“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Historical Markers and War Memorials in Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Clickable Map of Cape Girardeau County, Missouri and Immediately Adjacent Jurisdictions image/svg+xml 2019-10-06 U.S. Census Bureau, Abe.suleiman; Lokal_Profil;; J.J.Prats/dc:title> Cape Girardeau County, MO (60) Bollinger County, MO (1) Perry County, MO (12) Scott County, MO (6) Stoddard County, MO (2) Alexander County, IL (31) Union County, IL (18)  CapeGirardeauCounty(60) Cape Girardeau County (60)  BollingerCounty(1) Bollinger County (1)  PerryCounty(12) Perry County (12)  ScottCounty(6) Scott County (6)  StoddardCounty(2) Stoddard County (2)  AlexanderCountyIllinois(31) Alexander County (31)  UnionCounty(18) Union County (18)
Jackson is the county seat for Cape Girardeau County
Cape Girardeau is in Cape Girardeau County
      Cape Girardeau County (60)  
      Bollinger County (1)  
      Perry County (12)  
      Scott County (6)  
      Stoddard County (2)  
      Alexander County, Illinois (31)  
      Union County, Illinois (18)  
Touch name on this list to highlight map location.
Touch blue arrow, or on map, to go there.
1Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — "Red Rover, Red Rover" — Did you know?
"Red Rover" was the first hospital ship of the United States Navy, the first Navy ship that women served on and the apparent namesake of the popular children's game. It was also build and launched in Cape Girardeau in 1859. "Red Rover" was a . . . Map (db m58928) HM
2Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — 1673 — Marquette and Joliet
In 1673 Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet led the first French expedition down the Mississippi. Joliet was the explorer; Marquette was the missionary and chaplain. The French hoped to find a rumored big river to the south that might lead to . . . Map (db m107728) HM
3Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — 1735 — Girardot Post
Sieur Jean Baptiste Girardot established a trading post in the vicinity of Cape Rock in the middle of the 18th century. This remote outpost became a gathering place for river travelers. By 1765, maps of the Mississippi River identified the bend in . . . Map (db m107727) HM
4Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — 1793 — Planning a City
In 1793 Spanish officials in St. Louis named Louis Lorimier the Commandant of the District of Cape Girardeau. Shortly thereafter, he received Spanish land grants totaling several thousand arpents (1 arpent= .85 acres).In 1806 Lorimier and his . . . Map (db m107725) HM
5Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — 1803 — Lewis and Clark
Between 1803 and 1806, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark led President Jefferson's Corps of Discovery to the great American West. On November 23, 1803, they stopped at Cape Girardeau to deliver letters of introduction to Louis Lorimier. Captain . . . Map (db m107721) HM
6Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — 1804 — The Louisiana Purchase
In 1803 the Mississippi River Valley was an important area in international diplomacy and intrigue. Napoleon's brothers, Lucien and Joseph, sought to dissuade him from selling the entire Louisiana Territory to the newly established United States. . . . Map (db m107718) HM
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7Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — 1821 — Missouri Statehood
When the territory of Missouri asked for statehood, it sought admission as a slave state since there were already many African-American slaves in the territory. Missouri was granted permission, but would be the only area in the Louisiana Territory . . . Map (db m107715) HM
8Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — 1838 — The Trail of Tears
In 1830 the U.S. Congress passed the Indian Removal Act which led to the forced removal of eastern tribes to "Indian Territory" west of the Mississippi (later the state of Oklahoma). In the autumn of 1838, sixteen separate groups of Cherokee, about . . . Map (db m107712) HM
9Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — 1861 — The Civil War
This view of the Mississippi River is from Fort A, one of the four forts constructed by Union forces in the summer of 1861. These forts, which encircled Cape Girardeau, provided protection from attack from either land or water. Fort A was on the . . . Map (db m107711) HM
10Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — 1863 — The Civil War
An exciting incident occurred at the "Battle of Cape Girardeau" on April 23, 1863 when Confederate forces attacked from the west and south of town. During the battle several Confederate cannon balls pierced the roof of the residence of Alfred Lacey . . . Map (db m107708) HM
11Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — 1870 — St. Vincent's Young Ladies Academy
St. Vincent's Young Ladies' Academy was founded in 1839 by the Sisters of Loretto as a school for young women. Located at the corner of Spanish and Good Hope streets, it was one of the first schools for women west of the Mississippi. Prior to its . . . Map (db m107707) HM
12Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — 1875 — River Commerce
Before the coming of the railroad, the Mississippi River was the commercial lifeline of Cape Girardeau. The arrival of the packet boats, loaded with goods for local and regional residents, was an exciting event in the community. To the left of the . . . Map (db m107706) HM
13Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — 1880 — The Coming of The Railroad
After earlier attempts to build a railroad to Cape Girardeau failed, local attorney Louis Houck made an arrangement with creditors to bring a railroad into the city by midnight of January 1,1881. If he could do so, he would acquire clear title to . . . Map (db m107752) HM
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14Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — 1909 — President Taft's Visit
The first sitting President to visit Cape Girardeau was William Howard Taft, who arrived on the riverfront in the early morning of October 26, 1909. He was part of a 16-boat flotilla carrying cabinet members, Congressmen, governors, river . . . Map (db m107865) HM
15Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — 1916 — The Great Fire
The city was awakened to the shriek of a steamboat whistle early on the morning of March 15, 1916, to the biggest fire in Cape's history. The blaze began south of Broadway engulfing the Terminal Hotel, the Buckner-Ragsdale Store, the Frisco Railroad . . . Map (db m192158) HM
16Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — 1918-1919 — The Big Freeze
In the early 20th century, the Mississippi River was a wider and slower river than today. Because it was slower, it was more inclined to freeze over in periods of cold weather. The winter of 1918-1919 was especially frigid, and the river was . . . Map (db m107863) HM
17Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — 1924 — The Three "Cape Girardeaus"
For most of the 19th century and the first third of the 20th, steamboats were vital to the economic livelihood of Cape Girardeau and southeast Missouri. Three steamboats bore the name "Cape Girardeau," the last being christened here in 1924. . . . Map (db m192159) HM
18Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — 1925 — Riverboat Jazz
Two of the most exciting new trends of the 1920s were jazz and ballroom dancing. The riverboats were ideal locations for both. Here, Jess Stacy on piano and Raymond F. "Peg" Meyer on saxophone, Berg Snider on drums, and Pete Lowry on banjo performed . . . Map (db m107861) HM
19Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — 1927 — The Big Flood
The great flood of 1927 remains the flood by which all Mississippi River floods are measured. The devastating effect upon the lower Mississippi River resulted in the Jadwin Plan, which sought to control the river with a coordinated system of levees . . . Map (db m192157) HM
20Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — 1958 — River Industry
The Mississippi River provides an abundant supply of sand to Cape Girardeau. This great resource has enhanced the community's ability to construct such large concrete projects as the A.C. Brase Arena Building, the Common Pleas Courthouse steps, . . . Map (db m107859) HM
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21Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — 1964 — The Great Wall
After centuries of floods, the Mississippi River flood-wall provided protection from the floodwaters that periodically ravaged Cape Girardeau. Construction began on the massive flood-control project in 1956 and was completed in 1964 at the cost of . . . Map (db m107857) HM
22Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — 1980 — Riverfest
Cape Girardeau has a close relationship with the Mississippi River. For 21 years Riverfest celebrated the fact that the community was on the river and of the river. The festival featured music, games, food, fireworks, crafts, and special events. . . . Map (db m107856) HM
23Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — 2003 — The Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge
After 15 years of planning and 7 years of construction, the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge opened to traffic on December 13, 2003. The bridge was named for Bill Emerson, an eight-term Congressman who had championed the legislation that brought about . . . Map (db m192156) HM
24Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — Cape Girardeau
[side 1] Founded as an Indian trading post, 1793, by French Canadian Louis Lorimier. Probably named for Girardot, a trader at Cape Rock. In 1795 Lorimier became commandant of Cape Girardeau District, most American of the 5 . . . Map (db m179995) HM
25Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — Cape Girardeau and the Railroad
After the golden age of the steamboat, port cities like Cape Girardeau suffered as railroads provided alternate means of transportation. Responding to the post-Civil War railroad boom, a syndicated of local business leaders formed the Cape . . . Map (db m58672) HM
26Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — Cape Girardeau Freedom Rock Veterans Memorial — Honoring Cape Girardeau County Veterans — Ray "Bubba" Sorensen II —
[northwest side]Maj. Gen. John V. Cox Vice Adm. Arthur L. Willard [southwest side]Gen. Seth J. McKee Cpt. Stephen W. Thompson Gen. Roscoe Robinson Jr. [south side]PFC. Richard G. Wilson Congressional Medal of . . . Map (db m179990) HM WM
27Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — Cape Girardeau River Crossings
In the 1790s, the Spanish governor granted Louis Lorimier permission to operate a ferry service at Cape Girardeau. Thereafter, ferry operators continued to shuttle people and products across the Mississippi River until 1928 when a new, privately . . . Map (db m58667) HM
28Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — Cape La Croix Creek
In 1699, fathers Montigny, Davion, and St. Cosme, French missionaries erected a cross where this stream entered the Mississippi and prayed that this might be the beginning of Christianity among the Indians. The stream has ever since been known as . . . Map (db m58683) HM
29Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — Captains of Industry
August Busch (1899-1989) was born in St. Louis, MO. He headed what has become the world’s largest brewery, Anheuser-Busch. In 1953, he purchased the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team and inspired them to compete in six World Series from . . . Map (db m192129) HM
30Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — Champion Beech Tree
This stately Beech is one of the largest and oldest trees in the State of Missouri. A registered "champion" tree, it is approximately 200 years old. Quite possibly it was alive at the time of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. The American Beech . . . Map (db m58665) HM
31Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — Don Louis Lorimier / El Camino Real
Don Louis Lorimier On this site stood the home of Don Louis Lorimier first commandant of the Spanish Military Post established here in 1793 Erected by the Nancy Hunter Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution 1917 El Camino Real . . . Map (db m52042) HM
32Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — Entertainers
Josephine Baker (1906-1975) was born in St. Louis, MO. Her creative, exotic acts made her a singing star from New York to Paris. During WWII, she worked with the Red Cross, gathering intelligence and entertaining troops in Africa and . . . Map (db m192145) HM
33Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — George Drouillard
George Drouillard was cheif hunter and interpreter on the Lewis and Clark Expedition Corps of Discovery. He was the son of a Frenchman and Shawnee woman as well as nephew of Louis Lorimier, Commandant of the Cape Girardeau District. Drouillard lived . . . Map (db m51818) HM
34Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — George Washington Carver
George Washington Carver (1864-1943) was born in Diamond Grove, MO. As an agricultural chemist and inventor at Tuskegee Institute, now Tuskegee University, in Alabama, he developed a system of crop rotation. He also discovered 300 uses for . . . Map (db m192155) HM
35Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — Hollywood
Ginger Rogers (1911-1958) was born in Independence, MO. Nicknamed Feathers, she was a dancer extraordinaire and attained real stardom paired with Fred Astaire. She got her start in vaudeville at the age 14, and her first big movie hit was 42nd . . . Map (db m192118) HM
36Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — Literary Giants / Missouri Mule
Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957) was born in Lund, WI. In 1894 she moved to Mansfield, MO. where in the 1930s and 1940s she published her best selling Little House books chronicling her pioneer life. These books later became the basis for . . . Map (db m192161) HM
37Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company
Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company One of the most unusual WWI Mississippi River transportation stories concerns the Manitowoc [Wisconsin] Shipbuilding Co., the nation's only inland builder of submarines. In December 1940, the U.S. Navy contracted . . . Map (db m58664) HM
38Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — Mark Twain / Missouri Generals / George Caleb Bingham
Samuel Clemens (1835- 1910), who wrote under the pseudonym Mark Twain, was born in Florida, MO. His stories about Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn and friends reflected his love for his boyhood hometown of Hannibal, MO. Unconventional in both his life and in . . . Map (db m192162) HM
39Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — Missouri Mule / The Wild West
Missouri Mule The mule was adopted as Missouri's state animal in 1995. Generally considered smarter, hardier, and more sure-footed than a horse, mules have been used or pulling wagons and other endurance-related task. For many years Missouri . . . Map (db m107853) HM
40Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — Muralist / Broadcasters
Muralist Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975) was born in Neosho, MO. An America regionalist painter, he is best known for his mural paintings depicting common everyday scenes of Midwestern life. Some of his most famous paintings and murals are . . . Map (db m192117) HM
41Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — Old Lorimier Cemetery
Cape Girardeau's Oldest Shrine Earliest Inscription 1808 In this old cemetery gift of Don Louis Lorimier lie pioneers, founders, builders and defenders of our country.Map (db m58684) HM
42Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — Old St. Vincent's Church — 1838 ------ 1982
On this site in 1833, Father John Timon, a Vincention Priest, celebrated mass in a warehouse of Don Louis Lorimier. The first St. Vincent's Church, constructed in 1838, was destroyed by a tornado in 1850. Re-built a year later, the foundation . . . Map (db m52039) HM
43Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — Pook's Turtles — Did you Know?
