A Place of Discovery
Historic Fort Charrette Trading Post
by Bob McEowen
Brown sits by the fire in the living quarters of his restored 18th-century
trading post, Fort Charrette, located near Washington.
Nearly 200 years ago Meriwether
Lewis and William Clark set forth on their historic Corps of Discovery
exploration of the Missouri River. Not far into the journey they stopped
at a small outpost near present-day Washington, Mo. In
their diaries the explorers recalled La Charrette as the last white settlement
Established in 1762 by French
fur trader Joseph Chadron, the fortified village is long gone, abandoned
in the floods of 1842-43. But a sense of La Charrette which literally
translates as "little wagon" lives on thanks to the efforts of
architectural historian Crosby Brown.
Brown, who has restored historic
buildings throughout the United States, discovered the remains of the
old trading post in a farm field in the late 1960s and painstakingly relocated
it to a site east of Washington. Today, the restored trading post houses
an impressive collection of 18th- and 19th-century artifacts and period
Divided into three rooms,
the post features a trade room, a blacksmith's shop and a recreation of
frontier living quarters.
The Fort Charrette trading
post is open for tours by groups and individuals only by appointment.
While admission is not charged, donations are encouraged.
For more information phone
Brown at (636) 239-4202.