shield of the Bolduc House Museum: New France
Back of the Bolduc House showing the gardens
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New France - The OTHER Colonial America
Fleur-de-lisThe Bolduc House Museum Fleur-de-lis

The Bolduc House

Street View of the Bolduc House

The Back of the Bolduc House

The Bolduc House from the Back, by Bruce Pendleton

Early on a Misty Morn

a foggy view of the house

Beginnings

In 1792 French-speaking Monsieur Louis Bolduc joined the other residents of the old town of Sainte Genevieve in the task of relocating the entire town inland about three miles away from its original location on the Mississippi River just west of Kaskaskia of the Illinois Country. This happened after the floods of 1785 inundated the village’s houses up to the rafters yet again. Unable to salvage much of his original house due to the damage from the flood water, as revealed by dendrochronology, M. Bolduc may have salvaged at least one board in the Bolduc House ceiling from the original house in the old town.

The House:

  • A French-style vertical log house with a cedar shake hipped roof supported by a hand-hewn Norman truss
  • Survived the 1811-1812 series of earthquakes along the New Madrid Fault
  • Owned by members of the Bolduc family from the late eighteenth century until 1948
  • Purchased, restored, furnished, and operated by The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Missouri
  • The restoration was supervised by Dr. Ernest A. Connally of Washington University in St. Louis who went on to write the National Historic Landmarks legislation for the United States government
  • Furnished with authentic eighteenth century French Colonial artifacts and furniture including some owned by Louis Bolduc, himself
  • The first National Historic Landmark in Sainte Genevieve, Missouri
  • Winner of the 2005 Preserve America Award

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Three Views

The Bolduc House Bedroom.

Looking into the Bolduc bedroom showing the fireplace and canopied bed

Bousillage

View along front gallerie of Bolduc House showing bousillage and vertical logs

A view of the vertical logs on the front porch gallerie. Between the vertical logs is bousillage, a mixture of mud, straw and animal hair. The wall is covered in limestone white wash called bousillage.

The Bread Oven

The Bread Oven

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The Bolduc House Kitchen and its Mortar and Pestle

Mortar and Pestle

A Mortar & Pestle: An 18th Century Food Grinder

How did we get it?

This mortar and pestle was purchased before the Bolduc House Museum opened in around 1957

What does it do?

  • It pulverizes seeds and other dry ingredients
  • It pounds out medicinal powders

Did Madame Bolduc do her own cooking?

  • The Bolducs had slaves including a female house slave named Agatha. So we think she did not do her own cooking.<
  • Who knows? We don’t even really know where the kitchen was before the one Marie Bolduc had built in 1815
  • We think that at first, they cooked in their bedroom because of something Henry M. Brackenridge wrote in his book about Ste. Genevieve

Why is there a controversy about where the kitchen was?

  • Dr. Connally, the architect who supervised the restoration built a replica kitchen based on his own research-based best guess.
  • The current kitchen was added by Marie Bolduc in 1815 after Louis Bolduc died.
  • The LeMeilleur House never included a kitchen when the family lived there.

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The Corn Press

But the French did not eat CORN

corn

Oops!

??????

A Waffle-Maker

waffle maker

What other types of kitchen tools are in the Louis Bolduc House kitchen c. 1815?

  • Iron cooking utensils
  • A wooden peel to move hot pans to the warming shelf
  • A “tin kitchen”
  • Copper pots
  • A toaster
  • A coffee bean roaster

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