History Conference Returns
By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
Noted historians will return to town next weekend for the 19th Ste. Genevieve History Conference.
Put on by the Foundation For Restoration of Ste. Genevieve, the annual event was cancelled in 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s schedule features the following presenters:
Sharon Person – “Un ‘mariage inconstant’: Guillaume Pottier drafts a will, and the Louisiana Superior Council rejects it.”
Dr. Adam Criblez – “History of Early Cape Girardeau.”
Dr. Will Thompson – “Fictional Portraits of the French Creoles of the Illinois Country.”
Chris Collins – Update on activities at the Ste. Genevieve NPS Historical Park.
Dr. David MacDonald – “Jean-Baptiste Ducoigne, an Under-Appreciated Leader of the Kaskaskia Tribe”
Bob Mueller – “Town Lots, Houses, and Outbuildings in Colonial Ste. Genevieve.”
Mueller, a local historian, has been instrumental in organizing the conference.
“In 1980 we started having history conferences in and inviting scholars to talk,” he said. “We didn’t have one every year, We kind of resurrected it again, as far as having it every year.”
The conference has covered a wide variety of subjects over the years.
“We really cover subjects all the way from pre-European contact to as late ad the 1930s, with the local Bicentennial and the riot of 1930,” Mueller said. “It’s been a good way to get scholarly research on Ste. Genevieve and get it out to the public.”
Criblez, a history professor at Southeast Missouri State University, is a new addition, speaking on Cape Girardeau’s early history.
“We not only do Ste. Genevieve, we do the surrounding area as well,” Mueller said. “So we welcome Dr. Criblez. “We have this shared history of the area.”
Thompson, from Memphis, is an expert on Old Mines and Washington County, who has spoken here before. Person, who focuses on civil records, is also a returnee. So is MacDonald, who will speak on the Kaskaskia Indians.
Mueller will examine deeds and other local records, looking at house lots sizes and types of houses, as well as ovens, wells and other improvements to properties.
CONFERENCE KICKS OFF
ON FRIDAY NIGHT
This year’s event is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will be held at the new Sports Complex at the Ste. Genevieve Community Center off Highway 32. There will also be a pre-Conference reception held on Friday evening at 5 p.m. at the Guibourd Valle tour home, which the Foundation operates at the corner of Fourth and Merchant Street in Ste. Genevieve.
The Saturday Conference will feature six speakers throughout the day with topics covering people and events important to early French Colonial life in and around Ste. Genevieve.
The cost for the entire History Conference is only $50, which includes the Friday night reception, and on-site lunch on Saturday. There is also a $5 discount for current paid up members of the Foundation. There is a downloadable registration form on the Foundation’s website at www.historicstegen.org.
This year the event moves to the Progress Sports Center, where more social distancing will be possible. Despite this,Mueller said he expects crowds to be smaller than in past years.
“I think it will be down,” he said.”I thin people are concerned about COVID. We do tend to have an older crowd.”
For additional information or questions, call the Foundation at 573-883-9622.