La Petite Rocher
- known as a “historical place” (not incorporated)
- alternate name: Little Rock or Little Rock Landing
- was apparently a rail station for the St. Louis to Memphis line, in
between White Sand and Ste. Genevieve
Originally, the name to this
landing on the river was Little Rock. However, the name on my map today is
The name Little Rock came from a rock
that protruded out into the river about 15 to 20 feet. The rock no longer
exists, however, because it was declared a hazard and was dynamited out.3
The place where boats would land was
just south of where the Gabouri Creeks entered the river, and was known as
Ziegler’s Landing. (No longer operational) But by 1831, there was a
beginning of a small town about 2-3 miles north at what would be known as Little
Rock. From the years 1835 to about 1900, boats too large for Ziegler’s
Landing would land at Little Rock.
In 1831, a house (probably built by
Michael Placet in 1802) was traded to Jean Baptiste Valle for the site of
Bloomsdale. But in 1835, Jean Baptiste transfered to Jean Baptiste Jr. and
was called the Little Rock Ferry Property. Soon, there was a boarding
house, mill, warehouse, and other buildings. In 1839, this property was
leased by Jean Baptiste Jr’s heirs to Jesse B. Robbins as Little Rock Property,
Steamboat Landing and Ferry Property.
The next owner was then Peter Wilder
in 1858 who laid out a town and filed the plat. However, he only sold four
lots and by 1860, they were sold back to him.
In 1887, the hill part of the
property was leased to Henry Combs and Ste. Genevieve Copper for the placement
and operation of a copper smelting furnace.
From the record book of Andrew
Wilder, 1899, regular stoppers at the landing going to St. Louis were the
Columbia, Cape Girardeau, Cherokee, Peoria, and Bald
Eagle. Often they carried items such as cattle, hogs, onions, eggs,
walnuts, and lime.
As the railroad came through a few
years later, less and less boats stopped at Little Rock. Now, as far as I
know, the property is owned by the Pacific Railroad.
Postcard view of the area, mailed in 1922 (exact date of photograph is
unknown at this time).
I am guessing that the house could be the house that was built [probably] by
Michael Placet in 1831. Not exactly sure what the building to the right
is, but I suppose it could be the mill or warehouse.
I hope to get a photo of the exact area as it is today, soon.
The following files were submitted by Angel Glaser, thank you! One is a photo taken of the Little Rock area that she believes was taken from the transfer boat (maybe someone can verify this). The next image is a scan of the letter informing the transfer boat crew they are being dismissed and finally we have an article by Lucielle Basler.
121 Years with the Ste. Genevieve Herald
The Ste. Genevieve Herald
Nov 13, 2002
100 Years Ago – 1902
The transfer boat to be used at Little Rock, a large side-wheeler, was
launched at Jeffersonville, Indiana the other day and will be ready for service
122 Years with the Ste. Genevieve Herald
The Ste Genevieve Herald
April 30, 2003
100 Years Ago – 1903
A floater was found in the river Thursday morning and landed near Little
Rock. The body was that of a boy about 13 years old and rather refined
looking. As it was perfectly nude it is supposed that the boy came to his
death while out swimming. The whiteness of the skin indicated that the
body had not long risen to the surface. An inquest was held Thursday
morning and the body was buried in the city cemetery.
2. Ste. Genevieve Herald, Nov 13, 2002
3. Ste. Genevieve: Mother of the West, 1725; Lucille Basler, 1978; p44