Saint Charles - Missouri's First Capitol
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ST. CHARLES, MO, (SLFP.com) - Before Missouri was granted statehood on August 10, 1821, various locations in St. Louis has served as the seat of government for territorial affairs. Until the new Capitol could be constructed on an undeveloped tract of land located in the center of the state overlooking the Missouri River, several cities vied for the honor of hosting the temporary seat of government. The citizens of St. Charles, located on the Missouri River at the end of Boonslick Road, pledged free meeting space if their city was choosen.
The meeting place for the state legistators was provided on the second floor of a Federal-style brick building, owned by merchants, Charles and Ruluff Peck, and a craftsman named Chauncey Shepard. The floor was divided and used as Senate and House chambers, an office for the governor, and a small committee room.
After years of decay, the state of Missouri bought the Capitol complex, located at 200-216 S. Main, in 1961 and began a ten-year restoration project that initiated the revitalization of the historic core of St. Charles. Eleven rooms in the complex have been restored. The Peck brothers' residence and general store also have been restored and furnished as they might have looked in the mid-1800s.
The Frenchtown District welcomes visitors with unique antique and collectible shops, fine restaurants, tea rooms, several wineries, a micro brewery.
The bustling City of St. Charles, with a population of over 60,000, is host to year round activities including the Lewis and Clark Rendezvous in May, a traditional Fourth of July Festival, Festival of the Little Hills in August, Bluegrass Festival and the Civil War Reenactment in September, Oktoberfest and the St. Charles Christmas Traditions on South Main Street. The popular Katy Trail, a 230 mile hiking/bicycling trail, begins in St. Charles at Frontier Park on the Missouri Riverfront.
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