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.
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.
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.
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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