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B OON VIL L E Walking

HISTORY TOUR

M IS S OU R I


Welcome to Boonville — Walk Into History — Boonville draws its name from the sons of the celebrated frontier explorer and scout, Daniel Boone. Around 1805, Nathan and Daniel Morgan Boone began operating a salt business just north of what is now the city of Boonville. They boiled water from saltwater springs to remove the salt and shipped the crystallized product to St. Louis by keelboat on the Missouri River. The remains of that operation can still be toured at Boone’s Lick State Historic Site, located about twenty miles northwest of Boonville on state Route 87. Periods of prosperity brought by the riverboats and railroads and times of unrest during the American Civil War have created a riverfront town rich with history that is best savored slowly. Whether you’re here for the casino or the Katy Trail or one of our many annual festivals, we invite you to use this guide as you walk among the unique characters and stories that define our town. Welcome to Boonville. Come for a visit and stay for a while!


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Walking tour stop Walking tour path Alternate driving route Katy Trail (no vehicle access)

Walking distance about 3.3 miles


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1. Visitors Center/Katy Trail/River, Rails, and Trails Museum 2. Mitchell Antique Motorcar Museum 3. Hain House and Memorial Garden 4. Sombart Home 5. Hitch House 6. Roslyn Heights 7. Laura Speed Elliott Middle School 8. Stephens Home 9. Turner Hall 10. Thespian Hall 11. First Presbyterian Church 12. Downtown 13. Morgan Street Park 14. Old Cooper County Jail and Hanging Barn 15. Walter Williams Home 16. Bell House 17. Thro House 18. Andrews House 19. Hotel Frederick 20. Veterans Memorial Park 21. Ballantine House 22. Historic Katy Bridge 23. Katy Depot


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HISTORY TOUR


Visitors Center & Katy Trailhead — 100 East Spring Street — GETTING STARTED Take Main Street to Spring Street. Turn west on Spring Street and pull in the parking lot at the Katy Trailhead. ALONG THE WAY On the southeast side of the parking lot, you’ll see the whistle-stop station that serves as Boonville’s trailhead to the Katy Trail, a 237-mile (386 km) path stretching across Missouri from Machens on the east to Clinton on the west. Formerly the MKT rail line, the Katy Trail is America’s longest rails-to-trail project and is ideal for hiking, running, or bicycling. The Hirsch Wholesale Grocery Company warehouse was built in 1902 alongside the MKT Railroad tracks to make it easy to offload items from the train to the warehouse. In 2016, the city of Boonville completed a six-year project to convert the historic building into the new Visitors Center and the River, Rails, and Trails Museum. The museum houses a half-scale replica Lewis and Clark keelboat, a Mitchell wagon, a children’s play fort, and railroad memorabilia, including a model train display. A model steamboat and general Boonville history items are on display among the original elements of the building, such as the old freight elevator and conveyor belt. Katy Trail merchandise and information about Boonville and the Boonslick region are also available.


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HISTORY TOUR


Mitchell Antique Motorcar Museum — 210 East Spring Street — TOUR DIRECTIONS The Mitchell Antique Motorcar Museum is located one block east of the Katy Trailhead. Take Spring Street east and look for the painting of the Mitchell logo on the side of the building. ALONG THE WAY As you progress east on Spring Street, you’ll cross the stone arch bridge over Rupe Branch, a stream named for Gilead Roupe, who operated a ferry near this location in Boonville before moving to Lafayette County, where he is considered to be the area’s first white settler. The Mitchell-Lewis Motorcar Company produced its first motorcar right after the turn of the twentieth century and continued until 1923, when the factory was purchased by Nash Motors. Known as a large, fashionable touring sedan, the Mitchell motorcar reached its heyday in 1916 when the company sold 10,000 vehicles. Of those, only about 150 are still known to exist. Twelve Mitchell motorcars, as well as two Mitchell wagons and the only known remaining Mitchell bicycle, are on exhibit at the Mitchell Antique Motorcar Museum. The vehicles are part of the collection of Lewis Miller, who is the great-great-grandson of Henry Mitchell, the company’s founder. You can arrange to tour the museum by calling Boonville Tourism at 660882-3967. Tickets are five dollars per person for a tour led by visitor center staff for up to an hour, and ten dollars per person to tour with the owner of the collection for up to three hours. Group tours are welcome.


