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History

portrait

Father Jacques, a Jesuit missionary, made the first known reference to the South County area centuries ago. In later years, the region attracted Europeans trading and traveling westward.

These immigrants began to claim land along the great Meramec River, constructing ferries across in order to reach frontier settlements and trade centers. In 1764, Pierre LaClede, a French fur trapper, established St. Louis as a flourishing trade post on the western banks of the Mississippi River.

The purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803 secured land along the Mississippi River for further expansion. The St. Louis area transformed into a vital center for trade along the Mississippi River, which drew in more people from the east who began establishing permanent settlements.

aerial photo

St. Louis and its neighboring communities continued to expand along with the Midwest during the industrial age. Steady growth commenced with the construction of interstates 44, 55 and 270 as well as the Jefferson Barracks Bridge over the Mississippi River, especially during the 1950s post-war baby boom.

By the 1970s, the area felt a major surge in growth, as people began to notice and take advantage of the high quality of life enjoyed in this area—a distinction that is still cherished to this day.

reenactment

 

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