128 Aquamsi Street -- Cape Girardeau, Missouri
The Red House Interpretive Center is a Certified Lewis and Clark Trail Site
and a Missouri Legacy Project.
Bonjour mes amis!
Welcome to the Cape Girardeau District of 1803
The Red House Interpretive Center is located just off Main Street in
historic downtown Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The Center commemorates the
life of community founder French-Canadian, Louis Lorimier, as well as
the visit of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in November, 1803. The
Interpretive Center houses an early 1800s exhibit that reflects the
lives of the early settlers of the old Cape Girardeau district. In
addition, a rendering of Lorimier's Trading Post displays authentic
items that would have been sold at the turn of the 19th century. The Red House Interpretive Center is also now the location of the Melvin Gateley Vision 2000 Garden.
Visit Lorimier's Trading Post
In 1803, Lorimier's Trading Post was the largest and most well known
trading post between St. Louis and Memphis. Traders, Native Americans
and local residents came to the post to either buy or trade for needed
goods. On Nov. 23, 1803, Meriwether Lewis and members of his
expedition stopped by Lorimier's trading post for supplies and to visit
with Lorimier and his family.
The Lorimier Room
The Lorimier Room is decorated as Lorimier's home might have been when
Meriwether Lewis spent the evening dining with the family and admiring
Lorimier's daughter on Nov. 23, 1803.
The Girardeau Room
The Girardot Room contains a large map of the entire territory under the
control of Don Louis Lorimier for the Spanish Government. Over 200
people worked 6500 volunteer hours to build the building.
The gardens on the north side of the house show the types of garden you
might have seen in 1803 with flowers, vegetables, cooking herbs, and
Future Additions - Coming Soon
Work is underway to add period pieces to the ground of the Red House, including a dugout canoe, beehive oven, and a stockade. Examples are linked below.
Open May - October
Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Adults: $3 Children: $1
Group tours are also available by appointment on weekdays throughout the year.
Contact the Cape Girardeau Convention
& Visitors Bureau at (573) 335-1631 or the Parks and Recreation
Department Office at (573) 339-6340
Red House Construction
The Red Hats
Be a Friend
Teachers Page - Information to use with your class' field trip to the Red House.
A Day in the Life of Louis Lorimier - audio clip
Read more about the
Red House and upcoming events on the City's Blog
Meets the first Wednesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. at the Osage Centre
Parks and Recreation Director
See VisitCape.com for more pictures!
Videos About the Red House
This clip gives background information about Louis Lorimier, his founding of Cape Girardeau, and what's known about his original "red house," constructed in 1797. Lorimier's red house was his home, trading post, and served the fledgling community as a government center. The original red house was destroyed by a tornado in 1850. A replica of the home, the Red House Interpretive Center, now stands nearby to the original red house location.
This segment discusses how the replica Red House Interpretive Center was built in a similar fashion to what is known about Lorimier's residence.
The Red Hats are an elite group of volunteers who each put in more than 200 hours of their personal time to make the dream of the Red House Interpretive Center a reality. The Red Hats can be recognized by their signature red berets.