Welcome to The Centre for French Colonial Life, featuring the Bolduc LeMeilleur, and Vallé historic properties and its orientation and exhibits facility at 198 Market St., at the corner of Market and Second Streets in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri.
The Centre for French Colonial Life is owned by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Missouri, and managed by French Colonial America, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to education, research, and preservation.
Admission to the Centre for French Colonial Life orientation and exhibits facility is free.
Tickets for guided tours of the Bolduc and LeMeilleur houses are $10 for adults and $5 for children, and may be purchased at the Centre for French Colonial Life orientation and exhibits facility.
Museum hours are:
Monday through Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Sunday, from Noon to 5:00 PM
PLEASE NOTE WE WILL BE CLOSED ON CHRISTMAS EVE, CHRISTMAS DAY, NEW YEAR'S EVE AND NEW YEAR'S DAY
News and Events
French Colonial America reopens the grounds of the historic Jean-Baptiste Valle House
French Colonial America (FCA) is proud to announce it will reopen the gardens and grounds of the historic Jean-Baptiste Valle House (c. 1794) to the public as a free educational program.
Starting on Tuesday August 20, 2019, the rose garden and grounds of the Jean-Baptiste Valle House will be open for free viewing by the public, Mon-Sat from 10am-5pm and Sun from Noon-5pm. Though the house itself will not yet be made available for tours, interpretive signs detailing the history of the house and grounds have been placed throughout the grounds to educate visitors on the house and its inhabitants’ roles in thetown’s unique history under French, Spanish and American control.
“It is important for us to take good care of this garden, not just because it is purported to be the oldest formal rose garden west of the Mississippi, but also because -- just like the indoor spaces of their homes – theseoutdoor spaces tell us a great deal about the people and their values” states NSCDA-MO President, ChristyJames. “In this case it signifies that not only was this family successful, it reflects that they had a culture that valued beauty for its own sake.”
FCA, a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to educating the public on the colonial period of the Mississippi River Valley, has been operating the historic house museum campus owned by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Missouri (NSCDA-MO) since January 2017.
Under FCA’s management, the campus has renovated (Fall/Winter 2017-2018) and opened (Spring 2018) the Centre for French Colonial Life (CFCL) with two exhibits developed by FCA, transformed the Linden-Beauvais House into the “Hands-On-History House” (Spring 2019), installed a second temporary exhibit on hunting & fishing in the colonial period in the CFCL (Spring 2019), added living history activities on Wednesdays and Fridays at LeMeilleur House, and committed itself to offering quality educational content and expanding its programming on the Ste. Genevieve campus.
Thank you to our new sponsors and partners: Jenkins & Kling for sponsorship of the Living History Program, and Mississippi Lime for major assistance with maintenance on the Bolduc House.
More events to come from FCA in 2019 will include:
November 16th, 10-5pm: Ste. Genevieve County Day; offering free tours to Ste. Gen Country residents
December 31st, 6-8:30pm: La Guignolee Watch Party with Dennis Stroughmatt; Enjoy an evening with
Dennis Stroughmatt and see the Ste. Gen Guignolee perform at both the Centre and the Bolduc House
For more information on these upcoming events, please call (573) 883-3105.
The museum campus, consisting of five late-18th and early 19th century historic structures — as well as the new exhibits and education building — tells the story of early French settlement in the upper Mississippi valley, and the development of a unique French Creole culture in this region, even during the time period when it was controlled by Spain, and later by the United States after the Louisiana Purchase. Our current exhibits will introduce visitors to the stories of the people and processes that contributed to French Creole culture in this region, the importance of Spanish control, and the archaeology of French Creole settlements such as St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve and various sites in the Illinois country.
For more information, please call us at 573-883-3105.