One of the oldest settlements of Missouri is the Valley of Florissant. According to some historians, it was established around the same time that St. Louis. In 1786, the first civil government was established. Spanish archives from Havana showed that Florissant had 40 inhabitants and seven plantations at the time the 1787 census was taken. French settlers called the village “Fleurissant” or “Blooming” and “St. Ferdinand by the Spanish rulers was a typical French village, with commons and common fields. The original town was an independent community, but it is now part of St. Louis’ inner suburb. It was named after the parish of St. Ferdinand, which the community was originally named after. The town was dominated by French speakers until 1889. However, the southern part of the metropolis was home to German-speakers. The first railway line to the area was built in 1878. It was an extension of the St. Louis City-Normandy line. On November 14, 1931, the last train to Florissant ran.
Florissant transformed from a small village to a large suburb after World War II. Developers such as Alfred H. Mayer Co. began building subdivisions on former farmland and vacant acreage. Between 1947 and 1980, Florissant saw approximately 18,000 homes built. The city became the largest in St. Louis County at 76,000 people in the mid 1970s.
James J. Eagan served as Florissant’s mayor for 37 years, from 1963 to his death on November 2, 2000. The Riverfront Times awarded him the title of Best Polititician in St. Louis for his last year.
Florissant was ranked at 76 on the 2012 Money Magazine’s Best Places To Live- America’s Smallest Cities List. Recent reports also rank Florissant as the #1 Best Small City for Retired in America and 2nd Safest City of Missouri.
This St. Louis suburb is home to the largest retiree community in Missouri. You can find many things to do in this St. Louis, MO suburb, such as dance lessons or a golf league. Florissant is 54th in terms of amenities for retirees per capita, while 140 cities are higher.
Florissant has nearly 53,000 residents. Nearly 16 percent of Florissant’s population are 65 years old or older. The city enjoys the 21st best cost of living, at 85 percent below the national average. It is ranked 39th in crime and 55th in weather. The city also ranks 14th for travel, with the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport only eight miles away.
Old Town Florissant is Florissant’s historic district. It has retained its vintage charm. Old Town Florissant is home to century homes, businesses and restaurants. It also houses shops that are located in historic buildings on tree-lined streets. Spend the day relaxing in Old Town Florissant, where you can shop, eat, and enjoy the beautiful churches and historic homes.
Florissant Old Town Partners is an organization that promotes “Old Town Florissant”. FOTP was established as a 501c3 organization in August 1996. It is made up of citizens, businessmen, and officials who believe Old Town Florissant to be a desirable area that offers stability, health, and a rich cultural history.
FOTP promotes cultural diversity by eliminating prejudice and discrimination, fosters neighborhood harmony, and combats neighborhood decay through economic development. FOTP partners with other organizations in order to achieve similar goals.
Florissant residents are served by both the Hazelwood and Ferguson-Florissant School Districts. McCluer, Florissant and McCluer North are home to two high schools of the Ferguson-Florissant district. One high school in Florissant is located within the Hazelwood District, Hazelwood Central School. There are also private North County Christian High School and North County Technical School.
Florissant Higher Education
Florissant also offers higher education. In the former St. Stanislaus Seminary buildings, you will find the St. Louis Christian College. The area was settled by Jesuits from France in 1823, at Bishop DuBourg’s invitation. They established the St Stanislaus Seminary. Many of the buildings you see today were built between 1840-1849.
Florissant Parks and Recreation
Florissant boasts a large park system, with 20 city-maintained parks covering 400 acres. Two community centers are located in these parks: the James J. Eagan Center, and the John F. Kennedy Community Center. There is also the Florissant Ice Rink and Dunegant Skateboard Park, as well as an aquatic center. Park amenities include a competition swimming pool, picnic areas and pavilions as well as athletic fields for football, soccer, baseball, softball, and softball, lighted tennis courts, and playgrounds. A Sherman Tank is located in Bangert Park. There’s also a US Air Force fighter plane at Florissant Valley Park. Tower Court Park has a log cabin from 1850. The Golf Club of Florissant was a public 18-hole course that was operated by the city.