History Buff

The village of Ste. Genevieve was settled on the west bank of the Mississippi River in the early 1700's and is Missouri's oldest town. Much of historic Ste. Genevieve's charm and ambiance is due to the remarkable preservation of its original vertical log structures. Its narrow streets and fenced gardens surround some of the most significant eighteenth century architecture in the nation, offering visitors an unparalleled glimpse into its colonial past.

    Historic Attractions

  • passport

    Historic Tour Passport

    Cost: $15/Adults
    $5/Students (1st – 12th grade)
    Children 5 years & under FREE!
    800-373-7007
    573-883-7097
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    Tour six venues with one ticket!
    -1792 Bolduc Museum House
    -1806 Jacques Guibourd House
    -1818 Felix Vallé State Historic Site
    -Ste. Genevieve Museum
    -1792 Bauvais- Amoureux House
    -1804 Bequette-Ribault House
    Purchase Passports at the Ste. Genevieve Welcome Center.

  • Bolduc House Museum

    125 S Main St
    Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670
    573-883-3105
    Bolduc House Museum
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    Designated as a National Historic Landmark by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and winner of the 2005 Preserve America Award, the 1785 Louis Bolduc Historic House is regarded as “the first most authentically restored Creole house in the Nation”.

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    Its poteaux-sur-sole, vertical-log walls and heavy oak timbered, double-pitched ‘hip’ roof were considered sophisticated construction for the time and employed to protect the French Canadian settlers from the elements. The house and grounds display original, accurately restored eighteenth century furnishings, living quarters, stockade fence, and a French herb garden and grape arbor of that early era. Owned and operated by the National Society of the Colonial Dames in America in the State of Missouri, the Bolduc House Museum is open daily (weather and major holidays excepted).  Admission includes tours of the Bolduc House, the Bolduc -LeMeilleur House and the gardens and grounds. Gifts and souvenirs may also be purchased at the museum’s gift shop.

  • Ste. Genevieve Catholic Church

    49 DuBourg Place
    Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670
    573-883-2731
    Website: SteGenevieveParish.com
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    The current, brick Ste. Genevieve Catholic Church is the third Catholic church erected on this block.  As Ste. Genevieve was moved to higher ground due to flooding, the original log church was moved here in 1794.  A stone structure

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    replacing the log building was consecrated in 1837.  As the congregation grew a larger church was required, and a brick building was constructed around the stone one. The stone church continued to be used until the new church was completed in 1880. Then the old stones were removed out the doors.  In 1911 this church was expanded again with the addition of the altar apse and the two side transepts.  Come inside to admire the stain glass windows and marble adornments!

     

     

  • Bauvais-Amoureux House

    327 St Marys Rd
    Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670
    573-883-7102
    Felix Vallé State Historic Site
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    Built around 1792 by Jean-Baptiste St. Gemme Bauvais, the Bauvais-Amoureux Historic House overlooks Ste. Genevieve’s communal agricultural fields, le Grand Champ. Its upright cedar log walls are set directly into the earth in the rare poteaux-en-terre method of

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    construction. Heavy, hand-hewn timbers form the Norman truss system which supports the steeply-pitched roof that is reminiscent of early French Canadian architecture. Purchased by Benjamin Amoureux in 1852, the house is now part of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Felix Vallé State Historic Site. The small admission charge includes a tour of a display explaining how vertical log buildings were constructed and a large, impressive diorama depicting the village of Ste. Genevieve as it was in 1832. Open seasonally.

  • Jacques Guibourd Historic House

    4th & Merchant Sts
    Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670
    573-883-7544
    Website:historicstegen.org
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    The Jacques Guibourd Historic House was constructed in 1806 in the poteaux-sur-sole style with vertical, hand-hewn log walls and double pitched roof. This important National Register site is the only historic house in Ste. Genevieve where the visitor can view and study

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    up close the Norman truss architecture employed at the time. The house displays a more refined rendition of the typical French Colonial residence in the era of Lewis and Clark and is finished with elegant French antiques. The museum is owned and operated by the Foundation for Restoration of Ste. Genevieve, Inc. as a memorial to its donor, Jules Felix Vallé. The Jacques Guibourd House gives discounts to members of organizations who participate in the Time Travelers Program. Admission includes a costumed docent-guided tour. Open daily April through the 1st weekend in December. It is closed on all major holidays. Group tours may be arranged at any time by appointment.

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    Felix Vallé State Historic Site

    Merchant & 2nd Streets
    Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670
    573-883-7102
    Felix Valle State Historic Site
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    This important Federal style limestone building features an authentically restocked mercantile store of the historic trading firm of Menard and Vallé. Built in 1818, this historic site was the home of one of Ste. Genevieve’s premier colonial

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    families, Felix and Odile Pratte Vallé. The house features the family’s living quarters displaying beautiful early Empire furnishings with fully restored, original mantels and interior trim. An outside staircase on the back porch leads to fully furnished, second floor bedrooms. The charming garden features original brick and frame outbuildings. Admission includes guided tours. A gift shop is located on the site. Open daily March-October and Thursday thru Sunday November-February.

