This scale model presentation of Ste. Genevieve represents the historic community as it appeared about 1832, so as to include buildings of the colonial and early national periods. The historic streetscapes recreated in the model appear as they did at that time, including the surviving historic structures as we know them today. More importantly, modern intrusions have been removed and replaced by recreations of the historic structures lost over time.
The interpretive goals of the exhibit are to present a full view of Ste. Genevieve at a given time to enable the visitor to see the community from a greater perspective and to visualize the relationship of outbuildings, gardens, and work areas to the main structures. It also provides the visitor with the ability to view the context in which the present historic buildings were originally constructed without the distraction of the modern structures.
The model measures about 9′ by 11′ and is a free-standing exhibit, encased in acrylic for protection. Maps, land records, early photographs, documents, and recent archaeological evidence were compiled to ensure the accuracy of the model.
Ste. Genevieve native Lewis Pruneau constructed the scale model of the historic community. He enjoys an international reputation as a highly-skilled builder of scale models which have been on display in numerous shows from coast to coast. As a member of the International Plastic Modelers Association, Pruneau was awarded the “Best of Show” award for an unprecedented two years in a row. Pruneau is best known in his native Ste. Genevieve for his impressive model of the railway transfer boat on the Mississippi on exhibit in the Ste. Genevieve Museum.