Board of Directors

Carondelet Historical Society

Carondelet Historical Society

The Carondelet Historical Society was founded in 1967 with 353 charter members, active citizens and community leaders who shared a common interest in perpetuating the heritage of their remarkable community. Before it was a south-city neighborhood, Carondelet developed in parallel with St. Louis; it was an independent settlement founded in 1767 by French settler Clément Delor de Treget.

Many notable events mark the history of Carondelet, from the transfer of the Louisiana Territory to the United States in 1804, to the sale of land that would become Jefferson Barracks to the US government, to the building of Union ironclads by James Eads during the Civil War; but perhaps most remarkable was the founding in 1873 of Des Peres School by Susan Blow (daughter of diplomat and congressman Henry Blow, whose family owned and was central in the trial and eventual liberation of Dred Scott). It was the first continuous public school kindergarten in the United States. It is in the former Des Peres School building that the Carondelet Historical Society has found its home.

The building was purchased in 1981 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. There are several permanent exhibits in the former Des Peres School. The Susan Blow Kindergarten Room is on the first floor; it is maintained as it appeared in the 19th Century and features “Fröbel’s Gifts,” pedagogical materials developed by the German creator of the kindergarten movement, Friedrich Fröbel.

Encompassing the first floor hallway and both staircases is the Wall of Honor which honors Carondelet and other local veterans with individual photos.  Service members honored range from the Civil War to present conflicts. The second floor houses the Cleveland High School Room, the Heritage Room (featuring furnishings from the 19th-early 20th centuries), and Memory Lane, a “Street of Stores” that features every imaginable consumer good, from toys to tools to an old-fashioned butcher shop. There are other numerous small exhibits throughout the building, including Carondelet Landmark Churches and a case of advertising ephemera from a variety of historic Carondelet businesses.

Between its closure as a school in the 1930s and CHS’s occupancy, the building served a variety of functions, including as a dance hall, the La Verne Park restaurant and Cook's Market; these changing roles took a toll on the building’s condition. Funded entirely by members and friends, the Carondelet Historical Society has undertaken major renovations over the last three decades in order to restore the building to its original appearance (the inset photo was taken in 1876) and to present the heritage of historical Carondelet to visitors. Much of the work has been accomplished by skilled volunteer members, while construction has been awarded to local contractors. Several major projects have been completed in the new millennium:  the opening of bricked-in windows (a phased project for which work and fundraising are ongoing), the construction of the Bouchein Library, a remodeling of the lower level, the addition of an elevator to serve all three levels of the building, and major technological and archival upgrades.

Elevator is installed


The Bouchein Library was built

Our purpose is to preserve the rich heritage of the Carondelet neighborhood in St. Louis, Missouri. Since purchasing the Des Peres School, the building has been restored to its original 1870's appearance at a cost of $2 million dollars. 

All of our income is received from member dues, donations, and bequests. We do not receive any financial support from the City, State, or Federal Government.

The Carondelet Historical Society operates with a 12 member Board of Directors, elected by the general membership, that meets every month. We have no paid employees. We love our volunteers! They are outstanding!

Site designed by Locality Studio

6303 Michigan Avenue

​St. Louis, MO 63111


Wednesday, Friday and Saturday

10:00 am to 2:00 pm


Formed as a 501(c3) not for profit organization with 353 Charter Members

The meetings of the CHS Board of Directors are held on the second Saturday of each month at 10:30 am in the Museum's Board / Meeting Room. The meetings are open to anyone wishing to attend.

Carondelet Historical Society

  • David Bouchein
  • Matt Dauphin
  • Bob Fox (non-voting member)
  • Esley Hamilton
  • Jerry Martin
  • Bee Parsons
  • Joan Perdue
  • John H Remelius I
  • Jim Sahaida
  • Catherine Lucy
  • Rich Astrack


President: David Bouchein

Vice President: Matt Dauphin

Secretary / Treasurer: Bob Fox

Assistant Secretary: ​Catherine Lucy

Investment Committee Chair: David Bouchein

Frederick Bouchein Library & Archives Committee Chair: Jerry Martin

Building & Assets Committee Chair: Vacant

Collections & Exhibitions Committee Chair: Vacant

150th Anniversary Committee Chair: ​David Bouchein



Purchased the historic Des Peres School for $25,000 needing major repairs and renovations

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The Carondelet Historical Society has existed in St. Louis since 1967. Check out our timeline below to learn more about the Society.

Officers and Committee Chairs

Detailed History