Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Another Main Street

Earlier this summer, I described the charm of Smithfield, Virginia,
from its landmark Smithfield Inn to some of the more artistic sensibilities 
demonstrated along Main Street.
Recently I explored another historic street that has retained its past: 
Main Street in St. Charles, Missouri, 
originally founded in the mid-18th century 
by a French fur trader named Blanchette, 
who called  the settlement Les Petites Cotes or "The Little Hills."

St. Charles was later home to Daniel Boone 
(who was born near Reading, Pennsylvania), 
and the starting point for the Western Expedition
of Virginians Lewis and Clark.

Situated along the banks of the Missouri River, 
Main Street is paved with bricks, 
their edges worn soft through centuries of use.
It gives the town an old-world feel 
and makes it easy for one to imagine they have stepped back in time,
or in some cases, stumbled back, for old brick streets can be uneven.
 And along the small hills that rise from the river, 
there are terraced gardens like this one:  

And gardens protected by antique brick and iron fences 
capped with ornate finials:

And some gardens that looked very, very Virginia to me:

Another thing I noticed when I was there: 
many of the older buildings had sturdy doors with iron handles, 
and some of them had been wrapped to protect patrons' hands 
from the hot metal, caused when temperatures neared 108 degrees.
Grabbing a hot metal handle would definitely be something to remember.

Tomorrow, I will show you some other memorable sights in St. Charles,
from summery topiaries to a most unusual item called a bull boat.

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