St. Charles Historic Main Street Self Guided Walking Tour
St. Charles, Missouri is a town steeped in history, and the best way to explore it is to take a walk down Historic Main Street, accompanied by the self-guided Main Street Walking Tour. This street is lined with buildings that date back to St. Charles' earliest days and have been carefully preserved to showcase the town's rich cultural heritage. The area has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, making it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, architecture, and culture.
The area's history can be traced back to its first settler, Louis Blanchette, who established a trading post here in the late 1700s. This was the beginning of the city's long history as a trading hub and a center of commerce. Many of the buildings on Main Street were originally built to serve as homes and businesses for early fur traders and blacksmiths who settled in the area. Some of these buildings have been repurposed over the years, but their original facades and architectural details have been carefully preserved, allowing visitors to get a glimpse into what life was like in the early days of St. Charles.
As Saint Charles grew and developed, it became an important stop on the Boone's Lick Road and the site of Missouri's first State Capitol. The town was also visited by the famous explorers Lewis and Clark and their Corps of Discovery as they made their way westward. These events played a significant role in shaping St. Charles' history, and many of the buildings on Main Street played a role in these historic events.
One of the most popular buildings on Main Street is the First Missouri State Capitol State Historic Site, which is a restoration of the State Capitol building that was in use from 1821 to 1826. The site features exhibits that showcase the state's early history, including the role that St. Charles played in Missouri's statehood. Another popular destination is the Lewis and Clark Boat House and Museum, which offers visitors a chance to learn more about the famous explorers and their journey westward. The OPO Startups building (119 South Main Street) is also worth a visit- this former Post Office Building has been beautifully restored and is now home to a community of entrepreneurs and innovators who are helping to shape Saint Charles' future.
If you're planning a visit to St. Charles, be sure to take some time to explore historic Main Street using the self-guided walking tour linked below. The area is full of fascinating buildings that offer a glimpse into the town's rich cultural heritage, and there are plenty of attractions and activities to keep you busy. Whether you're a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or just looking for a fun and interesting place to explore, St. Charles is definitely worth a visit.