baby Kid Expo Saturday, May 6,…More
May
13
2017

River City Raiders

The River City Raiders will take on the Myrtle…More
May
17
2017

Music on Main

Join us the 3rd Wednesday of the month…More
May
20
2017

Historical Children's Festival

Celebrate National Kids to Parks Day by…More
May
26
2017

Missouri River Irish Fest

Irish Vendors, Food/Drink, Live Music,…More