Aviva Directory » Local & Global » North America » United States » States » Missouri » Cities & Towns » Cape Girardeau

Often referred to simply as The Cape, the city of Cape Girardeau is in Cape Girardeau County, and the largest city in southeastern Missouri. The community grew from a trading post that was established by Jean Baptiste de Girardot in 1733. The cape referred to a rock promontory overlooking the Mississippi River, which was later destroyed by railroad construction. Originally known as Cape Girardot, for the man credited with founding the city, its spelling was later changed. With the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, the region became an American possession, and the city was platted in 1806, and incorporated as a town in 1808. During the American Civil War, Cape Girardeau was occupied by Union forces, who constructed four forts to control passage along the river, and federal troops retained possession of the city throughout the war. In 1873, a teaching university was established at Cape Girardeau, which is now Southeast Missouri State University, and the city is currently thriving as a local hub for education, commerce, and medicine. Cape Girardeau is situated on the western banks of the Mississippi River, across from East Cape Girardeau. The city is accessed from I-55, US Highway 61, and Missouri Routes 177, 74, and 34. Scott City is to the south, and Jackson, the county seat, is to the northwest.


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