WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) and U.S. Representative Jason Smith (Mo.) today announced that legislation to establish the Ste. Genevieve National Historic Park and designate it as a unit of the National Park Service (NPS) has been signed into law.
“The village of Ste. Genevieve captures an early and remarkable moment in the history of our state and nation,” said Blunt. “By establishing Ste. Genevieve as a National Historic Park, more visitors will be able to experience, firsthand, day-to-day life in French colonial America. I’m grateful to the generations of people in the Ste. Genevieve community who have worked to preserve this national treasure, and happy to see this legislation signed into law.”
“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 Congressman Smith. “It was an honor to get the Ste. Genevieve National Historic Park Establishment Act passed through the U.S. House earlier this year, and with this now becoming law, we ensure the rest of America can enjoy the rich cultural heritage of Ste. Gen and the unique history of this town. Because of the efforts of the residents of Ste. Gen and the many elected officials who came before me and Senator Blunt, the history of this area will now be preserved for many generations to come. It is a great honor to represent the folks of Ste. Genevieve, and working with them on this important designation has been a true privilege and something I have focused on since entering office. Thanks to all of their tireless hard work, we are going to see the fruits of our labor as this finally becomes law.”
Blunt 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.