The Felix Valle House State Historic Site in Ste. Genevieve now includes other structures not connected with Felix Valle. MPA's concerns over the years have related to some of the other structures and to the cultural landscape—most especially the big common field—of this extraordinarily important National Historic Landmark community. For years MPA pressed for the addition to the site of a traditional 18th century French Colonial vertical-log structure to complement the Federal-style 1818 Valle house built by a Jewish merchant from Philadelphia. That was accomplished in 1993 with the acquisition of the Beauvais-Amoureux and the Delassus-Kern houses, as well as the 1990 rescue of the 1808 Bequette-Ribault House by the state's Revolving Fund for Historic Preservation (though the latter is not part of the historic site).
The vertical-log houses added to the state historic site in the 1990s are slated for transfer to the National Park Service for the new Ste. Genevieve National Historic Park as the result of an NPS study transmitted to Congress in May 2016 that recommended an NPS unit fronting on the common field including the Beauvais-Amoureux, Bequette-Ribault, and Delassus-Kern Houses. Missouri Senators Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill and Congressman Jason Smith immediately introduced bills to establish such a unit, which was authorized by Congress in March 2018. For more information see the June 2018 issue of Heritage.
MPA supports the new national historic park—especially its emphasis on the common field—but has asked that the Old Town Archaeological Site, a 38-acre tract near the Mississippi River directly opposite the Delassus House, also be eventually included in the national park. This is the only remaining portion of the original three-mile long settlement occupied from about 1750-1795, the rest having been obliterated by channel changes in the river.
Fortunately, the state historic site in March 2017 was able to acquire the long-sought historic Janis-Ziegler House (commonly known as the Green Tree Tavern), probably the oldest remaining and most intact French vertical-log building in town. This assuaged some concern about state parks giving up both its other two vertical-log houses to the National Park Service.
But then in January 2020 MPA learned that Missouri State Parks was considering giving up all of its remaining properties to the National Park Service, a cause for major concern. MPA has been encouraging MSP and other parties to the negotiations to retain state ownership and operation of at least one key building in Ste. Genevieve, most likely the Felix Valle House, namesake of the Felix Valle State Historic Site, in order to protect the integrity of the state park system and to ensure an enduring partnership between MSP and NPS in Missouri's most historic community.
For More Information:
Read about MPA's concern for the integrity of the Felix Valle State Historic Site in the March 2020 Heritage, page 5.
Read about authorization of the new Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park in the June 2018 Heritage.
Read the NPS final Ste. Genevieve Special Resource Study, May 2016.
Read MPA's comments on the draft NPS study.
Read the New Bourbon Port Authority's resolution on Old Ste. Genevieve
Read MPA's call for protection of the Big Common Field and the Old Town Site. (Dec. 2012)
Read MPA's 2012 Resolution on Ste. Genevieve.
Read MPA's 1999 resolution on Ste. Genevieve.
Read B. H. Rucker's report on the mystery of the Delassus-Kern house and his recommendations for it.