Past and Present: A Pictorial History of St. Charles, Missouri
February 14 - March 29, 2009

Old St. Charles County Courthouse,  Oct 13, 1909 
     In 2009, the city of St. Charles celebrates its Bicentennial. Visitors to the city often know of its rich history centered on Lewis and Clark, Daniel Boone, and being the location of the state’s First Capitol. On top of this history, are the physical anchors to our past, in the structures that have survived over the years. In a new exhibit at Framations Art Gallery, called Past and Present: A Pictorial History of St. Charles, Missouri,we see a journey through time as well as the personal journey of an artist who has found a unique connection and meaning in the history that surrounds the city.
Pontoon Bridge 1890, looking at St. Charles from the Rock Road 

     The "present" pictures of St. Charles have a history all of their own. Several years ago, Jessica Dreyer, an artist and longtime resident of St. Charles, was diagnosed in the very early stages of Alzheimer's. Suddenly expected to leave an active career much too early and unprepared for retirement, Jessica found herself looking for new ways to focus her energy and keep her mind active. With the support of her husband and two grown sons, Jessica hoped to fill the void brought on by this disease as she turned to her passion of photography and painting. This passion began over 40 years ago, though she gladly had put this on hold to raise her sons and develop her career. Now it was time to rediscover herself through her art. The dilemma was to find a new direction in her life that would involve her love of photography and art. This is when she turned to Historic Main Street in St. Charles. Before she realized she still had something to offer the art world, she spent a lot of time on Main Street just people watching, eating lunch, enjoying the atmosphere, talking to the shop owners and enjoying the history that Main Street had to offer. One day sitting on a bench by the gazebo on South Main Street, she focused for the first time the wonderful buildings around her and decided to bring her camera the next time. If only the buildings could talk, what a wonderful history of St. Charles they could tell us. Since that day, Jessica has taken countless pictures of Main Street which have been on displayed at shows and exhibits throughout St. Charles, winning awards for some of her favorites. 
North Main
    
With the Bicentennial upon us this year, she felt it was a great time to share some of these photographs with the public. She was always interested in the earlier life in St, Charles and how the homes and businesses have evolved through the years. She contacted the St. Charles County Historical Society and with the help of Bill Popp, they were able to collaborate on a series of Photographs that would depict a Past and Present visual presentation of St. Charles. From this collaboration, came a selection of photographs called Past and Present: A Pictorial History of St. Charles, Missouri. This exhibit will be on display at Framations Art Gallery February 14 - March 8, 2009. There will be an Opening Reception on February 14 from 1-4pm that will be free and open to the public. 
Steamboat at dock, 1863 

     The purpose of this show is to educate, encourage further research and excite public awareness of the wonderful rich history of St. Charles Missouri and to show how people lived over a long period of years ago and how we live in that same environment today. To be able to see a picture from 1909 of the same building that we see today in 2009 is a testament to the value that we put on our past and the effort we have put forth to sustain it for this generation and future generations to enjoy and appreciate.

This exhibit is sponsored in part by the St. Charles County Historical Society, a non-profit corporation that was founded in 1956 and is dedicated to preserving the history of St. Charles County. For more information about the St. Charles County Historical Society, please call (636) 946-9828 or visit their website at http://www.scchs.org/. 

St. Charles: Then & Now
 Jessica Dreyer has since gone on to co-author the book, St. Charles: Then & Now, along with Vicki Berger. The book documents the changes over time of Main Street St. Charles.
(More info)

To view other work by Jessica Dreyer, visit her gallery page.

The images contained on this site are copyrighted by the artists
and cannot be downloaded, copied or used without written permission. 

Framations Custom Framing & Art Gallery ~ 218 North Main Street ~ St Charles, Missouri 63301 ~ (636)724-8313