Inside the Centre for French Colonial Life, temporary and permanent exhibits educate visitors concerning early French life in the area. A gift shop is located inside. The Centre is also the gateway to your visit to the Bolduc House and the Bolduc-LeMeilleur House. Purchase admission to these sites and meet your guide here.
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 House is regarded as “the first most authentically restored Creole house in the Nation”. 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. For guests who visit during the week, on Wednesday and Fridays the Main Street gate in front of the LeMeilleur House will open from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM, permitting guests to enter for free and enjoy presentations by first-person living history practitioners portraying Ste. Genevieve residents from the 1780s to early 1800s, at a time when Ste. Genevieve was under Spanish rule. Creole characters there might include a carpenter making a “shaving horse” or splitting roof shakes, a young housewife spinning yarn, a militia sergeant, a priest, or perhaps a voyageur or trapper with some of his furs. The programs at the LeMeilleur are sponsored by the law firm of Jenkins & Kling, P.C.