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Saint Charles is located in the eastern part of the state of Missouri and a city and seat of St. Charles County. The town sits on the bluffs that are overlooking the Missouri River that has served as a bridge to St. Louis along the southeastern part of the area. Its community was one of the earliest settlements that were established in the state of Missouri and was founded by Louis Blanchette in 1769 as Les Petites Cotes or The Little Hills. The site was then transferred to the rule of the Spanish and was dedicated as a village of San Carlos Borromeo after a church that was first built in the community. The site's name was then changed to St. Charles in 1806 during the westward expedition of Meriweather Lewis and William Clark. Saint Charles has become the shipping center for the farm produce and has become some of the manufacturers of metal and missile products.