Celebrate St. Louis’ 250th Anniversary with the National Park Service

Tuesday, February 11 2014 07:20   Historic Towns
In celebration of the City of St. Louis' 250th anniversary, on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, the National Park Service will host free special events to recognize the rich history of the city and the deep passion of its early founders.

At 11 a.m., living history portrayers will re-enact when Auguste Chouteau returned to the spot Pierre Laclede marked as the site of a fur trading post west of the Mississippi River.
st_louis_arch_3Near where the South Leg of the Gateway Arch stands today, this trading post, which Chouteau and 30 of his men went on to construct, would later become the City of St. Louis.

Attendees will be able to interact with Chouteau and his band of men; demonstrations of 18th century blacksmithing, log hewing techniques, carpentry, and flint and steel fire starting will take place throughout the day.

At 12:30 p.m. at the Old Courthouse, the National Park Service will host a special presentation by Guy Foropon, whose great-grandmother, Jeanne Marie Laclede, was a descendant of Pierre Laclede's ancestors.

Foropon will present "Bedous, France, a Forgotten Village?" a short presentation on the birthplace of Pierre Laclede. Foropon will discuss how Bedous has hardly changed since Laclede was alive. In fact, the castle where Laclede was born and most of the village's homes were built before 1729 and are still standing today.

"We are ecstatic to celebrate St. Louis' 250th anniversary, and are committed to retelling the story of St. Louis' founders and the early days of the city," said Ann Honious, chief of museum services and interpretation for the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. "In conjunction with events organized by stl250, we encourage residents and visitors alike to take this time to learn about St. Louis' fascinating beginnings."

The founding of St. Louis re-enactment will take place at the South Leg of the Gateway Arch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Guy Foropon presentation will take place at the Old Courthouse, 11 North Fourth Street, St. Louis, Mo., at 12:30 p.m.

The celebrations are free and open to the public. For more information visit
www.gatewayarch.com  or call (877) 982-1410.

The Gateway Arch and the Old Courthouse are part of Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, located on the riverfront in downtown St. Louis. The Gateway Arch is open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., except during the winter months, when hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., from Labor Day through Memorial Day weekend.

The Old Courthouse is open daily year-round from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Gateway Arch and Old Courthouse are closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Most programs are free of charge and open to the public.

Programs and events at the park are made possible by the generous support from the Gateway Arch  cooperating association, Jefferson National Parks Association, and Bi-State Development Agency. For more information about programs and events, call (877) 982-1410 or go to
www.gatewayarch.com .


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