  • Ste. Genevieve Museum

    3rd & Merchant Streets
    Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670
    573-883-3461
    Ste. Genevieve Museum
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    Ste. Genevieve Museum houses some of the most interesting clips of memorabilia the town has to offer. Whether it’s Native American Indian artifacts, a scale-model train, an eighteenth century French flute, some of John J. Audubon’s stuffed

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    birds or an original copy of a Spanish land grant, the museum is sure to pique your interest. Located in the heart of the National Historic Landmark District, the museum is open daily with a small admission charge.

     

  • Ste. Genevieve Memorial Cemetery

    5th & Merchant Streets
    Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670
    573-883-7544
    Ste. Genevieve Memorial Cemetery
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    Memorial Cemetery is the final resting place for well over 3,000 people.  Most grave markers were wooden crosses which have rotted away leaving most graves unmarked.  The oldest grave is of Louis Le Clere and is dated 1796.  The newest interment is dated 15 years after the cemetery was officially closed in 1882.  

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    Odile Valle wished to be buried with her prominent husband, Felix Valle.  In exchange she donated land for the new cemetery and an enormous sum for the construction of the new brick Catholic Church.  The oldest part of the cemetery is the middle third.  This section was for Catholics.  As other faiths came to the territory, another section was added up hill.  This is where victims of a steamship explosion are buried, as are Native Americans.  Some African slaves are buried there as well, while others lay at peace in their master’s plot.  When it became apparent that more room was needed, another parcel was added downhill from the original.  Finally, Memorial Cemetery reached capacity and became a health hazard.  Burials after May of 1882 were in the new Valle Spring Cemetery for Catholics and Crestlawn Cemetery for others.

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    The Bequette-Ribault House

    351 St Marys Rd
    Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670
    573-747-1000
    chaumette.com
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    The Bequette-Ribault House, located across from Le Grand Champ or the “Big Field,”  was built in 1804. It is a “poteaux-en-terre ”or “posts-in-the-earth” building, referencing its vertical logs built directly into the ground without a foundation. Ste. Genevieve is home to 3 out of 5 remaining such buildings. In one of its restored outbuildings, a Hospitality Center features a tasting bar offering

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    tastings and purchase of Chaumette’s award-winning wines.  The Bequette Ribault House was restored by Chaumette’s owners Hank and Jacque Johnson and is open for public tours on Saturdays & Sundays, noon to 5pm, April – October, and private tours on Saturdays can be arranged during winter months by calling 573-747-1000. For more info visit our web site: chaumette.com

    Festivals and Events

  • French-Christmas-Felix-Valle-House-horizontal

    Le Reveillon
    French Christmas

    Felix Valle State Historic Site

    Merchant and 2nd Streets 
    Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670

    573-883-7102
    Felix Valle State Historic Site

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    This annual holiday celebration highlights the music, customs, and crafts of early French Colonial Christmas in Ste. Genevieve.  The celebration, known as Le Reveillon, features costumed guides who explain the early 19th century customs of Christmas.  Traditional foods and music of the period are featured.

  • La Guiannée (La Guignolèe)

    Historic District
    Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670
    800-373-7007
    573-883-7097

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    La Guiannée – Founded by French fur traders, Ste. Genevieve remained a French speaking enclave for centuries in the newly Americanized Midwest. Sadly, the last generations of native French speakers are disappearing, but old traditions like La Guiannée still remain.

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    This ancient tradition, analogous to the English custom of Wassailing that harkens back to Europe’s Middle Ages, is celebrated by descendants of those French settlers every New Year’s Eve. Dressed in bizarre and somewhat archaic costumes, the revelers wander from place to place singing a beggars song for favors. You can see and participate with these singers and musicians as they celebrate this 250 year old tradition each New Year’s Eve in the streets, cafes and pubs of old Ste. Genevieve’s Historic District.

     

     

  • History Conference

    When: Please see Events Calendar for details
    Where: Ste. Genevieve County Community Center
    Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670
    800-373-7007
    573-883-7097

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    The Foundation for Restoration of Ste. Genevieve hosts an annual history conference at which presentations are made on the history of Ste. Genevieve and the surrounding area.  Presentations are presented on a variety of subjects from pre-European settlement to the French colonial period as well as the 19th and 20th centuries.

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    Event starts with a continental breakfast and lunch is provided.  A reception for conference attendees will be held on Friday evening.

