Green Tree Tavern

Green Tree Tavern is one of three properties owned by the state of Missouri that would be conveyed to the National Park Service under a proposal presented this week by State Representative Dale Wright. (Herald file photo)

I was to present my HB 2315 to the Conservation and Natural Resources Committee on Monday, February 10, at 6 p.m.

This bill relates to three properties proposed for conveyance to National Park Service for establishment of the national historic park at Ste. Genevieve.

The Felix Valle House, built in 1818, was designed as a combination mercantile store and residence for its original owner, Jacob Philipson, a Philadelphia merchant. Built of native limestone, its Federal-style architecture demonstrates the American influence on the community in the decades following the Louisiana Purchase.

The home was sold to the prominent Valle family of Ste. Genevieve in 1824 and served as a location for the trading firm of Menard and Valle, as well as the residence of Felix and Odile Valle.

Holding firmly to their French traditions, including language and religion, the Valle’s embraced “modern” features of life, including an American-style home and American goods brought by steamboat.

The Dr. Benjamin Shaw House stands just across Second Street from the Felix Valle House.

Built circa 1819 by Jean-Baptiste Bossier, the building served as a store-house for his mercantile business. Bossier was the great nephew of Vital and Jean-Baptist Beauvais.

He sold the building to a local physician, Dr. Benjamin Shaw, in 1837. Shaw made significant additions to Bossier’s small building, converted it for use as a residence. He built a separate stone kitchen for the house.

Dr. Shaw’s wife, Emilie, lived in the home for over 50 years, next door to her neighbor and cousin, Odile Valle.

The Green Tree Tavern is a French Colonial architecture known as a poteaux-sur-sole is the oldest house west of the Mississippi, being built in 1790 as a residence. The house was built by Nicolas Janis.

Later, the house became a tavern with a number of documented travelers staying there such as Henry Marie Brackenridge. As travelers poured into the new territory, the Green Tree Tavern offered lodging, entertainment, socializing and news. The first Masonic Lodge West of the Mississippi was in the Green Tree Tavern, Western Star Lodge No. 107.

I will keep you posted via my Capitol Reports as to the progression of this bill.

SALUTING ROMINE ON NEW ROLE

I want to congratulate Senator Gary Romaine for his recent appointment as chairman of the State Tax Commission by Governor Mike Parson.

Senator Romine has served Senatorial District 3 for seven years and has represented all of us very well. He began his new duties this past week, and I know he will serve the citizens of Missouri admirably and with fairness. Until a new senator is elected in November we will have no senatorial representation. Until then please feel free to call upon me or my office with your legislative needs.

Senator Gary Romine began his new role as chairman of the State Tax Commission this past week. I know he will be an advocate of fair taxing rules on behalf of all Missourians.

On behalf of all the great citizens of Missouri House District 116 I’d like to thank Senator Romine for his dedicated service over the last seven years as our Senator of the Third District and wish him the very best in his new duties.

(Dale Wright is the state representative for District 116, including much of Ste. Genevieve County.)