St. Louis: Then and Now®
Established by French fur-trader Pierre Laclede in 1764 and named in honor of the patron saint of France, St. Louis was in its earliest days a trading outpost near the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. After Jefferson purchased the western territories from the French in 1804, the town became the “Gateway to the West,” chief provisioner and jumping-off point for westward-bound explorers, adventurers, and gold prospectors. Its location on the Mississippi, once jammed with the fabulous steamboats that brought Mark Twain to the city, and its heritage as a heartland of ragtime, jazz, and blues music have given St. Louis a distinctive flavor that today blends the quaint and historic with the modern. Sites include: SS Admiral, the Gateway Arch, Old Courthouse, Union Station, City Hall, Soulard Market, Anheuser-Busch Brewery, Missouri Botanical Gardens, St. Louis University, Sportsman’s Park, the 1904 World’s Fair, St. Louis Art Museum, and Cathedral of St. Louis.