Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Aunt Lois...Plus Scenic Downtown St. Charles Missouri

During the Thanksgiving week, Laurie and I headed out to St. Louis to visit her family and some friends…followed by Thanksgiving itself with our son and his family in Omaha Nebraska…

There is one stop that we always make when we are in the St. Louis area…

Laurie’s sister Bonnie and her husband Bill accompanied us when we drove out to the Weldon Springs Missouri suburb to visit a very special person living there in a retirement community…

This is that very special person!  Laurie and Bonnie’s Aunt Lois (their mother’s sister) will be 104 years old in January…

I took these photos in the community Bistro Grill where we went for lunch.  Aunt Lois does use a walker now…but she keeps on going! 

Aunt Lois was married to John…Laurie and Bonnie’s father Bob's brother.  With a set of brothers marrying a set of sisters, there are a lot of double cousins in the family!

After lunch in the retirement community in Weldon Springs, Laurie, Bonnie, Bill and me headed over to nearby historic St. Charles Missouri for a little holiday shopping.

From the brick and cobblestone streets to all of the old and nicely preserved buildings, St. Charles is one of the best revitalized old river towns in the USA!  Shops/retail establishments of all types abound… The red brick building is home to Mad Hatter Antiques and More.  

Laura’s La Petite Boutique occupies this unusual structure along Main Street. Website:  A little research revealed that this was the former 1890s Schermer Brothers Wagon and Blacksmith Shop.

Main Street runs parallel to the nearby Missouri River.  St. Charles Missouri was founded in 1769 by Louis Blanchette, a French-Canadian fur trader.  It was originally called Les Petites Cotes or “The Little Hills in French.

A shop called “Sing Along With Me” is located in the lower right hand corner on the ground level of this magnificent former home.  Laurie actually made a purchase here… This shop features apparel and accessories for the ladies.  Website:

The Newbill-McElhiney House (above) is included in the St. Charles Historic District.  The original Federal style brick home was built in 1836 and it was expanded in the 1850s.

Joan of Arc, a shop featuring antiques, primitives and architectural finds occupies that cute little gray brick building.  As you can see, it was a beautiful day.  Plus the temperature was just right for a stroll down Main Street…
St. Charles served as Missouri’s first state capital from 1821 – 1826.

This very attractive building is occupied by Bradden’s Restaurant.   They offer lunch and dinner with both indoor and outdoor dining available.  Check their website at for details.

The St. Charles Historic District was first established in 1970.  Today it covers over 60 acres and includes at least 118 contributing structures.

This is the Mother-in-Law House Restaurant.  It is aptly named as it was the first brick double house built in St. Charles back in 1866.  This restaurant is closed on Sundays but for most of the week it offers lunch and dinner.  To learn more, go to

This building at 427 South Main Street might have been a former firehouse…but I couldn’t identify it for sure.  There weren’t any signs identifying it as an active retailer but I did determine that it used to be a gift shop named Fran’s.  Whatever its status, someone has decorated it nicely for Christmas!

That attractive 2-story green building houses Riverside Sweets, a family owned candy and ice cream store that has been in business for over 16 years.  Website:

What a beautiful day!!

The Western House is located in the 1000 block of South Main Street.  It dates back to 1820 when it was built as a hostelry and inn.  The building, with its adjoining garden house and ground, is now a popular wedding venue.  Website:

I decided to check TripAdvisor to see how visitors felt about the St. Charles Historic District with its shopping and dining opportunities.  When I checked, there had been 1,135 reviews with 96% of them being excellent or very good and only 2% being poor or terrible.  That’s about as good as it can get!  To learn more, go to

One last look at what was really important to all of us on this particular day…Aunt Lois!  When we got home after Thanksgiving, we received this nice thank you note from her!  At almost 104, her handwriting is much more legible than mine…

This photo is of Aunt Lois in her apartment… She loves to play (and win) a card game called ‘Skip Bo’.  Her memory, both short term and long term, is far better than ours.  Aunt Lois is the matriarch of the family and she entertains a plethora of visitors.  She has 3 sons, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews and many others who love her and stop by to enjoy her company.  

Of major importance to the sisters are Aunt Lois’s recollections of family history.  She remembers it all! She was born in 1914.  Just think of all she has seen and lived to tell about!  Her father was a butter maker in the Plover/Stockton area of Wisconsin. That could be the reason why Laurie and her sisters love real butter and butter milk!  They all grew up eating and drinking it.

That’s about it for now.  Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave 

1 comment:

  1. Aunt Lois looks mighty good for 104 and judging by her letter, her mind is fine as well.