The city of Branson, Missouri, is known as the "live music show capital of the world". It has more than 100 live shows and attracts millions of visitors each year.
Cape Girardeau County, located in the southeastern part of Missouri, has a rich history that dates back to the early 18th century. The area was initially inhabited by the Mississippian Native American culture, who left behind ancient mounds and artifacts that provide insight into their way of life.

In the late 17th century, French explorers such as Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet ventured through the region, followed by French settlers who established a trading post in the area in the early 18th century. The town of Cape Girardeau was officially founded in 1793, named after Ensign Jean Baptiste de Girardot, a French officer who helped establish the trading post.

During the 19th century, Cape Girardeau County played a significant role in the early development of the state of Missouri. The area became an important transportation hub, with the Mississippi River serving as a vital trade route for steamboats carrying goods and passengers. The river also facilitated the growth of agriculture, as local farmers could easily transport their crops to markets in nearby St. Louis.

The county was heavily influenced by the Civil War, with both Union and Confederate forces occupying the region at various times. Cape Girardeau played a strategic military role due to its location, and saw skirmishes and battles throughout the war. Many buildings were damaged or destroyed during this period, but the area began to recover and rebuild after the war ended.

Today, Cape Girardeau County is a thriving community known for its vibrant arts and culture scene, historic sites, and natural beauty. The county continues to evolve and grow, while also preserving its rich history and heritage.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Cape Girardeau County, Missouri.

  • 1793: Cape Girardeau County is established as one of the five original counties of the newly formed Missouri Territory.
  • 1806: The first permanent settlement is established near what is now the city of Cape Girardeau.
  • 1812: The first courthouse in the county is constructed.
  • 1850: The first railroad reaches Cape Girardeau County, spurring economic growth in the region.
  • 1861-1865: Cape Girardeau County sees significant activity during the American Civil War, with both Union and Confederate forces occupying the area at different times.
  • 1873: The city of Cape Girardeau is officially incorporated.
  • 1903: Southeast Missouri State University is established in Cape Girardeau County.
  • 1928: The Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge, connecting Cape Girardeau to Illinois, opens.
  • 1973: The Trail of Tears State Park is established to preserve the memory of the forced removal of Native Americans in the 19th century.
  • 2005: The catastrophic Flood of 2005 affects Cape Girardeau County and much of the surrounding region.