     

     

     

  • Landmark Day-Bolduc House

    When: Please see Events Calendar for details
    Where: Bolduc House Properties
    Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670
    573-883-3105

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    Activities TBD.

     

     

  • Spirit Reunion in Memorial Cemetery

    When: Please see Events Calendar for details
    Where: Memorial Cemetery
    Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670
    800-373-7007
    573-883-7097

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    The spirits will again emerge from the crypts and tombs of historic old Ste. Genevieve’s Memorial Cemetery as the Foundation for Restoration of Ste. Genevieve hosts its annual Déjà vu Spirit Reunion.  Visitors will experience Missouri’s oldest town through the spirits of those buried in the town’s Memorial Cemetery. This cemetery,

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    established in 1787, includes the tombs and grave markers of the area’s earliest French pioneers as well as emigrants of German, Scottish and other heritages – slave, free and integrated spouses of black African and Native Americans. This living history program of stories, traditions and nostalgia highlights the lives and personalities of notables such as U.S. Senator Lewis F. Linn, Felix and Odile Vallé, Marie LaPorte, Joseph Bogy, Ferdinand Rozier (a one-time business partner of John James Audubon) and provides the visitor with an intimate taste of lifestyles and happenings in Missouri’s oldest town during the late 18th and 19th centuries. Tour the cemetery via lantern light and chat “face-to-face” with over 20 spirits clad in traditional dress and enjoy a hauntingly good time.
    All proceeds help to benefit the Foundation for Restoration’s Memorial Cemetery restoration efforts. The FRSG is a non-profit community organization formed to promote the preservation and restoration of Ste. Genevieve’s historic structures and traditions. In 2007 the FRSG was awarded the distinguished Governor’s Humanities Award for the Déjà vu Spirit Reunion program.

     

     

  • French Veillee’

    Second Weekend in June
    Felix Valle State Historic Site
    Merchant and Second Streets
    Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670
    573-883-7102

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    Enjoy an evening in the garden of the Felix Valle House at this recreation of a La Veillee, a traditional French Colonial summer social gathering. Featured will be French folk dancing, folk tales, candlelight tours of the home, and refreshments.

     

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    King’s Ball

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    When: First Saturday evening in February
    Where: VFW Hall, Memorial Drive
    800-373-7007
    573-883-7097

    The annual King’s Ball, originally held to celebrate twelfth-night, is just another of Ste. Genevieve’s old French settlers’ traditions that has been celebrated annually for over 250 years. Attendees are encouraged to dress in French Colonial attire and

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    participate in the traditional music and dance. Some guests dress their tables with a candelabrum, table clothes, wine glasses and buffets of food. Proceeds benefit the Ste. Genevieve Museum and other projects.
  • Ecole du Soldat

    When: Please see the Events Calendar for specifics
    Where: Historic District
    Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670
    800-373-7007
    573-883-7097

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    A family-friendly, living history event! Come explore the traditions of the “School of the Soldier.” This is a fully packed weekend of lectures and camaraderie with plenty of events to see.

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    On Saturday, attend a public heritage auction of discovered ‘desirables’ – memorabilia, collectibles, ‘accouterments’, utensils, and ‘watch’a-may-call-its’. Ste. Genevieve has the greatest concentration of original French colonial buildings in North America and is the only surviving French colonial village in the United States. At Ecole du Soldat activities of that early era are reenacted.

     

  • French Heritage Festival

    Second Weekend in June
    Historic District
    Ste. Genevieve, MO
    800-373-7007
    573-883-7097

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    The French Festival is a living history event with live traditional music, folk dancing, French foods, wine tasting, re-enactors in period dress, historic home tours, street dancing, promenades (parades), children’s activities, walking tours, tea with ‘Marie Antoinette’ at the Guibourd and much more!

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    Rural Heritage Day

    When: October – Please see the Events Calendar for specifics
    Where: St. Mary’s Road and in the Historic District
    Admission: Donations appreciated
    800-373-7007
    573-883-7097

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    Rural Heritage Day is a celebration of history, reverie and reminiscence dedicated to the hard working forefathers and foremothers of Ste. Genevieve. Come see how it used to be done, whether it’s farming, cooking, spinning, lace making, leather working, soap making, wood carving, gardening, or good old-fashioned games.

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    Watch demonstrations of handicrafts of yesteryear. Try the Lions Club’s vittles or bring a picnic. Stay the day and have a blast from the past!

  • Jour de Fete Arts & Crafts Festival

    When: Second full weekend in August
    Where: Historic District, Ste. Genevieve, MO
    800-373-7007
    573-883-7097

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    The annual Jour de Fête is southeast Missouri’s largest outdoor Crafts Fair. Held in the heart of Ste. Genevieve’s Historic District, visitors can browse through arts and crafts booths. Shop till you drop and enjoy live music, foods, living history demonstrations and other activities at this family-friendly event.

