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Cape Girardeau Missouri

river trade steamboats trading posts bridges murals and historic sites

Cape Girardeau is named after Jean Baptiste de Girardot, who established a trading post in the area around 1733. As early as 1765, a bend in the Mississippi River, had been referred to as Cape Girardot or Girardeau.  In 1799, American settlers founded the first English school west of the Mississippi at a landmark called Mount Tabor, named by the settlers for the Biblical Mount Tabor.

steamboat 1860The River Trade and Steamboats stimulated the Development of Cape Girardeau

City Landmarks in 1928, a bridge was completed between Missouri and Illinois replacing ferries to cross the Mississippi River. In 2003, the Old Bridge was succeeded by a new four-lane cable-stay bridge named the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge; the two towers of the bridge reach a height of approximately 91 meters The Old Federal Courthouse, located at Broadway and Fountain Streets and built in the late 1940s, The City of Cape Girardeau was recognized in 2008 as a Preserve America Community for its work in surveying and protecting historic buildings.; it is home to 39 historic sites and eight historic districts, including the Downtown Commercial District.

Cape River WallThe Mississippi River Tales is a mural containing 24 panels covering nearly 18,000 square feet (1,700 m2) of the 15-foot (4.6 m)-high downtown floodwall; they illustrate the local history beginning with the Native Americans who inhabited the area between 900 and 1200; each panel tells a story. The paintings are reminiscent of the works by Thomas Hart Benton; they were painted by Chicago artist Thomas Melvin in collaboration with several local artists.

Downtown Caper GirardeauYour Cape Girardeau Travel Plan

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