A tale of two cupolas: The Common Pleas Courthouse and the St. Charles Hotel

By SHSMO–Cape Girardeau Associate Director Bill Eddleman

Drawing of downtown Cape Girardeau from 1871 showing the original federal-style Common Pleas Courthouse without a cupola and the round cupola (top slightly stylized) on the St. Charles. Photo courtesy Bill Eddleman.

Southeast Missourian—Local lore suggests the cupola on the Common Pleas Courthouse came from the old St. Charles Hotel. The origin of this story is apparently the book, "Cape Girardeau: Biography of a City," by Felix E. Snider and Earl A. Collins. In a discussion of the St. Charles on page 226 is this statement, "The cupola was later incorporated into the old courthouse." There are no credited sources for this information.

In fact, several reasons suggest the St. Charles cupola was a separate structure from the surviving cupola on the Common Pleas Courthouse. Beverly Hahs' recent column provides...

Read Full Article