Nature’s River - Featured

Nature’s River

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Before humans lived in this area, the Mississippi River Valley was a great wide wetland teaming with plant and animal life.  The hawthorne plant, with its brilliant blossoms and bright red berries, became the Missouri state flower.  The Carolina parakeet, once prevalent in the river valley, had generally vanished by 1900.  The last known member of the species died on February 21, 1918, in the Cincinnati Zoo.

1793 Planning a City - Featured

1793 Planning a City

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In 1793 Spanish officials in St. Louis named Louis Lorimier the Commandant of the District of Cape Girardeau.  Shortly thereafter, he reveived Spanish land grants totaling several thousand arpents (1 arpent = .85 acres).  In 1806 Lorimier and his secretary, Barthelemi Cousin, laid out lot and street plans along the wide, flat riverfront.  In 1808 the small riverfront village was incorporated as the town of Cape Girardeau.

1861-1863 The Civil War - Featured

1861-1863 The Civil War

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An exciting incident occurred at the Battle of Cape Girardeau on April 23, 1863, when Confederate forces attacked from the west and south of town.  During the battled several Confederate cannon balls pierced the roof of the residence of Alfred Lacey on Caruthers Street.  Ike, a family slave, extinguished the resulting flames in the midst of the battle, saving the house from destruction.