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Warren County to Feature Missing Link in History
Warrenton, Mo. (April 13, 2006) — The almost forgotten village of La Charrette - the first settlement in present-day Warren County as the westernmost settlement of the Louisiana Purchase - returns to life in the works of retired professor Lowell M. Schake.
“My purpose in writing La Charrette: A History of the Village Gateway to the American Frontier, was to restore the village to its rightful role in national history. To bring ‘life’ back to what previously was only a footnote in history,” says the professor, who was born on Charrette Creek where his ancestors lived on old village farms.
This missing link in American history will be featured by the Warren County Historical Society on Thursday, May 4 at the Schowengerdt House, 308 East Booneslick Road, Warrenton, Missouri from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. “The Society will offer copies for sale and Dr. Schake will be available for comments and signings,” the Society’s President, Alouise Marschel, said. Schake will also be donating his reference materials acquired while researching village history to the Society archives.
“I searched at least a thousand documents seeking clues,” Schake said. “Jerome Holtmeyer of Washington, Mo., my collaborator, contributed invaluable data on maps aiding it pinpointing La Charrette’s exact location and where Lewis and Clark spent the night in 1804. Others, like Marthasville historian Ralph Gregory, also assisted me greatly.”
Schake’s book has been widely featured. Only a few weeks ago he shared village history with over a thousand Denton, Texas elementary school children explaining that “La Charrette children attended neither school nor church nor shopped in stores. Instead of tennis shoes with blinking lights, they wore moccasins, or went barefoot like their Native American mothers.” Their rich multicultural lives languished in obscurity until revealed by his book
La Charrette families and their guests represented a virtual ‘Who’s Who’ of the American West. Had it not been for the French in control of St. Louis at the time, Lewis and Clark would have trained there. While spending three days there, Zebulon Pike acquired the first map of the Santa Fe Trail. The town was also honored by the presence of heroes like Daniel Boone, America’s First Mountain Man John Colter, Charles ‘Indian’ Phillips and Flanders Callaway. La Charrette offers a compelling look at the daily lives of settlers residing on the absolute edge of America’s frontier – their hardships and their triumphs. When displaced from La Charrette, these same families formed Cote sans Dessein upriver, America’s next westernmost frontier settlement.
Schake’s current work is a biography about an amateur birder who becomes instrumental in saving three endangered species to include the Whooping Cranes. Lowell and wife Wendy live at Port Aransas, Texas. They have two children and four grandchildren.
Proceed to the title link to learn about the Schowengerdt House, where this signing will be held.