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:



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


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!


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!”



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.



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.


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.


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!


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


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

The Creole Colonial Corridor

As a gift to St. Louis for her 250th birthday, the group “Les Amis,” a French heritage preservationist organization, has placed French street signs along the “Creole Colonial Corridor” downtown near the riverfront. I tried to find as many of these sings as possible, although I’m still not entirely sure how many there are in total (it appears one street may have two different French names, but I’m not sure, and never found the second one). Seven unique street names is pretty good, though, so I’m happy even if I didn’t find the last one.

I also located a few signs detailing the history of the streets. I don’t know where the rest of those signs are, but it was interesting to get another glimpse into the history of St. Louis this anniversary year!