"Show Me Historic Missouri" Top 5 Page for this destination Saint Charles by yooperprof

Saint Charles Travel Guide: 45 reviews and 86 photos

A well-preserved Main Street in a River Town

Main Street St. Charles is a veritable museum of 19th century building styles. For good reason, St. Charles has become a popular destination for day-trippers, crafters, and history buffs from the entire region. It's also a casebook in successful historic preservation. With recently added attractions like the Lewis & Clark boathouse, and the trailhead for the admirable KATY trail, St. Charles is a place where you'll want to linger. (They also have a riverboat casino in St. Charles - if that's your thing.)

This photo was taken pretty early on a Saturday morning. By mid-morning, Main Street was busy with auto and pedestrian traffic.

History Lesson

St Charles was made the temporary State Capital, 1821-1826, by act of the First General Assembly, meeting in St. Louis, 1820. Here the legislature, by affirming in a "Solemn Public Act" that the rights of any US citizen would not be abridged, met the final Congressional requirement for Statehood. Debate over the slavery issue that greeted Missouri's petition for statehood resolved itself in the Missouri Compromise of 1820. Slavery was prohibited north of 36"20' except in Missouri. On Aug. 10, 1821, Missouri became the 24th state.

Near hear is the junction of the Missouri and Mississippi. Marquette and Jolliet noted this point in 1673, and here the Lewis & Clark Expedition began its ascent of the Missouri in 1804. Three bridges cross the Missouri and two the Mississippi in St. Charles County.

Seat of justice for one of Missouri's first 5 counties, earlier one of 5 Spanish districts, St. Charles serves a farming and industrial area. Here are the old Capitol; Sacred Heart Convent; St. Charles Borromeo Cemetary; and Lindenwood College, chartered in 1853, founded earlier by George and Mary Sibley, one of the oldest schools for women in the Mississippi Valley.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:an interesting collection of well-preserved historic homes and shops
  • Cons:maybe too many "country charm" shops and ice cream parlors
  • Last visit to Saint Charles: May 2008
  • Intro Updated Jun 19, 2008
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