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The Silversmith's House Renovation Project is a capital funding campaign to raise the money needed to renovate the historic house built by Antoine Oneille in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri.



A Brief History of "The Silversmith's House":

This house, built before 1820 by Antoine Oneille, is a significant historic resource and important as the home and business headquarters of one of the few artisan and manufacturing operations in early nineteenth century Ste. Genevieve, that of a silversmith. As a French Canadian craftsman in the Louisiana Territory,  the final chapter of the life, work, and migration of Antoine Oneille through the French territory took place in this house located on South Main Street.

The Anglo-American frame house was both residence and work place for a business heavily tied to the fur trade of the time. Oneille, his wife, and five children lived in this small house (a sixth child died in infancy in Detroit). The diminishing demand for fur in Europe coincided with the decline of Oneille’s silver production.

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An in-depth study of the Indian silver trade named Oneille as one of seventeen major “makers of fine silver” who are known today. Oneille's silver is marked distinctly by a recessed rectangle with the raised letters "AO". This mark is found on each piece of his  work. Every silversmith "signed" his/her work with a maker's mark or cartouche.

Oneille traveled the road of many French Canadians from Quebec to Detroit around 1797 to Vincennes, Indiana in 1803 and finally to Ste. Genevieve. He died in April 1825 and is buried in Ste. Genevieve's historic Memorial Cemetery, the location of the grave unknown.


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