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Blunt, Hawley, Smith Introduce Bill to Expand Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park to Include Nearby Welcome Center

December 09, 2021

WASHINGTONToday, U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Josh Hawley (Mo.), along with U.S. Representative Jason Smith (Mo.), announced that they have introduced legislation that would expand the boundaries of Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park to include the Ste. Genevieve Welcome Center. Expanding the boundaries of the park will allow the City of Ste. Genevieve to transfer ownership of the facility to the National Park Service (NPS).

“Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park captures an early and remarkable moment in the history of our state and nation,” said Blunt. “This legislation supports Ste. Genevieve’s goal of expanding the boundaries of the park to include the nearby welcome center, transferring ownership to the National Park Service. This has been a priority for local officials and stakeholders, and I’ll keep working to get our legislation through Congress and to the president’s desk.”

“Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park is a great place for Missourians, and all Americans, to visit as a way to learn more about our state and nation’s history,” said Hawley. “Expanding Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park would be beneficial for our local community and add tremendous value to the National Park Service.”

“As the oldest settlement west of the Mississippi, Ste. Genevieve is not only a treasure to us here in Southeast Missouri, but also part of our Missouri heritage and early American identity,” said Smith. “By including the nearby Welcome Center, this legislation will help the National Park Service promote our unique history for generations to come.”

“The National Park Service has become a major asset in our community bringing people together and highlighting our history,” said Ste. Genevieve Mayor Paul Hassler. “Expanding the Historical District  to include the Welcome Center continues the cooperative work between the city and NPS to promote the amazing history we can share with the public.”

The Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park was established in November 2020. Blunt and Smith’s legislation establishing the Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park and designating it as a unit of the NPS was signed into law in 2018.

The village of Ste. Genevieve dates back to the early 1700s, making it Missouri’s oldest town. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1960, also making it one of the oldest National Historic Landmark districts in the country. It is known for its centuries-old homes featuring unique French vertical log architecture.

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