The town of Augusta is located on the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River Valley on scenic highway 94. The community traces it roots back to Leonard Harold, one of the settlers that followed Daniel Boone to Missouri. Leonard purchased over 300 acres of government land in 1821 and grew tobacco and other crops on his farm. Realizing that there was good access to the Missouri River from his property he decided to he laid out the first streets and lots on a portion of his farm in 1836 and called the town Mount Pleasant.
The town grew largely from the immigration of German Liberals who had supported the revolutions of 1830 and 1848. At least two-thirds of the German immigrants into St. Charles County came from an area in northwest Germany and most tended to settle near other immigrants who had been their neighbors in Germany. Of the immigrants from Oldenburg most settled along the Missouri River between Augusta and Dutzow. When the town applied for a post office in 1842 the residents found that there was already a Mount Pleasant post office in Missouri and adopted the name of Augusta. Although local tradition claims the name honors Harold’s wife, records indicate that neither of his two wives was named Augusta.
By 1855, when Augusta incorporated, the town had become a prosperous agricultural community and river port. The town had also become a trading center and supported numerous craftsmen, merchants, hotels, and wineries. Augusta’s role as a river port ended in 1872 when a flood shifted the channel of the Missouri River. The arrival of the Missouri, Kansas & Eastern Railroad in the early 1890s helped replace the loss of river traffic.
The Germans in St. Charles County began making wine soon after their arrival and the vineyards in the Augusta area had achieved notoriety by the 1850s. By the 1880s about 400 acres in St. Charles County were dedicated to vineyards and were producing 100,000 gallons of wine annually. Over half of that acreage was in the Augusta area and Augusta had 20 wine cellars. The favored grapes for wine making were the Norton’s Virginia Seedling and the Concord.
An Event You Won't Want To Miss!
The Greater Augusta Chamber of Commerce invites you to join us at the 2015 Augusta Plein Air Art Festival featuring “Small Town America.” Observe the art unfold before your eyes each day at events hosted by wineries and neighboring communities. Unique events will be featured during the festival at a variety of locations from the Daniel Boone Home to Private Estates, with a special Day in New Melle, Day in Defiance, Day in Augusta and Night in Washington. Come enjoy Missouri wine country with the beautiful, scenic rolling hills and river bluffs; to the fun filled events of the festival and award winning wineries. Not only will you watch the art be created each day, but you also have the opportunity to purchase the art straight from the easel. Whether you are a serious buyer, or someone who simply appreciates the arts, come out for a day or stay overnight, the festival has something for everyone to enjoy. Join us for one or many of the events and get to know the artists, enjoy small town hospitality and the beauty of Missouri during spring for the 13th Annual Plein Air Art Festival.