This week's StayCation destination is to the lovely French city of Florissant, MO. Founded in the 1700s by the French as the village of Fleurissant it was later called St Ferdinand by the Spanish. This church called St Ferdinands was built in 1821 to replace a small log church.
The cornstone of this church was a gift from Mother Philippine Rose Duchesne. She established the first school in the area. The nuns of the Sacred Heart taught Native American children and the children of the pioneer settlers of the area.
This is a fairly minor tourist attraction. It has the advantages of being in a beautiful park with lots of running room for the kids. It is cheap. But, since tours must be arranged in advance it isn't a place to see on the spur of the moment. The area of Florissant around the shrine contains houses that were from the original French village. There are walking tours of those houses (not to go in, but to walk past them). There are some neat little restaurants that are not part of chains and some antique shops in the area.