121 East High Street
Potosi, Missouri 63664
Potosi is located in the scenic rolling hills of east-central Missouri. The current population was forecast at approximately 2800 citizens at the mid-census update in 2005, the community continues to grow. It is the county seat of Washington County. The city was founded in 1763 by a group of French settlers and was later chartered by Moses Austin in 1799 and was named after the Bolivian silver-mining city of Potosí. An interesting footnote in Potosi history is the community has had three names – originally Mine Au Breton, then briefly St. George and finally the chartered name of “Potosi”.
A lead mining settlement at this spot, Mine au Breton, was founded between 1760 and 1780 by Francis Azor, of Brittany, France. Moses Austin came here in 1798 with his family, including his son Stephen F. Austin, realizing this was the richest known lead deposit in the world. He obtained a grant of 7,153 arpents of land from the Spanish Empire and started large-scale mining operations, building his town to support it. He named the town after Potosí in Bolivia, which was famous for its vast silver mines. Austin’s tomb and the foundation of his home Durham Hall can still be seen.Potosi has had a rich and colorful history that can still be felt and seen as you visit the community’s streets. A variety of historical homes and buildings are still present to this day in the town. The oldest home in Potosi is the “Weber-Russ House” and was used as the Headquarters for the community’s Bicentennial which was held in 1963.
PO Box 100
Caledonia, MO 63631
Caledonia is a village in the southern portion of Washington County. The population was 158 at the 2000 Census. The village was founded in 1819 by Mr. Alexander Craighead and is named after the Roman Empire’s Latin name for Scotland. Caledonia has a rich source of history; with 33 properties on the Federal Historical Registry. It has the oldest continuous Masonic Lodge (Tyro #12) west of the Mississippi River AND the oldest Presbyterian congregation west of the Mississippi River. Caledonia was home to Washington County’s only college from 1865-1902. The Methodists founded Bellevue Collegiate Institute.
The Caledonia Community Betterment organization has been operating in the village since 1963.
Caledonia is proud to have a Belgrade State Bank facility, the Caledonia United Methodist Church, the Bellevue Valley Historical Society, several antique & gift shops, a village park with pavilion and nice clean restaurants.
Mineral Point Town Hall
702 State Street
Mineral Point, Missouri 63660
Mineral Point began with the railroad spur that was used for mining and timber. The community at one time was called “Mineral Springs”. Mineral Point is located just east of Potosi and with a small community for “in town” the mailing address and zip code for the Mineral Point Post Office covers several square miles in Washington County. The City of Mineral Point offers city utilities and has an aldermanic government base. The local Head Start is headquarted in Mineral Point in the former Mineral Point School building.
Irondale City Hall
110 South Oak Street
Irondale, Missouri 63648
Irondale, Missouri has a long and rich history, having been a community for over 100 years before being incorporated. It was established around 1806 and is approximately 70 miles south of St. Louis – just northeast of Hughes Mountain. The community began with the strong interest in the mineral deposits that are throughout the area geographically. Irondale was a thriving community with a great and varied industrial base. Mills and mining dotted the landscape and a railroad spur helped increase the activity as well. In the 1800’s, the community was blocked and plotted to establish the town. Irondale wasn’t always Irondale, at the turn of the 20th century – 1900’s – the postal service got their name changed to “Savoy” because they had confusion between the mail for Irondale and the community of Ironton. Overall, the people were not happy with the change and reverted back to Irondale then incorporated the community in 1908. The City of Irondale has been home to Unico Bank (started as Irondale Bank), the Blue Haven Restaurant – a local favorite, Moore Funeral Home (formerly Gum & Son), and the Irondale Market. The City has an aldermanic government base with a City Hall and elected officials.
102 North Missouri Street
Potosi, Missouri 63664
Washington County encompasses 762 square miles with a population over 25,000. French explorers Renault and La Motte entered the area of present-day Potosi in 1722–23. However, no permanent settlements were made until 1763, when François Breton settled near Potosi and began to operate a mine bearing his name. The Bellview Valley, near Caledonia and Belgrade, was settled in 1802 by the families of Annanias McCoy, Benjamin Crow, and Robert Reed. Washington County was officially organized on August 21, 1813, out of Ste. Genevieve County, and was named in honor of George Washington, the first President of the United States. From the county seat of Potosi to the surrounding areas, Washington County has a lot to offer. History, shopping and plenty of recreation is a significant part of the culture.