An ironclad was a wooden warship of the 19-century having iron or steel armor plating. The Confederate's ironclad ,"Monitor" (formerly Merrimack"), and the Union's ironclad, "Virginia" fought off the coast of Virginia in March of 1862. However, . . . Map (db m58930) HM
44Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — River Commerce
Known to Native Americans as "Messipi" ("Big River") or "Mee-zee-see-bee" ("Father of Waters"), the Mississippi River originates in Minnesota and terminates 2,348 miles later at the Gulf of Mexico. The river played an integral part in the . . . Map (db m58669) HM
45Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — St Vincent's Seminary and Southeast Missouri State University
Terrace Park is located on the site where Father Odin of the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentian Fathers) established St. Vincent's Male Academy in 1838, which was followed shortly thereafter by St. Vincent's Seminary. Often affectionately . . . Map (db m58663) HM
46Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — Telephone Service — 1877 - 1896
1877 1896 Telephone Service In 1877 The first long distance telephone line in Missouri was completed December 18, 1877 between Cape Girardeau and Jackson. In 1896 Here in a 10' by 12' second floor room the city's first telephone . . . Map (db m38443) HM
47Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — The Artists
Chicago artist, Thomas Melvin, and his lead portrait artist, Cameron Pfiffner, directed the paintings of the Mississippi River Tales, Mural between April and November of 2004. Other members of the crew are listed under the paint brush. Sponsor: . . . Map (db m107852) HM
48Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — The Civil War / The Boys of Summer / Sports Dazzlers
The Civil War Dred Scott (1795-1858) was born into slavery in Virginia and relocated with the family when it moved to St. Louis in 1830. In 1846, he sued to gain his freedom. After 11 years, in a landmark decision, he was denied his freedom . . . Map (db m192154) HM
49Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — The Lewis and Clark Expedition Across Missouri
On Nov. 23, 1803, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark arrived at Cape Girardeau, a trading post established in 1795 by Louis Lorimier, the Spanish-appointed Commandant of the Cape Girardeau District. Here, Lewis, co-commander of the expedition, left . . . Map (db m58675) HM
50Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — The Mississippi River
"The Father of Water" has provided means of travel and commerce since early days. Indians, explorers, priests, traders, and settlers plied its current in canoes, dugouts, flatboats, keelboats, packets, and towboats. Until the Civil War, Cape . . . Map (db m52040) HM
51Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — The Red House
Pierre-Louis de Lorimier, French-Canadian fur trader, Indian agent, and founder of Cape Girardeau, built the Red House in the late 1790s west of this location on what is now the parking lot of St. Vincent's Church. The Red House served as the . . . Map (db m58678) HM
52Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — The Red House Interpretive Center
The Red House Interpretive Center, under construction from 2002-2004, is a cooperative effort of the Cape Girardeau Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission and the City of Cape Girardeau. The project was funded in part through grants from the . . . Map (db m58674) HM
53Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — Title Panel
. This panel features the Missouri State flag, which was designed by Cape Girardeau native, Maria Watkins Oliver. It was officially adopted March 22, 1913. Also represented are the official tree of Missouri - the dogwood, the official bird of . . . Map (db m107851) HM
54Missouri (Cape Girardeau County), Cape Girardeau — Visionary Women / Entrepreneurs
Rosie O’Neill (1874-1944) was born in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Her family later moved to the Missouri Ozarks. She was a commercial artist and creator of the Kewpie doll, the first time ever that merchandising was based on a comic character. . . . Map (db m192146) HM
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Sep. 27, 2022