We note two upcoming BHS meetings this year: the summer meeting, which will be held Sunday, July 16, beginning at 3 p.m. (tentative date), at Arrow Rock State Historic Site and the annual fall banquet, which will be held Sunday, November 5, beginning at 5:30 p.m., at the historic Hotel Frederick in Boonville.
Boonslick Historical Society board member Michael Dickey, who is administrator of Arrow Rock State Historic Site, will lead the program, which may include a tour of the Village of Arrow Rock with the assistance of the Friends of Arrow Rock organization. Of special note is this year’s guest speaker for the fall meeting: well-known Missouri broadcaster and historian Bob Priddy, who is president of the State Historical Society of Missouri.
Arrow Rock was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964. A portion of the town is also preserved as Arrow Rock State Historic Site. The creation of the state historic site resulted from the National Old Trails Road Association’s, and later, the Daughters of the American Revolution’s efforts to preserve the “Old Tavern.” In it, in 1912, a room was set aside for exhibits “as a means of teaching Missouri history to the passerby.” Now, Missouri State Parks operates the historic site, which features several historic buildings and a modern visitor center. The visitor center contains artifacts and exhibits that portray the history of the town and the Boone’s Lick Country.
A landmark of hospitality for over a century, the J. Huston Tavern was begun by Joseph Huston in 1834. As the owners changed, the tavern went through a progression of names such as the Neill House, Arrow Rock Hotel, Scripture House, City Hotel and finally the Old Tavern.
The home of 19th-century artist George Caleb Bingham is managed by the state historic site and received its own designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1966. Other buildings operated by the historic site include the old courthouse, the Academy Boarding House, the Dr. Mathew Hall House and a stone jail known as “the calaboose.”
The Friends of Arrow Rock, founded in 1959, own a number of historic structures in town and cooperate with Missouri State Parks to present guided tram tours of the village. Several special events held throughout the year showcase the history of the town.