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The Missouri State Penitentiary, located in Jefferson City, was once the oldest operating prison west of the Mississippi River. It opened in 1836 and closed in 2004.
St. Charles County, Missouri, has a rich history dating back to the early 18th century. The area was originally inhabited by Indigenous peoples, including the Osage and Mississippian cultures, who left behind evidence of their presence in the form of burial mounds and artifacts. In the late 17th century, French explorers including Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette explored the region, and French settlers began to establish trading posts in the area.

In 1769, Lieutenant Governor Louis Blanchette founded a town near the Missouri River, which would later become known as St. Charles. The town grew rapidly as a center of commerce and transportation, serving as the westernmost outpost of the United States in the early 19th century. St. Charles played a significant role in the westward expansion of the United States, as the starting point of the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1804.

During the 19th century, St. Charles County became an important agricultural region, with farmers cultivating crops such as corn, wheat, and tobacco. The county was also home to many German immigrants who brought their agricultural expertise and established thriving farming communities. The arrival of the railroad in the mid-19th century further boosted the county's economic growth.

In the 20th century, St. Charles County experienced significant suburban development, as many residents moved from the city of St. Louis to the county for a quieter, more suburban lifestyle. This led to a population boom, with residential and commercial areas expanding rapidly. Today, St. Charles County is a thriving area with a mix of urban and rural communities, known for its historical sites, parks, and vibrant economy.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of St. Charles County, Missouri.

  • 1769 - French explorers Jacques-Nicolas Bellin and Louis Hennepin visit the area.
  • 1804 - The Lewis and Clark Expedition passes through St. Charles County.
  • 1809 - St. Charles becomes the first state capital of Missouri.
  • 1811 - A massive earthquake, known as the New Madrid earthquake, hits the region.
  • 1821 - Missouri becomes a state and St. Charles County is established.
  • 1826 - The first bridge across the Missouri River is built in St. Charles.
  • 1835 - The city of St. Louis becomes the new state capital, ending St. Charles' capital status.
  • 1861 - The American Civil War begins and St. Charles County becomes a Union stronghold.
  • 1981 - The Ameristar Casino Resort Spa opens in St. Charles, becoming a popular entertainment destination.
  • 2008 - The National Equestrian Center is established in Lake St. Louis, hosting various horse-related events.