Situated along the Missouri River, the Frenchtown Heritage Museum & Research Center is dedicated to preserving and promoting the history of St. Charles and a neighborhood called Frenchtown, which, as its name indicates, was where the local French community lived (they moved there beginning around the 1830s after German and other immigrants arrived). The museum, which is housed in a former fire station built in 1880, features exhibit space, a research room, and a garden where a caboose built in 1926 is on display. Inside, visitors will see an 1850 hand-drawn hook ladder wagon and other firefighting-related material, a model railroad display, photographs, and displays about Frenchtown architecture and historical businesses. The caboose serves as a learning center and is available for rent. The museum opened in 2003.