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An Insider's Guide to Historic Grafton

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An Insider's Guide to Historic Grafton

Officially founded in 1836, Grafton's prime location on the river necessitated a boat construction industry. Resting under the Mississippi River bluffs, quarrying was also a lucrative industry. Tons of magnesian limestone was found here, making the quarries one of the richest and most extensive of the town's resources. Grafton stone was used locally to construct buildings and homes, and it was also transported to St. Louis for use in structures, such as the Old Cathedral and the Eads Bridge.

Along with the rise and fall of industry in Grafton, came the rise and fall of the rivers. Floods have always been a part of the rhythm of life in Grafton, with the community's first encounter with the rising waters occurring in 1844. The Flood of 1993 proved to be the most devastating in the town's history, reaching a record 38.2 feet. The community pulled together, fought the swelling waters of the river, dried itself off and rebuilt the city around them to become the bustling tourist town they are today. The lighthouse found on the riverfront today stands a symbol of resilience and determination of this historic river town.

You can learn about all of Grafton's historic sites by taking a Walking Tour. Immerse yourself in the history of Grafton and find out how it evolved into a thriving river community.