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The History of The Julia Room

The area known as Soulard was once part of the estate of Antoine and Julia Soulard. Antonie came to St. Louis via New Orleans, having left France to literally save his head — he was a loyalist to King Louis XVI. Once in St. Louis he did well for himself by marrying into the wealthy Cerre Family, and as a surveyor he was granted a great deal of property in payment for his services. But a problem developed when they decided to sell part of the estate. They had been granted the property under the old Spanish land grants and had to sue the United States government for clear title. Antoine died and Julia settled the case in 1836 by paying two thousand dollars to secure clear title to the property. With a clear property title in hand she began subdividing the property and selling off lots, thus becoming the first female real estate developer west of the Mississippi River (and maybe in America). The first parcel was sold to Bishop Rosatti and you can see the church that was built on the property across I-55 – just northwest of the Market. Julia gave two city blocks to the people of St. Louis with the stipulation that the land should forever be used as a public market.