Fort Belle Fontaine Park

13002 Bellefontaine Road
Saint Louis, MO 63138

History

American Indian "Factory"

Established in 1805 on the south, low-lying bank of the Missouri River, near the confluence of the Mississippi River, Belle Fontaine was the first U.S. military post located in the newly acquired Louisiana Territory.

Originally called Cantonment Belle Fontaine, it served as an American Indian "factory" or trading post for local Sac, Fox and other American Indian tribes. General James Wilkinson, first governor of the Louisiana Territory and military commander, selected the site. Buildings at the site were erected by three companies of the First Infantry under the supervision of Lieutenant Colonel Jacob Kingsbury.

The factory was removed from Fort Belle Fontaine in 1808, with part of the trade goods sent to Fort Osage on the Missouri River (near today's Kansas City) and the remainder shipped up the Mississippi River to Fort Madison in Iowa.

Park Hours: 8 a.m. to one half hour past official sunset. Except when reservations are issued.

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