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HISTORY TOUR


Hain House and Memorial Gardens — 412 Fourth Street — TOUR DIRECTIONS Take Spring Street to Fourth Street, and go south on Fourth Street. The house is located on the east side of Fourth Street. ALONG THE WAY Fourth Street retains much of its late nineteenthcentury charm, thanks to the original brick road that runs between Spring and Center Streets. Construction of the brick roads in Boonville is credited to Franz Joseph “Frank” Stretz, an immigrant from Baden, Germany. Built in 1836 by Swiss immigrant George Hain, this home remained in the Hain family for 140 years until it was purchased by the Crosby Kemper Foundation of Kansas City in 1981 and presented to the Friends of Historic Boonville. The original two-bedroom home was constructed of horizontal hewn walnut logs. The house expanded as the family grew, with three more rooms added between 1843 and 1870. The white picket fence completed the homestead in 1870. Today, the Hain House and the adjacent Memorial Gardens are used for weddings, receptions, and private gatherings. The home hosts a wine garden at Boonville’s annual Heritage Days celebration in June. Tours are available by appointment only. Call the Friends of Historic Boonville at 660-882-7977 or e-mail FOHBoonville@gmail.com for more information. Admission is five dollars per person.


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HISTORY TOUR


The Sombart Home — 510 Fourth Street — TOUR DIRECTIONS Go south on Fourth Street to the corner of Fourth and Vine Streets. The home is mid-block on the east side of Fourth Street. ALONG THE WAY Between the Hain House and the Sombart Home on the east side of Fourth Street is a charming English Tudor cottage that was built in 1917. It looks like it just popped out of a fairy tale. Henry E. and Julia Sombart built their home in 1892. Henry was the son of Judge Charles William Sombart and the brother of Charles A. Sombart, with whom he formed the Sombart Milling Company. According to the National Register of Historic Places, the house was originally built in a Second Empire style with a slate-covered mansard roof. After a fire in 1921, the current hip roof was added. The home is currently a private residence. There are 451 properties and sites in eight historic districts in Boonville that were included in a nomination to the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.


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HISTORY TOUR


Hitch House — 601 Third Street — TOUR DIRECTIONS Take Vine Street west to Third Street. The home is on the southwest corner of the intersection of Third and Vine Streets. ALONG THE WAY Take note of the Christ Episcopal Church on the northeast corner of Fourth and Vine Streets. The church began construction in 1844 in a Gothic style and has a central bell tower, buttresses, and pointed arch openings that are filled with stained glass. Although it was originally constructed in a Queen Anne style, this house has been altered so much over the years that it now appears to be a Colonial-style home. Built in 1890 by Kemper Commandant of Cadets William Hoge, the house was sold to Kemper’s president, T. A. Johnston, in 1902, and then eight years later to Colonel A. M. Hitch, the school’s superintendent. During World War I, the house was used as cadet barracks. In 1968, the family of Colonel Hitch presented the home to Kemper Military School and College. Today, it is a private residence.


