BHS Summer Meeting at Arrow Rock State Historic Site

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.

BHS Spring Meeting to Highlight Katy Railroad and Bridge

The Boonslick Historical Society spring meeting will be held April 21 at the new Boonville Visitors Center and River, Rails and Trails Museum, 100 E. Spring St., beginning at 7 p.m. The meeting is being held jointly with the South Howard County and Cooper County Historical Societies.

Highlights of the program will be presentations on the historic Katy Railroad Bridge at Boonville, which ultimately will be restored to operation as part of the Katy Hiking and Bicycling Trail. It evolved from the historic M-K-T “Katy” Railroad that operated in Missouri, Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma for 123 years before it merged with the Missouri Pacific Railroad in 1988 and later became part of Union Pacific Railroad.

Presenting the program will be well-known Boonville resident, videographer, photographer and Katy Bridge historian Wayne Lammers and Katy Railroad historian Raymond B.  George Jr. of St. Charles.

The program will include a brief history of the M-K-T Railroad and the Katy Bridge built at Boonville in 1932 and last used in 1986. Lammers will present a video production of the bridge showing different phases of its use along with video of one of the last Katy trains to cross this bridge with interviews of the bridge operator, C.D. Gregory and others.

Before their presentations, Lammers and George will lead a tour of the nearby south entrance of the Katy Bridge, the new walkway out to the lift span of the bridge, which was recently reconnected to the main bridge. The historic Katy Railroad Depot, one block north of the Boonville Visitors Center, is situated between the Visitors Center and the Katy Bridge entrance by the Casino parking lot.

Lammers has been long active in historical pursuits, including efforts to save the Katy Bridge (the Katy Bridge Coalition) and is a past president of the Boonslick Historical Society. He also participated in the citizen effort in getting MoDOT to put a walkway on the new Missouri River highway bridge in the mid-1990s and also was responsible for having it officially named the Boonslick Bridge as opposed to the Boonville Bridge.

George is the author of countless articles about the histo­ry and operations of the M-K-T Railroad for The Katy Flyer magazine and other publications. In 1986 he co-authored “Katy Power: Locomotives and Trains of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Rail­road, 1912-1985,” with Joe G. Collias, and in 1993 he au­thored “The Missouri-Kansas-Texas Lines in Color.”

For more information about the meeting, contact Cindy Bowen at 660-273-2374. Visitors to the meeting should bring folding chairs with them. Refreshments will be served. The general public is invited.

More information about the Boonville Visitors Center and River, Rails and Trails Museum is on the museum website.

Historian Dorris Keevan-Franke to Speak at BHS Fall Meeting

dorris-keeven-frankeMissouri historian Dorris Keeven-Franke will be the featured speaker at the Boonslick Historical Society (BHS) fall meeting, Nov. 6, at Emmet’s Kitchen and Tap on the historic Fayette Courthouse Square.

The BHS fall meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. with a social hour, followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. and the program. Dinner reservations and pre-payment are due by Oct. 29. The dinner is open to the public. Reservations and payment should be mailed to the Boonslick Historical Society, P.O. Box 426, Boonville, MO 65233. Cost of the dinner is $25 per person.
For more information, contact Sam Jewett at 660-882-7167 or by email at

Keeven-Franke, of St. Charles, is executive director of Missouri Germans Consortium and on the board of the Boone’s Lick Road Association. She has spent more than 30 years studying Germany’s migration to Missouri in the 19th Century. She is currently working on a book to be titled Exploring Missouri’s German Heritage, which will be published by Missouri Life magazine in Boonville.

Keeven-Franke says she “passionately loves to share the immigration stories” which will be the subject of her presentation to the Boonslick Historical Society. She will explain what that huge wave of 19th-century immigration meant to Missouri and to the Boone’s Lick region and its relationship to the historic Boone’s Lick Road.

In the early 20th century, Missouri’s first modern highway (Highway 40) followed close to the old wagon route. The Boone’s Lick Road crossed six counties that all lay inside the German Heritage Corridor on the north side of the Missouri River: St. Charles, Warren, Montgomery, Callaway, Boone and Howard. The Boone’s Lick Road’s western terminus joined the eastern end of the Santa Fe Trail in Old Franklin in Howard County.

The Fayette Courthouse Square Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The District contains forty-two buildings, including the historic building housing Emmet’s Kitchen and Tap on the east side of the square.

Harrison House Site of BHS July 17 Meeting

Harrison-HouseKnown historically as the George B. and Luan Birch Harrison House, the lovingly refurbished Victorian-era home of Mark and Susan Freese at 1109 Randolph Street in Glasgow will be the location for the summer meeting of the Boonslick Historical Society on July 17.

The meeting is open to the public. It begins at 3 p.m.  Snacks will be available. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. Small group tours of the house will be given. For more information, contact BHS President Cindy Bowen at 660-273-2374.

The Harrisons built the seven-room house in 1871. Ownership of the house passed to Lloyd and Nancy Herring in 1912. The house was later owned by Ralph and Nanny Mae Maupin, then Richard and Vivian Bentley, and was acquired by the Freeses in 2009.

“The style [of house] would have to be called Italianate, even though it is not what a person typically sees,” notes historian Jim Denny. “This is a Victorian house form in that it breaks free of the classical I house forms with a front block with a hallway flanked by rooms presenting symmetrical 3 or 5 bay facades. Here a front block projects forward flanked by beautiful porches with early Victorian woodwork.”

The house still has the original marble-faced fireplaces and mantles in many rooms and the hardwood floors.

Denny also notes that George Billings Harrison (1844-1911), the builder, was considered the best banker of his day. “He kept Pritchett College in Glasgow solvent for years with his wise management of the college funds.”

Pritchett College was a small institution that operated in Glasgow from 1866 until 1922. It was founded as Pritchett School Institute and became known as Pritchett College after 1897.

Boonslick Historical Society Spring Meeting Highlighting Antique Mitchell Motorcar Collection

IMG_0848-Mitchell MotorcarThe Boonslick Historical Society Spring meeting will be held April 15 at Lewis Miller’s Mitchell Motorcar Collection Museum, 210 E. Spring St., Boonville, beginning at 7 p.m. The general public is invited.

There is no charge to tour the museum, but a $5 fee will be collected and given to the Boonville Tourism Office. The money is used to promote Boonville and draw more visitors to the city. For more information about the meeting, contact Cindy Bowen at 660-273-2374 or by email at

Lewis Miller is a direct descendent of the Mitchell and Lewis families, the founding families of the Mitchell Car Company, which actually began as wagon makers in the 1830s. The company later began making bicycles, motorized bicycles (motorcycles) and, in 1902, automobiles. Miller has one of the largest collections of the various products sold by the their respective companies, including The Mitchell Wagon Co., Wisconsin Wheel Works, and the Mitchell-Lewis Motor Company.

The Mitchell was one of the signature vehicles of the early 20th century, being manufactured until 1923 when the company went under, suffering from the economic blows it took during World War I. The company played a long-time role in the manufacture of American transportation. The Museum features a unique and priceless collection of some of the few remaining Mitchell cars, bicycles and wagons that framed the company’s nearly 100-year history.

More information about the collection of Mitchell antique motorcars is on the museum website: