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French Colonial America (FCA) unveils “Saving St. Louis,” an exhibit explaining the role of the 60 militiamen who traveled upstream and were instrumental in thwarting the British attack on May 26, 1780, opens at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 8 at the Centre for French Colonial Life.

Militia and living history specialists will be on site for the opening and every Saturday throughout the summer.

The “Saving St. Louis” exhibit features original and reproduction weapons and equipment used in this region by both French and Native American peoples during the late 18th century. Additionally, militia reenact and professional photographer Ronald Rayfield recreated scenes of the 60 Ste. Genevieve fighters at the battle to help visualize the story.

“It may come as a revelation to many visitors, even those who are familiar with the American Revolution, that the story of the Battle of St. Louis and the role played in it by citizen soldiers from Ste. Genevieve, is not as commonly known as it deserves to be,” FCA Executive Director Geoff Giglierano said.

The Centre for French Colonial Life is the museum building and entry point for FCA’s historic campus. The campus also offers hourly guided tours of the historic Louis Bolduc House (circa 1788) and Bolduc-LeMeilleur House (circa 1820) and grounds as well as the “Hands-On History” program at the Beauvais-Linden House (circa 1820).

The campus is owned by French Colonial America, a recognized 501(c)(3) not-for-profit.

May 8 activities also include “Tunes, Tomahawks & Tours,” with live music, tomahawk-throwing and activities at the Linden House from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is $3 cash only.

The Centre for French Colonial Life will be open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Mondays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. It is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays until further notice. Admission for the exhibit is $5 per adult, $3 for children, and free to military members with an ID. The Centre for French Colonial Life is located at 198 Market Street in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri. Ample free parking is available behind the facility.

Follow www.Facebook.com/CFCLandBolducHouse for further information and updates.

Kristen Cornett of KMOV visited Ste. Genevieve recently and put together this story of the area highlights:

Check out the video by clicking here.

 

Ste. Genevieve is ready to welcome you back this spring.

Sassafras Creek Originals is hosting Pioneer Days on the weekend of May 22 and May 23. The new event will feature demonstrations by craft vendors in keeping with the store’s colonial-era theme.

Food and refreshments will be available, and live music performances are planned for the weekend.

The French Heritage Festival will feature music and activities celebrating Ste. Genevieve’s pioneer families from the 18th and 19th centuries. That annual event returns — following a one-year hiatus — on Saturday, June 12.

Also that day, the Felix Valle House State Historic Site will be hosting La Veille, an event that recalls the traditions of a French summer social gathering with folktales and dancing.

The following weekend will see a great deal of activity in Ste. Genevieve. Hundreds of cyclists will complete a five-day ride through Southeast Missouri in the Big BAM (Bicycle Across Missouri) event on Friday, June 18. Ste. Genevieve will welcome them with a celebration that includes live music, food, and more.

The following day, Saturday, June 19, will be the date of the annual Spring for Down Syndrome event, which includes a UTV/ATV ride through the county as well as activities, food, and entertainment throughout the day.

The weekend of June 26 and June 27 will see Ste. Genevieve’s first Honey Festival & Market in downtown Ste. Genevieve. Presented by Harold’s Famous Bee Co., the event will feature demonstrations on beekeeping and honey, food trucks, live music, children’s games, and much more.

Events are being organized for the weekend of July 4, including the Freedom Celebration, military history timeline and fireworks in Pere Marquette Park.

Rural Missouri, the magazine that is delivered to members of the state’s electric cooperatives, this month announced the winners in the Best of Rural Missouri survey.

In its 18th year, the Best of Rural Missouri survey featured 18 categories. Ste. Genevieve County was represented in three categories:

— Sara’s Ice Cream on Merchant Street in Ste. Genevieve was named the Editor’s Choice winner for best ice cream.

“Sara’s features their ice cream fresh-scooped into their cones, made into shakes or malts and have even made their version of the classic Drumstick that is rolled in local pecans,” the article said.

Sara’s Ice Cream

The Kozy in Bloomsdale was voted second in the survey for best breakfast/brunch.

Of the Kozy, Rural Missouri wrote, “In a nod to the nearby Gateway City, The Kozy features a St. Louis classic: Breakfast Slinger. A bed of hash browns is topped with a biscuit, choice of meat, eggs, shredded cheese and is smothered with chili or gravy.”

