Bridgedale Cleaners

The sign is a little worse for the wear, and I can’t really even tell if this dry cleaner in Cahokia is still open for business, but it’s definitely vintage!

Retro Schnucks Sign

I really have no idea how old this Cahokia Schnucks sign actually is (the store itself appears to be an old Kroger, so old enough, I suppose), but it feels retro to me, maybe because it’s a cube. I also think the Schnucks soldier probably has something to do with it…while you see him on their trucks and in their advertising, he doesn’t appear on store signs too often!

Update: The good people at Schnucks were kind enough to give me a little background on the store location and sign. I was correct that it was originally a Kroger store, which opened in 1982, and was purchased by Schnucks in 1986. They inserted the Schnucks soldier logo (which debuted way back in 1968 as part of their “Revolutionary Low Prices” campaign), into the original store sign at that point.

The Jarrot Mansion

The Jarrot Mansion is one of four historic sites in Cahokia, IL, which is located just across the Mississippi river from south St. Louis. It’s a beautiful old two-story brick home, which was built in 1807 for Nicholas Jarrot. He intentionally had it built in the American style popular on the east coast at the time, instead of the French Colonial style popular in the St. Louis area.

There are several beautiful fireplaces in the home:

The windows are also beautiful:

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It was fascinating to see the difference between the stripped and finished doors in this entry:

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The staircase is amazing, for how simple it is. I love the little door underneath it, and I really love how it splits to both the left and the right at the top!

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The floor of the old upstairs ballroom is worn and curiously bumpy, but you can still imagine what a grand place it must have been “back in the day!”

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As far as I can tell, we were lucky to get to tour this old home, as it’s no longer open to the public very often. If you ever get a chance to take a look inside, I highly recommend it…it’s a great glimpse into the old Creole-Colonial Corridor of the St. Louis area!

Church of the Holy Family

Yesterday, we visited the Church of the Holy Family in Cahokia. The congregation dates to 1699, when it was established by a missionary from Quebec, Father St. Cosme. The current church was built in 1799…the first two log churches were destroyed in fires. It is the oldest church west of the Allegheny mountains, and the oldest continuously active Catholic church in the U.S.

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The altar area was beautiful!

I loved the flags in the back of the church, representing Spain, the Bourbon kings of France, Great Britain, and Revolutionary-era America.

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There were beautiful details (and fleurs-de-lis) everywhere!

I also enjoyed the details (and more fleurs-de-lis!) outside:

I found the church’s motto, “Ever ancient, ever new,” to be especially fitting.

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It was fascinating touring a building so old right here in the midwest!

A French Colonial Christmas

Today, after celebrating Christmas in Italy on The Hill, we traveled to the Jarrot Mansion in Cahokia to celebrate a French colonial Christmas. The house was decorated in a simple, but beautiful style:

There was a musician playing the hammered dulcimer, which really added to the festive spirit!

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And, instead of a typical American Santa, they had Saint Nicholas, also the precursor to the French Père Noël, visiting with people.

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This was a unique, and still very St. Louis, way to celebrate Christmas!

A Revolutionary War Memorial

There’s a war memorial in Cahokia, Illinois. Now, I know that doesn’t sound particularly unusual, but it’s not just any war memorial…it is, in part, a Revolutionary War memorial. We don’t see too much of that this far west! Of course the main focus of the Revolutionary War portion of this memorial is George Rogers Clark’s (the “Conqueror of the Northwest), Illinois campaign, which eventually led, in part, to our alliance with France which helped end the war, and the near-doubling of the colonies.

The best part of this memorial (in my opinion), is the old flag:

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I love finding these hidden treasures around the St. Louis area!