Portage des Sioux, Missouri, a small river town situated near the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, was settled in 1799 (Mincke, 2004, p. 13). The first permanent home dates to 1805, one year after Lewis & Clark set off on their expedition up the Missouri river (Mincke, 2004, p. 24). In 1975, Charles City-County Library District, the North County Branch opened its first branch — sited on the southern edge of town in a former one-room schoolhouse (St. Charles City-County Library District, 2010). (figure 1)
Portage des Sioux was once a typical, small, Midwestern town, encompassing several more blocks than today remain (Mincke, 2004, pp. 106-107). At present, the town boasts two marinas, a handful of restaurants, an auto repair shop, a general store, one church and a bar. Most residents of the town leave the area to seek work in either St. Louis county or one of St. Charles county’s larger cities. Since its opening, the North County Branch library has seen the town grow to a population high of 503 in 1990 (Onboard Informatics, 2011a), only to shrink rapidly following the devastating and historic flood of 1993. By 2000 the population stood at 351 and had grown to just 380 by 2010 (Usowski, 2011).
Driving to Portage des Sioux from St. Charles, one is struck by the sudden change in topography. Where St. Charles is hilly, the area around Portage des Sioux (or Portage as the locals call it) is flat farmland, planted in corn and beans. One also notices, upon arriving in town, an apparent lack of cars — not because cars are not owned — rather, residents prefer other modes of transit. It is quite common to see children and adults alike making their way about by bicycle, golf cart, tractor, or on f...
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Usowski, K. G. (2011, September 15). HUD State of the Cities Data System (SOCDS) Quick Link Retrieval: Select City in Missouri . Retrieved September 15, 2011, from HUD State of the Cities Data System (SOCDS) : http://socds.huduser.org/quicklink/screen2.odb?statestring=29
Watson, M. D. (2010, March 18). The Hayner Public Library District Trustee Meeting Minutes. The Hayner Public Library District Trustee Meeting Minutes . Alton, IL, USA: The Hayner Public Library District.
YMCA of Greater St. Louis. (2011). St. Charles County Family YMCA. Retrieved September 17, 2011, from ymcastlouis.org: http://www.ymcastlouis.org/st-charles-county-family-ymca
ZipAtlas.com. (2011). 63373 Zip Code Map & Detailed Profile. Retrieved September 17, 2011, from ZipAtlas.com: http://zipatlas.com/us/mo/portage-des-sioux/zip-63373.htm
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