Fort Belle Fontaine

Fort Belle Fontaine (HM2MY9)

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N 38° 49.655', W 90° 12.841'

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Fort Belle Fontaine was built in 1805 on a low plain near the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. Belle Fontaine was the first U.S. military post located in the newly acquired Louisiana Territory and was originally called Cantonment Belle Fontaine as it served as an Indian "Factory" or trading post for local Sac, Fox, and other Indian tribes.

The fort served as the launching or stopover point for a number of expeditions to the far reaches of the American West. Among those first explorers was pioneering military officer Zebulon Pike, the Yellowstone Expedition, Stephen Long's Scientific Expedition, and the Lewis & Clark Expedition. In 1809 command was given to Lt. Col. Daniel Bissell who was given permission to relocate the fort to higher ground in 1810. Fort Belle Fontaine soon became the command and supply center for a number of new frontier posts which constituted the fort system for westward expansion.

In 1826, Fort Belle Fontaine was replaced by Jefferson Barracks.

This staircase and the stonework in the area were built in the 1930's by the Work Progress Administration (WPA). The WPA was one of the innovative programs started by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to create jobs during the Great Depression.

As a unique park area, these improvements were meant to attract St.

Louis residents to the Boys Home. The Home opened in 1915 and was commonly known as Belle Fontaine Farms.
HM NumberHM2MY9
Series This marker is part of the Lewis & Clark Expedition series
Placed ByFort Belle Fontaine Historical Society and the National Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, November 13th, 2019 at 7:04pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15S E 741848 N 4301331
Decimal Degrees38.82758333, -90.21401667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 49.655', W 90° 12.841'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 49' 39.3" N, 90° 12' 50.46" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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