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HISTORY TOUR


Roslyn Heights — 821 Main Street — TOUR DIRECTIONS Take Third Street south to Spruce Street and turn left. Follow Spruce Street to Main Street and turn right. Follow Main Street, to Walnut Street. The house is on the west side of Main Street. ALONG THE WAY Your path will take you past the grounds of Kemper Military School and College. Built in 1844 by Frederick T. Kemper, the “West Point of the West” was the oldest military school this side of the Mississippi River until it closed its doors in 2002. Famous alumni of the school include Will Rogers, Hugh “Wyatt Earp” O’Brian, and George “Goober” Lindsey. Nicknamed “the last of the Main Street mansions,” this three-story, twelveroom home was built in 1895 when Roslyn Heights was a suburb of Boonville. Of the eight mansions that were built in the suburb, this is the last remaining structure. Described as a Queen Anne with Romanesque Revival affinities, the palatial house was home to Wilbur T. Johnson and his wife, Rhoda Stephens Johnson—both of whom were from prominent and influential Boonville families. Rhoda’s brother, Lon Vest Stephens, served as governor of Missouri from 1897 to 1901. The home was acquired by the Missouri State Society, Daughters of the American Revolution in 1983 and is open to the public for special events, meetings, and receptions. Call 660-882-5320 to arrange for tours. An annual Christmas open house is held the first two weekends of December.


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HISTORY TOUR


Laura Speed Elliott Middle School — 700 Main Street — TOUR DIRECTIONS Turn back north on Main Street and proceed approximately two blocks. The school is on the east side of Main Street at Center Street. ALONG THE WAY The Andrews-Wing House at 733 Main was built around 1855 and is an example of piano nobile architecture. The simplicity of its design typifies the construction of homes in Boonville before the influx of German immigrant artisans and craftsmen. Laura Speed Elliott Middle School, or LSE for short, is now the oldest school in Boonville. It was built in 1915 as a high school. The school is named after the wife of Colonel John Stewart Elliott. John Elliott was a graduate of Central College in Fayette and served as a contractor for the MKT Railroad, the president of Commercial Bank, and a principal organizer of the Boonville Water Company. When his wife, Laura, died in 1912, Elliott donated the lot, valued at $10,000, for the construction of a high school to be named for her. In a special election on March 2, 1914, voters passed a bond issue supporting the erection of a modern high school building. The brick structure was completed September 1, 1915, at a cost of about $85,000.


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HISTORY TOUR


The Stephens Home — 612 Sixth Street — TOUR DIRECTIONS Take Locust Street east one block to Sixth Street. The private residence is on the east side of Sixth Street. ALONG THE WAY As you stand at the corner of Sixth and Locust Streets and look east, at the top of the hill sits Forest Hill. It is the subject of George Caleb Bingham’s few existing landscape paintings. One of Missouri’s greatest nineteenth-century painters, George Caleb Bingham lived and worked in the Boonville area from 1819 to 1877. His paintings may be viewed in Boonville’s City Hall at 401 Main Street and at the Boonslick Regional Library at 618 Main Street. The bricks for the Stephens house and adjacent cabin were made on-site in 1846. The six-room Greek Revival home received many renovations over the years, including the enclosure of porches to create additional bedrooms and a kitchen space. A small cabin in back was likely built as slave quarters. The most notable historical feature about the home is that it was the birthplace of Missouri’s thirtieth governor, Lawrence “Lon” Vest Stephens, on December 21, 1858. Lon and his brother Speed saved Thespian Hall from being torn down and converted it to Stephens Opera house at the turn of the century. This house is currently a private residence.


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HISTORY TOUR


Turner Hall — 518 Vine Street — TOUR DIRECTIONS Take Sixth Street north to Vine Street and turn left. Turner Hall is in the middle of the block on the south side of Vine Street. ALONG THE WAY It was along this small stretch of Vine Street that three companies of Union soldiers were taken prisoner by Confederate forces that captured Boonville on October 16, 1864. A granite marker commemorating the event sits at the corner of Main and Vine Streets. Turner Hall was built in 1847 as a Baptist church. Its transition to Turner Hall was a result of Boonville’s musically talented German community. The German singing group, Gesang Verein (Singing Society), was a men’s choral group established in 1854. Three years later, younger Germans in the community formed Turn Verein (Gymnastic Society) to practice gymnastics. The groups regularly met at saloons and bars in the area to perform. After the Civil War, the two societies merged into a single group called the Turn und Gesang Verein, and in 1895, that group bought the old Baptist Church building and renovated it for a variety of entertainment venues. The building was soon called Turner Hall. It was said to have the best dance floor in town. Currently, Turner Hall is for sale but still available for wedding receptions and gatherings and still plays host to blues jams and local performance groups. Visit www.turnerhall.us or call 660.882.3300.