    Specialty Shops

  • Linden House Gift Shop

    116 South Main Street
    Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670
    573-883-3105

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    The Linden House was built around 1820. Evidence of its vertical log construction is framed near the checkout counter.  Today it serves as the Bolduc Museum’s gift shop as well as housing an art gallery and offices.  French Colonial books, games, chocolates, household items, and postcards can be found in this shop across the street from the Bolduc House.

  • Felix Valle Historic Site Gift Shop

    Merchant and Second Streets
    Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670
    573-883-7102
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    Just across the street from the Felix Valle House is the Dr. Shaw House. Today it houses a gift shop featuring books concerning French Colonial history and some children’s books in French, colonial period items and soaps. The portion built in 1819 provides interpretive space for the site.

  • ASLPewter

    ASL Pewter Foundry

    183 South Third St.,
    Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670
    573-883-2095
    Website: aslpewter.com
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    ASL Pewter Foundry makes high-quality, lead-free pewter products that are not only functional, but works of art. Open Daily 9:30– 5:00. Demonstrations daily.

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    Odile’s Linen & Lace

    34 South Third St.
    Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670
    573-883-2675
    Odile’s Linen & Lace
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    Visit Odile’s Linen & Lace to enjoy rooms filled with fine curtains, laces, jewelry, baby items, accessories, and gift items.

  • First Settlement Country Store

    123 Merchant St.
    Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670
    573-883-8002

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    First Settlement features quality antiques, specializing in primitives, fine glassware, vintage clothing, jewelry, toys, linens, handcrafted wood accessories and stained glass items.

     

     

     

     

    Other Experiences

  • The Anvil Saloon & Restaurant

    46 South Third Street
    Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670
    573-883-7323
    The Anvil Saloon & Restaurant
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    Serving: Lunch, Dinner daily

    Cuisine: This family restaurant is famous for onion rings, fried chicken, pork tenderloin, and homemade desserts. A restaurant has occupied this building since 1855. The bar came from an 1850’s steamboat that traveled the Mississippi River.

    Alcohol: Wine, beer & cocktails

  • oldbrickbar_LR

    Old Brick House

    90 South 3rd Street
    Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670
    573-883-2724
    Old Brick House
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    Serving: Breakfast Mon – Fri
    Lunch and Dinner daily

    Cuisine:   At the Old Brick House you can find sandwiches and fine dining, a fabulous hamburger or a famous 40-ounce steak. Daily

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    and Sunday a luncheon buffet is available.  Built around 1800, the Old Brick is one of the oldest brick buildings west of the Mississippi.  It has served as a territorial court house as well as a school.

    Alcohol:  Wine, beer & cocktails

  • Ferry

    Ste. Genevieve-Modoc Ferry

    Ste. Genevieve  Modoc Ferry
    573-883-7097
    800-373-7007
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    Enjoy a ride across the Mississippi River to Modoc, IL, Fort de Charters, and access to Illinois Highway 3.  To reach the ferry go north on Main Street which ends at the ferry landing. Call ahead to make sure it is able to run. 

  • Ste. Genevieve Trolley

    Historic District and Wine Country
    Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670
    573-535-1911

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    For a $20 fee, riders will receive an all-day ride wristband and will be able to take the trolley from one of the downtown stops to several of the county wineries. Call 573-535-1911 to make arrangements.

     

  • Ste. Genevieve County Library

    21390 Highway 32
    Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670
    Located inside the SGCCC
    573-883-3358

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    In addition to carrying traditional library materials, the Ste. Genevieve County Library also houses archives of historical data on the history of this community.  Genealogical books outlining the family trees of dozens of Ste. Genevieve’s early families can be found here.  Looking for

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    information about an event in the past?  Past issues of the Ste. Genevieve Herald and the Fairplay are stored electronically and accessible here as well.  For more help with locating historical records, contact the Ste Genevieve Welcome Center at 800-373-7007 or 573-883-7097.

  • ghost-tours

    Ste. Genevieve Ghost Tours

    260 Merchant St
    Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670
    314-288-8888
    Ste. Genevieve Ghost Tours
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    Lantern led tours through Ste. Genevieve’s historic district filled with tales of ghosts and lost souls… some of which still call Ste. Genevieve home. Tours will reopen in March 2017.  Tours are on select Saturdays at 7pm.

  • saras-ice-cream

    Sara’s Ice Cream & Antiques

    124 Merchant St.
    Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670
    573-883-5890
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    Serving: Daily, Seasonally

    Cuisine: Ice Cream, Novelty Cones rolled in local pecans, Phosphates, Soda, and Coffee are all served at an historic soda fountain surrounded by antique memorabilia.

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