Come see what's shakin' in historic New Madrid, Missouri. Known for the New Madrid Fault Line and the Great Quakes of 1811-1812, this quaint river town is rich in history and hospitality. Only two and a half hours south of St. Louis, New Madrid offers visitors a unique glimpse into the past as well as one of the most amazing views of the Mississippi River.
The oldest American city west of the Mississippi, New Madrid was founded in 1789 by Colonel George Morgan, a Princeton graduate and Indian trader, on the site of Francois and Joseph LeSieur's trading settlement, L'Anse a la Graise. Named for Madrid, Spain, the town was to be an American colony.
On December 16, 1811, the first of a series of earthquakes rocked the New Madrid Fault. The land rose and fell, the mighty Mississippi River ran backwards and Reelfoot Lake was formed as a result of the many quakes that occurred between December 1811 and February 1812.