Adjacent to Pevely, along the Mississippi River, lies the first county seat of Jefferson County, Herculaneum. Herculaneum began its existence as a shipping point for the lead smelted at Valle Mines, Richwoods, Old Mines, Potosi, and mines in Washington County. In 1808, Moses Austin and Samuel Hammond laid out the town at the mouth of Joachim Creek. It was named by Austin in memory of a beautiful town on the pastoral plains at the foot of Mt. Vesuvius in southern Italy which was overwhelmed along with Pompeii, beneath the mud and ashes of the erupting volcano in the year 79 A.D.
The first post office in the county was at Herculaneum, established soon after the town was laid out, and it remained the only post office in the county for nearly thirty years.
A mural of Herculaneum in the Missouri State Capital:
This early sketch of the Herculaneum Shot Tower and Furnace was taken from a twenty dollar banknote of the Bank of St. Louis dated 1817:
from Historic Sites of Jefferson County, Missouri (Eschbach, Walter L.)