Visitors Guide to Augusta, Missouri
















 

 
 

Augusta
St. Charles County, Missouri

"A Town For All Seasons"

   
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The town of Augusta is located on the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River Valley on scenic highway 94. The community traces it roots back to Leonard Harold, one of the settlers that followed Daniel Boone to Missouri. Leonard purchased over 300 acres of government land in 1821 and grew tobacco and other crops on his farm. Realizing that there was good access to the Missouri River from his property he decided to he laid out the first streets and lots on a portion of his farm in 1836 and called the town Mount Pleasant.

The town grew largely from the immigration of German Liberals who had supported the revolutions of 1830 and 1848. At least two-thirds of the German immigrants into St. Charles County came from an area in northwest Germany and most tended to settle near other immigrants who had been their neighbors in Germany. Of the immigrants from Oldenburg most settled along the Missouri River between Augusta and Dutzow. When the town applied for a post office in 1842 the residents found that there was already a Mount Pleasant post office in Missouri and adopted the name of Augusta. Although local tradition claims the name honors Harold’s wife, records indicate that neither of his two wives was named Augusta.

By 1855, when Augusta incorporated, the town had become a prosperous agricultural community and river port. The town had also become a trading center and supported numerous craftsmen, merchants, hotels, and wineries. Augusta’s role as a river port ended in 1872 when a flood shifted the channel of the Missouri River. The arrival of the Missouri, Kansas & Eastern Railroad in the early 1890s helped replace the loss of river traffic.

The Germans in St. Charles County began making wine soon after their arrival and the vineyards in the Augusta area had achieved notoriety by the 1850s. By the 1880s about 400 acres in St. Charles County were dedicated to vineyards and were producing 100,000 gallons of wine annually. Over half of that acreage was in the Augusta area and Augusta had 20 wine cellars. The favored grapes for wine making were the Norton’s Virginia Seedling and the Concord. The wine business in Missouri was dealt a severe blow when the Prohibition era began with the passage of the 18th Amendment in 1919 and many of the grape growers turned to other crops and the remaining vines were killed by pesticides.

The vineyards (photo left) began to revive in the late 1960s and Highway 94 has become known as the Weinstrasse, or "The Wine Road." Today Augusta’s economy caters to visitors and offers antique shops, small boutiques, restaurants, and bed and breakfast inns. Katy Trail State Park, built on the former corridor of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas (MKT) Railroad (better known as the Katy) makes a stop at Augusta. This unique and popular state park consists of a bike trail that stretches nearly across the state. Other nearby attractions include the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, the Daniel Boone Home, and Klondike Park.




FEATURED ATTRACTIONS ALONG THE GREAT RIVER ROAD
Katy Trail
State Park
Lewis & Clark
Boathouse
Foundry Art Centre
St. Charles, MO
Riverlands Environmental
Demonstration Area