Aug 20, 2001
Ste. Genevieve, MO to St. Louis MO
Saint Genevieve was the first permanent settlement on the West Bank of
the Mississippi River and
(like all of the West Bank) is of French heritage.
It's proud of its past and goes to great lengths to keep it alive with
carefully restored houses
and a number of annual events including a King's Ball (period custome encouraged), the Lafete Francaise French Festival
(this is a 3 day moving festival that starts in St. Louis, continues to
Ste. Genevieve and ends in Cape Giradeau),
Bastille Days and Jour De Fete. Rest assured, however, that most residents break with their French roots
and bathe at least monthly.
Above is Creole House, the B&B where we spent the night. On the porch are Royce and Marge, two hardworking inn keepers.
Oriented toward the upscale St. Louismarket, Creole House is more like a B&B then a traditional inn.
No doubt about it...these guys were willing to go any amount of trouble
(including laundry and the loan of maps)
to make their guests happy.
Above are two of Ste. Genevieve's greatest treasures: the Church of Ste. Genevieve on left, and The Bolduc House on the right.
Don't know much about the church except 1)it's treasured locally 2)it's
beautiful and 3)it has a button in the lobby
that can be pressed for audio tours except when the cranky maintenance
man turns it off.
Sadly it was turned off when we were there. I know a little more about
The Bolduc House, built in 1770
and (apparantly) regarded as the most authentically restored creole house
in the nation.
What's a creole house? As far as I can tell, the term "creole architecture"
as used here means vertical logs,
a heavy timber frame combined with an infill made of brick (briquette entre poteaux)or a mixture of mud, moss and animal hair called bousillage
The timber frame incorporated French joinery i.e., angle braces that are
extremely steep, running all the wayfrom sill to plate
and used only wooden pegs to hold pieces in place. I would know more about
the house or just what Creole
Architecture were but the tour was given by an 8th grader who viewed her
job was to recite letter-by-letter
(or as close as her braces allowed) a pretty unimpressive script that described
the house outside any context.
Fire! We happened to right in front of the Volunteer Fire Department (only
one there is) when the alarm went off.
It was impressive to watch how quickly a bunch of guys arrived from their jobs in private vehicles,
most carrying scanners, and jumped into the engines. I think they probably
had 4 engines on the road in 3 minutes.
This is Keith Espelien showing off his beautiful Ducatti 996. Bought in
January and with just over 1,000 (s)miles on the clock
the bike is in absolutely showroom condition.
The Ste. Genevieve-Modoc Ferry. Flash your lights, the ferry comes, pay your $3 and in 10 minutes you're in Illinois.
The bike needed a 600 mile service so we headed back over the Mississippi
again to St. Louis, home of the nearest BMW dealer.
On the left is the entrance to Union Station. I don't think it has any
trains, but it *does* have some nice shops and restaurants.
On the right is a St. Louis police trike.