Ste. Genevieve Golf Club in Zell finished second behind Top of the Rock for best golf course.

“The course — located just west of Interstate 55 — features Bermuda grass on the fairways and tee boxes and places an emphasis on accuracy off the tee,” Rural Missouri wrote of Ste. Genevieve Golf Club.

Thousands of votes were counted in the survey.

The magazine is delivered to more than 570,000 homes in Missouri.

Read the April edition here.

** THIS EXHIBIT HAS BEEN POSTPONED TO LATER IN THE YEAR **

My Missouri 2021, a photo exhibit compiled as part of the state’s bicentennial celebration, will be at the Ste. Genevieve Welcome Center this summer.

Originally scheduled for a February 10 installation, the display now is expected to be installed this summer.

Two weather-related delays pushed back the installation date.

The exhibit was put together by the State Historical Society of Missouri as part of the bicentennial celebration. It features 200 photographs showing the diversity of the state.

According to the official website: “The exhibition is oriented around the four seasons and the selected photographs showcase the geographic and cultural landscape of the state. They provide an opportunity on the occasion of Missouri’s bicentennial to reflect upon and increase the understanding of, the state’s rich diversity while recognizing the many things its people share.”

For more information, call 573-883-7097.

Among the photos selected for the My Missouri 2021 photo display is this image of Pickle Creek in Hawn State Park taken by Nicholas Becker in October of 2018.

Aida Frey showed off some of the Junior Ranger badges she has obtained during trips to 345 national parks as of December 29, when she stopped in Ste. Genevieve.

Aida Frey from the Chicago area visited Ste. Genevieve on December 29, 2020, making her 345th stop at a national park.

Frey is a participant in and a proponent of the NPS Junior Ranger program. Her business card calls her the “Sweetheart of the National Parks.” She posts about her travels on Facebook (Junior Ranger Aida Frey), Twitter (@jrranger) and Instagram (@juniorrangeraida). She also has a written a book, “America, Can I Have Your Autograph?”

Frey and her family stopped through Ste. Genevieve during a trip that also included three national trip stops in Texas — Big Bend National Park, Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River, and Fort Davis National Historic Site.

The Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park was established as the 422nd unit of the National Park Service on October 30, 2020. There now are 423 national park units.

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt recently released an op-ed on the establishment of the Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park.

He begins: “The story of Ste. Genevieve is an important part of who we are as a nation.”

Read the entire piece as published in the December 30 edition of the Southeast Missourian’s B Magazine by clicking here.

Blunt participated in the establishment ceremony on November 2.

Four years ago this month, Dr. Paul Kovalski completed a 30-year journey to visit all the national parks. The dentist from Marlboro, New Jersey saved for last a park in his home state — Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park. It was his 413th different national park.

Dr. Paul Kovalski posed with Mickey Koetting on the porch of the Guibourd-Valle House before Koetting led a tour of the 1806 home, one of the historic structures open for touring in Ste. Genevieve.

The National Park Service keeps adding parks, however, and Kovalski keeps traveling.

On Thursday, December 17, he visited Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park, the second-newest unit in the National Park Service system — No. 422. (The Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument was established as the 423rd unit on December 10.)
Kovalski, who also volunteers many hours per year at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, brought to Ste.Genevieve some items from that park as well as other national parks he has visited. While he rates Glacier National Park as tops on his list, he thought the story of St. Croix Island, founded in 1604 as one of the first settlements of New France, would be of interest to Ste. Genevieve history buffs.
While in Ste. Genevieve, Kovalski toured the Guibourd-Valle House operated by the Foundation for Restoration. He also visited the Ste. Genevieve Welcome Center; the National Park Service headquarters at the Jean-Baptiste Valle House; and the Green Tree Tavern, which is owned by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources but has been legislatively approved for transfer to the National Park Service.
Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park was established on October 30, 2020. It includes the Jean-Baptiste Valle House on South Main Street and the Bauvais-Amoureux House on St. Mary’s Road. The National Park Service is working with the city of Ste. Genevieve to jointly operate the Welcome Center, which also has been approved for transfer to the National Park Service.
Since establishment, the park has attracted visitors interested in having their National Park Service passport books stamped. Also among the visitors so far is David Kroese, an author who chronicled his visits to all the national parks in his book, The Centennial: A Journey through America’s National Parks System.

The annual First Day Hike at Hawn State Park will not include a set scheduled hike this year as it has in the past.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, hikers are encouraged to take self-guided journeys through America’s state parks between Wednesday, December 30, and Sunday, January 3.

Hikers can take photos and post them on social media with the hashtag #MoFirstDayHikes. Missouri State Parks will have daily drawings for gift cards in the amount of $25. Visit mostateparks.com/FirstDayHikes for more details and to enter for a chance to win.

Monday, December 14, marks 1,211 days since the Great American Eclipse of 2017, and 1,211 days to the next total solar eclipse for Ste. Genevieve — on April 8, 2024.

A solar eclipse did take place on Monday, December 14, and it was viewable in Argentina and Chile in South America.

A photo of the 2017 solar eclipse taken in Downtown Ste. Genevieve.

Ste. Genevieve was included in the path of totality on August 21, 2017 — the first time that was the case since perhaps the 1400s.

The St. Louis area had not previously been on the centerline for a total solar eclipse since 1442, and St. Louis won’t be on the centerline for the 2024 eclipse.

The 2024 centerline will cross the United States from Texas to the northeast. The north edge of the centerline will not extend as far up as Festus but it will include Ste. Genevieve County.

As the northern end of the centerline, Ste. Genevieve will have about 2 minutes of totality; Cape Girardeau will have about 4 minutes as the midpoint of the centerline.

Ste. Genevieve had more than 2 1/2 minutes of totality in 2017 by being at the midpoint  of the centerline and near the point of longest duration in Southern Illinois.

In 2017, Ste. Genevieve hosted a one-day musical festival leading into the eclipse event, and a viewing event took place at the Ste. Genevieve County Community Center.

For more information on the 2024 eclipse, click here.

Forbes magazine had a story about the halfway as well.

The Jean-Baptiste Valle House is serving as the headquarters for the Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park, which was established on Friday, October 30.

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt and U.S. Representative Jason Smith on Friday [October 30] announced that U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt has completed the final step to formally establish the Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park.

Blunt and Smith led the legislation, which was signed into law in March 2018, to establish the Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park and designate it as a unit of the National Park System.

This is the first National Historical Park to be established in Missouri.

View the complete news release from Senator Blunt’s office here.

To view the release from the Department of the Interior, click here.

Click here for story from the Daily Journal.

The Daily Journal reported on the October 16 soft opening for the Sainte Genevieve Museum Learning Center.

The facility at 360 Market Street features items from the Darrough Collection, which includes dinosaur sculptures, and items related to Ste. Genevieve history from the old museum.

The Museum Learning Center currently is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Admission includes a ticket to return when more of the museum is open.

Read the Daily Journal story here.

The Daily Journal published a story about the Octane Tour’s visit to Southeast Missouri during the weekend of September 11 to September 13.

The tour attracts dozens of car enthusiasts in the St. Louis area for weekend getaway drives. This year’s drive featured Ste. Genevieve County and its wine country.

Several classic cars stopped in Ste. Genevieve on Friday, September 11, and parked at downtown parking lots.

Organizer Matt Burcham was impressed with Ste. Genevieve, telling the Daily Journal:

“The response that the Ste. Genevieve businesses had with us coming into town was crazy. Everybody had handmade signs welcoming the Octane Tour.

“Some people had even made up some dash plaques and handed them out to us and other people met us, and it was really cool. All these people were taking pictures of these signs and putting them on Facebook. It was nice to see the area wanted us here. We want to try and patronize these places as we can.”

River Rapids Waterpark at the Ste. Genevieve County Community Center was featured recently on onlyinyourstate.com.
The park’s final day of the 2020 season is Labor Day, Monday, September 7.
Click here to see the story.

USA Today Feature Article on Ste. Genevieve

Hotel Audubon, Ste. Genevieve MO

Hotel Audubon, established in 1903 and re-opened in 2018, shares Ste. Geneviève’s historic charms
GARY GARTH, SPECIAL TO USA TODAY

Ste. Genevieve was featured in this USA Today gallery article about its architectural and historical significance.

Read the article HERE.