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Saint Charles Historic District

Saint Charles Historic District


lat: 38.7772181 long: -90.4824344

On May 14, 1804 William Clark and 42 men docked in St. Charles (what is now the historic district) and remained for 6 days, waiting for Merriweather Lewis to finish some business in St. Louis before continuing their expedition out west. St. Charles was the final outpost for the Corps of Discovery before the expedition.

Saint Charles began as an outpost for traders in 1769 and was the earliest European settlement on the Missouri River. Chiefly inhabited by French settlers, the town was surrounded by American settlers in the countryside. While the Corps stayed in Saint Charles Clark noted the movement and diversity of the town writing,

“we arrived at St. Charles at 12 oClock a number Spectators french & Indi­ans flocked to the bank to See the party. This Village is about one mile in length, Situated on the North Side of the Missourie at the foot of a hill from which it takes its name Petiete Coete or the Little hill [Les Petites Côtes (the Little Hills)] This village Contns. about 100 houses, the most of them Small and indefferent and about 450 inhabitents Chiefly French, those people appear pore, polite & harmonious.”

While their entrance to the town was exciting and warm, before embarking on their journey several recruits to the Corps of Discovery were court-martialed and punished for going absent without leave/AWOL while stopped in Saint Charles. The entire crew set out on May 20, 1804.

Today, the historic district of the city, which encompasses eight-and-a-half blocks has plenty of modern activities such as laser tag, golf, and many restaurants to choose from. However, the historical monuments, museums, and architecture that dates back to 1807-1890, is what makes the Saint Charles Historic District so unique, striking and charming.

Nearby Attractions

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Nearby Trails

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Trail of Tears Memorial

Explore the Trail of Tears State Park to delve into a somber chapter in American history. Here, nine Cherokee Indian groups crossed the harsh winter Mississippi River in 1838-1839 during their forced relocation to Oklahoma.…

lat: 37.4439902 long: -89.468381
Fort Bellefontaine

lat: 38.827083 long: -90.214293
Klondike to Mississippi River

lat: 38.58395 long: -90.81858
Red House Path

lat: 37.3008461 long: -89.5186713
Trail of Tears Overlook

A breathtaking viewpoint overlooking the Trail of Tears State Park. Car access is available

lat: 37.4490937 long: -89.4764524
Bean Lake Natural Area

lat: 39.49763 long: -95.02227
Trail of Tears to Cairo

The path taken by Chief John Ross on his way to Cairo. (

lat: 37.45684 long: -89.46319
Red Star Access Site

lat: 37.3156208 long: -89.5126263
Miami to Big Muddy

lat: 39.32615 long: -93.22803
Lewis and Clark Nature Trail

lat: 38.77314 long: -90.4821
Klondike Park River Access

lat: 38.5840552 long: -90.8200764
LaBenite Park to Miami

lat: 39.16744 long: -94.39343
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