Members of the Missouri congressional delegation, including U.S. Senators Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill, and Representative Jason Smith, introduced legislation on Monday, June 12, to establish the Ste. Genevieve National Historic Site and designate it as a unit of the National Park Service (NPS).
“Ste. Genevieve is a fundamental part of our state and nation’s history,” said Blunt. “I’m grateful for all the hard work and dedication of generations of Missourians who have helped preserve this national treasure. Establishing Ste. Genevieve as a national park will underscore its significant historic value and allow more visitors to experience French colonial life and gain a deeper appreciation for our state’s rich heritage.”
“Ste. Genevieve preserves in time an important piece of our past and gives our kids and grandkids the chance to learn about Missouri’s French colonial history from more than just the pages of a textbook,” said McCaskill. “The site is clearly deserving of inclusion in our National Park System, which will help maintain and preserve it for generations of Missourians to come, and I’m proud to partner with my colleagues on this bill to make that happen.”
“As the oldest settlement west of the Mississippi, Ste. Genevieve is not only a treasure to us here in Southeast Missouri, but also part of our Missouri heritage and early American identity,” said Smith. “I am proud to work to make sure these important pieces of history are protected.”
Blunt, McCaskill, and Smith introduced similar legislation in May 2016. The NPS released its final Ste. Genevieve Special Resource Study in May 2016, which found that portions of the Ste. Genevieve historic district meet the criteria for inclusion in the National Park System.
The village of Ste. Genevieve dates back to the early 1700s, making it Missouri’s oldest town. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1960, also making it one of the oldest National Historic Landmark districts in the country. It is known for its centuries-old homes featuring unique French vertical log architecture.
Copies of the bills have not yet been released online.
Check back for more updates this week.
(Information in a news release from representatives in the Missouri congressional delegation.)