Cape La Croix marker

Sunday, April 19, 2009

One of the earliest contacts by European settlers in this area occurred more than 300 years ago when three Catholic missionaries came here -- in 1699 -- to spread the Gospel among the American Indians.

More than 60 years ago a large cross on a base with a plaque attached -- all together weighing more than six tons -- was erected along a portion of U.S. 61 that today is a northern stretch of Kingshighway near the Mount Auburn Road-Lexington Avenue intersection. Not too long ago, the Rhodes Group purchased the property where the cross stood. An arrangement was made with the city to realign nearby Kingsway Drive and improve parking for users of the Cape La Croix Recreation Trail. A stone's throw away is Cape La Croix Creek and La Croix Church. All of the "La Croix" designations have their roots in the event commemorated by the special marker.

In looking for a new home for the cross, the Rhodes Group soon found the parishioners at Old St. Vincent's Church, another piece of Cape Girardeau history in the downtown area facing the Mississippi River, who were happy to have the cross moved to the church property.

Earlier this month workers moved the cross, which now adds to the wealth of history being preserved for future generations. Congratulations to everyone involved for making this happen.

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