Thursday, August 14, 2008

Last Saturday my sister, Barbara and her boyfriend Butch and us headed off for Ste. Genevieve to the Jour de Fete. Ste. Genevieve is on the west bank of the Mississippi River, about 1 hour south of St. Louis. It was settled in the 1740's and was one of several important French communities forming a region known as the "Illinois Country", part of the vast territory held by France in North America at the time.
World events impacted the habitants of Ste. Genevieve in 1762, when France ceded all her holdings west of the Mississippi River to Spain at the close of the French and Indian War. As the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 propelled Ste. Genevieve into another chapter in history when its French-speaking residents suddenly found themselves citizens of the United States.
Today Ste. Genevieve's National Landmark District offers visitors an unparalleled glimpse into its colonial past. It's residents join together to preserve and interpret this most remarkable community.
The Jour de Fete is held the second full weekend in August every year and is one of the largest annual craft fairs with plenty of food and entertainment. They also have numerous antique shops, little boutique's and Bed & Breakfasts. It's a fun little town to visit even when there's nothing in particular going on.
Now here's an ingenious way to crank home-made ice cream. I remember when I was very young, me and my cousins would fight over who got to sit on the bucket while my Grandpa Sharp turned the handle. That was fun....and such an important job! Unfortunetly I never could develop a taste for home-made ice cream. I'll just take the old "Dairy Queen" soft serve, thank you!! I know.....I'm very unamerican. :-)

The Wild Bird Sanctuary from St. Louis were there to give out information and show some of their birds and collect donations to support their cause.

Barbara is finding some wonderul "goodies" at one of the craft street vendors.

Felix Valle' House State Historic Site.....built in 1818. This was the home of Felix and Odile Pratte Valle', members of one of Ste. Genevieve's premiere colonial families. It is a Federal-style limestone building and was the historic trading firm of Menard and Valle'.

I just loved this charming little house built in the early 1800's. It's a little worn, yes, but can't you just see charm "oosing" out all over it?

Instead of heading back toward St. Louis, that way we came, we decided to take the Modoc Fairy across the Mississippi into Modoc, Illinois. I'm not quite sure how many people live in Modoc, but there are about fifteen houses and of course, a tavern! Then we headed back up north to Belleville on the Illinois side.

Barbara, getting out of the vehicle to take a look! She wasn't too thrilled about taking the fairy across, but a little persuasion and she was on her way!

On board, looking south.

The Mighty Mississippi looking north.

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