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Mississippi Valley Floods, 1993

emergency_bolduc-houseIn 1993, massive flooding of the Mississippi River menaced towns along its banks, including the village of Sainte Genevieve, Missouri, founded in 1735. The emergency drew attention to the greatest concentration of 18th-century French colonial architecture in North America. An initial French Heritage Society grant of $45,000 helped enable the purchase of the Amoureux House for use as a museum and study center.

That house and others in the town are rare surviving examples of the medieval Norman poteaux en terre and poteaux en sol methods of construction brought to the New World by early settlers. In the years since the flood, French Heritage Society has developed a long-term interest in this unique French cultural site, awarding grants for the restoration of five significant buildings and establishing a chapter there.

French Heritage Society supports ongoing scholarship on the French presence in the upper Mississippi region, including the annual Sainte Genevieve Conference. The French Colonial Heritage National Historic Site Study Act, passed by Congress in 2005, authorizes the U.S. Secretary of the Interior to study the suitability and feasibility of designating the Sainte Genevieve area a unit of the National Park System.

A French Aristocrat in the American West

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Foreword by Marie-Sol de La Tour d'Auvergne