Beginning around 1799, French-speaking traders and farmers moved up-river from the French settlements in the Illinois country, around Ft. Chartres, St. Louis, Kaskaskia and St. Genevieve and from Three Rivers in Canada, and settled at Randolph Bluffs near the Chouteau Bridge to the east, and the "French Bottoms" to the West which now comprise the Central Industrial District. The little enclave at Kawsmouth was entirely French-speaking until 1840 and was strung out in little "arpent" (Paris acre) or strip farms on either side of Turkey Creek (now covered over) in the bottom land to the West below this marker, and around to the east along the bank of the Missouri. A few families clustered around the French church of St. Francis Regis on present Quality Hill. The French were comfortable but somewhat impecunious, and an early priest jokingly called the community "Nouveau Vide Poche" (New Empty Pockets), a rather unflattering comparison with poverty stricken Carondelet on the Mississippi. A French map of 1840 listed 24 French families along Turkey Creek and down the bank of the river to the East. A local priest said that on a clear night you could hear the French fiddlers playing and the French songs wafting up from the French Bottoms during the balls and "bouillons" the French loved to hold. The great flood of 1844 totally eradicated the French community in the bottoms, and the priest said that all that remained of the French farms were their little clearings back from the creek, and that the sounds of the birds and squirrels replaced the fiddles and chansons and laughter of the French.
reverse of marker is the French translation