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Saint Charles kicks off Sestercentennial Celebration

Saint Charles Mayor Saith Faith [center] joined local business leaders in unveiling a painting commemorating the 250th anniversary of the city’s founding.

On Jan. 15, Saint Charles Mayor Sally Faith unveiled “The Arrival of the Spanish Galley Le Vigilante at San Carlos Del Misuri, 1795,” painted by local artist Gary Lucy and in so doing kicked off a year-long celebration of the city’s 250th anniversary.

Faith commissioned the painting, which depicts the moment when La Vigilante made its way from New Orleans to Saint Charles, with support from Streets of St. Charles, Millstone Foundation, Drury Hotels, Embassy Suites and Thomas Realty.

On the city’s website, Lucy explains what went into the creation of the painting, including using a drawing done by William Clark of the original design of La Vigilante.

“I don’t think people realize all the research that goes into a piece like this,” Lucy is quoted as saying.   Clark’s drawing, produced in New Orleans, is the only known drawing of the Spanish Galley. He noted that the Lewis and Clark keelboat is a smaller version of La Vigilante.  “Many believe the keelboat design could have been influenced by the Spanish vessel,” he said.            

The painting is on display in the lobby of city hall.

In addition to the painting, residents will soon notice other art on display throughout the city. Beginning in March, 3-foot-tall statues of Lewis and Clark’s famous dog, Seaman, will appear all around town. Rumor has it that Seaman was purchased by Lewis for $20 while he was in Pittsburgh waiting for the completion of the boats that would take him and Clark on their journey. A map of Seaman locations will be available at stcharlescitymo.gov in the coming weeks.

Also online, residents can print out a “flat Lewis and Clark” coloring page, which city officials hope will pop up in selfies all around town and be shared on social media with the hashtag #stc250.

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