Missouri has always known Ste. Genevieve is a very special place. There are a lot of reasons to celebrate our oldest town: its history, its food, its wineries and its signature events. But this extraordinary city is about to take its place among the most prestigious places in America – as the newest addition to our national parks.
The French Colonial history of the area has always been one of its most rich and colorful attributes – and now the United States Department of the Interior has been authorized to preserve and interpret that period of Missouri’s history with the establishment of the Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park.
The new park will highlight the French Colonial history of the area and preserve its early French architecture. Some of the buildings involved are believed to have been built in the early 1790s and have weathered several damaging floods.
Only five poteaux-en-terre (post in ground) French houses still exist in North America and having three of them in one location is the leading reason behind the creation of the new national park. Ste. Genevieve is home to the Beauvais-Amoureax House – likely the centerpiece of the park – the Bequette-Ribault House and the Vital St. Gemme Beauvais House.
Other historic buildings in downtown Ste. Genevieve are also expected to become part of the national park, including the 1793 Louis Bolduc House on Main Street, which has been the city’s pre-eminent tour home for decades.
There is still much to be done before plans for the Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park come to full realization, but you can absorb the rich history of the city right now. And there are plenty of other opportunities to explore the National Park Service offerings throughout Missouri:
There is truly never a better time to explore these wonders than right now. Celebrate Missouri’s contributions to Teddy Roosevelt’s crowning achievement, the national park system, and then share your explorations with us on Instragram using the hashtag #MissouriAdventure.
Written By Barb Brueggeman