First Missouri State Capitol Historic Site
A Confluence Attraction
Participating Confluence Organization
Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Monday through Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m
Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Contact the site for information about admission fees.
200-216 South Main Street
St. Charles, MO 63301
(By car) From I-70 West in north St. Louis County, cross the Missouri River and take the First Capitol Drive exit. Follow First Capitol Drive to Main Street, turn left.
St. Charles, the oldest town on the Missouri River, was founded as Les Petites Cotes (The Little Hills) in 1769 by the French-Canadian fur trader, Louis Blanchette. In 1821, the bustling center of trade was selected as the temporary seat of government for the newly admitted State of Missouri, a role it would serve until the permanent capitol at Jefferson City was completed in 1826. The modest quarters occupied by the first legislators and elected officials (the second stories of two adjoining Federal-style brick buildings) witnessed some of the most volatile and fascinating debates in Missouri history, including states’ rights and slavery.
Intervening years took a heavy toll on the original Capitol buildings and neighboring structures. In 1961, the State of Missouri bought the Capitol complex and began a ten-year restoration project. This in turn sparked the rebirth of St. Charles’ historic area. An eight-block section of the town is now a National Register Historic District.
Fully restored second-story legislative chambers encompassing 11 rooms (nine with period furnishings), as well as first-story restored and furnished residence and store.
Two-story interpretive center, offering exhibits and an orientation theatre.
While the interpretive building is fully accessible, the historic structure is only partially accessible (restrooms, first story) to persons using wheelchairs. The second story is reached by staircase; a video tour is available on request. Printed cards with tour information are also available.
Annual special events include Statehood Day Celebration in August and Candlelight Concerts in December.
For more information about the First Missouri State Capitol, see
For information about other recreation opportunities in the Historic St. Charles area, see