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The town of Lexington was founded in 1822 on the bluffs of the Missouri River at the junctions of the Santa Fe, California, Oregon and Mormon trails. Its founders were Kentuckians who started outfitters and trading posts for settlers headed west on the rugged trails. By 1825 banks, stores, factories, a foundry and farms producing hemp and tobacco had sprung up around Lexington. By the 1830s Lexington had the largest slave population in Missouri. In 1861 an important battle in the American Civil War took place here, the Battle of Lexington, when10,000 Confederate troops laid siege to the Union outpost in town marking a major defeat for ...

The town of Lexington was founded in 1822 on the bluffs of the Missouri River at the junctions of the Santa Fe, California, Oregon and Mormon trails. Its founders were Kentuckians who started outfitters and trading posts for settlers headed west on the rugged trails. By 1825 banks, stores, factories, a foundry and farms producing hemp and tobacco had sprung up around Lexington. By the 1830s Lexington had the largest slave population in Missouri. In 1861 an important battle in the American Civil War took place here, the Battle of Lexington, when10,000 Confederate troops laid siege to the Union outpost in town marking a major defeat for the Union Army. The battlefield is now a state historic site, in the middle of it is Anderson House, a restored Greek Revival built in the 1840s. The Lexington Historical Museum, Lafayette County Courthouse and Lafayette Hall are excellent examples of the town’s Greek Revival architecture. The Highland Avenue Historic District by the river was once part of the Santa Fe Trail. Walking here you can view many stately homes dating to the late 1800s. The Old Neighborhood Historic District is lined with homes built in the southern antebellum (pre-Civil War) style of architecture.

Frances Folsom
About the Expert

Frances Folsom is the author of CitySpot Palermo, a contributor to the Reiskits guides to Milan and Italy's Lakes Region, and Thomas Cook's Independent Traveller USA.

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