On the Road with Tom and Gloria travel blog


Laying Out the city of Cape Girardeau

Depicting the Trail of Tears

Civil War Battle of Cape Girardeau

Depicting Pres. Taft's visit

Riverboat jazz on the Mississippi


The Mighty Mississippi

Cape Girardeau is named after Jean Baptiste Girardot, a Frenchman who built a trading post on piece of land jutting out into the Mississippi River. This land became known as The Cape. Many years later when the Spanish government gave a large land grant to Louis Lorimier ( who is considered to be the founder of the area) it was not named for him. The place was already know as The Cape or Girardot.

Lewis and Clark stopped here. When steamboats were invented they stopped here carrying their manufactured goods. Soon the railroads came. Hotels went up and shops were opened and Cape Girardeau went from being a village to being a city.

The river that brought prosperity also brought flooding. Every few years the downtown would be ruined. Plans were in the works for a flood wall to be built for decades and finally ,in 1956 ,construction began. In 1964 the wall, costing 4 million dollars, was completed and it has saved the downtown many times since then.

It was so nice to see the wall decorated with interesting murals depicting Missouri history. The Mississippi River is such a beautiful backdrop. There are other things to see in the area - remnants of the Civil War battlefield, Old St. Vincent's church ( locked when I got there) Glenn House ( only open on the weekend ). I had enough driving for the day so I ended my touring after two shutouts.

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