Population (2010)

499

Introduction

Another remnant of the French Colonial decades in the region, East Carondelet today is a modest small town with a tall levee as its next-door neighbor.

History

Like its neighbors at Dupo and Cahokia, East Carondelet is in an are that has probably been continuously inhabited for thousands of years. The first Europeans to move in were French, who began farming and living in the area near the Prairie du Pont common fields at the end of the 18th century.

The village has previously been known as Morganville and Henryville but incorporated in 1876 as East Carondelet, probably because it was the site of a busy ferry service across the Mississippi River to Carondelet, Missouri (now part of St. Louis). That ferry service didn’t end until 1944, when the first Jefferson Barracks Bridge opened.

The village had some bad luck with early buildings in town. A hotel opened in 1872 but burned down in 1875; a flour mill was completed in 1876 but burned down in 1880; even the Catholic church didn’t fare well: built in 1873, it was destroyed by a storm in 1876.

Meier & Company managed to hold out longer. They ran a blast furnace that employed 300 people. Their chimneys were once the tallest in the US, rising 203 feet above the flood plane and built from a million bricks.

The village had the usual businesses in the 1800s: a wagon shop and blacksmith, a boarding house, an ice harvesting company, and seven saloons. In 1881, the village was submerged by a major flood that swamped the homes and businesses of its 400 residents.

East Carondelet today is a residential community in the floodplain separated from the river by a tall levee.

Exploring the Area

Martin-Boismenue House; East Carondelet, IL

The Martin-Boismenue House (2110 First St.; 618.332.1782) is one of the oldest surviving residences in Illinois. The French Creole-style house was built around 1790 by Pierre Martin using the poteau sur solle (post-on-sill) technique common in the area at the time. (Read more about this style on the Sainte Genevieve page.) Call ahead to schedule a tour.

**The area around East Carondelet is covered in Road Tripping Along the Great River Road, Vol. 1. Click the link above for more. Disclosure: This website may be compensated for linking to other sites or for sales of products we link to.

Where to Go Next

Heading upriver? Check out Dupo.

Heading downriver? Check out Columbia.

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If you like the content at the Mississippi Valley Traveler, please consider showing your support by making a one-time contribution or by subscribing through Patreon. Book sales don’t fully cover my costs, and I don’t have deep corporate pockets bankrolling my work. I’m a freelance writer bringing you stories about life along the Mississippi River. I need your help to keep this going. Every dollar you contribute makes it possible for me to continue sharing stories about America’s Greatest River!

©Dean Klinkenberg, 2018