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HISTORY TOUR


Thespian Hall — 522 Main Street — TOUR DIRECTIONS Take Vine Street west to Main Street. The hall is on the east side of Main Street. ALONG THE WAY A large marker in front of Thespian Hall tells the story of Boonville’s involvement in the Civil War. If not for the intervention of some of Boonville’s concerned citizens, Thespian Hall might not be here to enjoy today. The historic building was in danger of being razed in 1898, and again in 1937. Concerned citizens intervened, and today Thespian Hall is the oldest theater still in use west of the Alleghenies. Construction on Thespian Hall began in 1855. The four-story, high-style Greek Revival structure was developed as a home for Boonville’s Thespian Society, an all-male dramatic group, with the Odd Fellows, Masons, and city government offices occupying the second floor. The doors opened on July 3, 1857, with an Independence Day celebration. The Civil War ended the Thespian Society, and the building became a hospital for wounded soldiers. After the war, a number of popular acts graced the stage before the hall was converted to a movie house in 1912. Today, the restored Thespian Hall is once again a home for the arts, including two major festivals each year: the Folk Art Festival and Classical Music Festival. Group tours of Thespian Hall are available by appointment only by contacting fohboonville@gmail.com, five dollars per person.


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HISTORY TOUR


First Presbyterian Church — 417 Vine Street — TOUR DIRECTIONS Cross Main Street west from Thespian Hall. The church is at the corner of Main and Vine Streets. ALONG THE WAY What’s an Odd Fellow, you may ask? The Independent Order of Odd Fellows began in eighteenth-century England as an organization anonymously giving aid to those in need. IOOF came to North America in 1819, and a chapter formed on the second floor of Boonville’s Thespian Hall in 1855. Today, the IOOF has its own lodge at 517 Main Street, next door to the First Presbyterian Church. Look for the large IOOF at the top of the building. The First Presbyterian Church at Boonville was organized in 1821—the same year Missouri became a state. Originally located in Franklin, the church moved to the Boonville side of the Missouri River after a flood in 1830 washed away the original site—as well as most of Franklin. There have been three church buildings on the current site at Vine and Main Streets in Boonville. The first was erected in 1841 at a cost of $4,500. When the congregation outgrew that building, another was constructed on the same site in 1871 for about $12,000. The current church, built in 1904, cost $40,000 and reused much of the decorative woodwork from the previous church. Its style is Classic Revival, also known as Neoclassical.


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HISTORY TOUR


Downtown Boonville — Main Street north to Morgan Street — TOUR DIRECTIONS Take Main Street north to Morgan Street. ALONG THE WAY Stop to reflect on the colorful murals depicting Boonville’s history that have been painted on the front of the former Hostess Brands bakery on the east side of Main between Chestnut and Spring Streets. The murals show Boonville’s early years as a river town and its involvement in the American Civil War; they also honor the bread that was once baked on the premises. The aroma of fresh baking bread that filled downtown Boonville at one time receives a nod in one of the vignettes. Can you find it? If you have any doubts about Boonville’s history as a frontier town, you lose them as you leisurely stroll in front of more than one hundred commercial properties on Main Street. Boonville’s early years depended on trade and travel along the Missouri River. Main Street started at the river and continued south with each new enterprise, eventually stretching to Interstate 70. Modern businesses offer products and services from architecturally historic storefronts. Sample a variety of foods, from Mexican or Greek to pizza and cheeseburgers. Look for the ghostly remnants of advertising for Coca-Cola and Wrigley’s Gum that were painted on building walls. Main Street is an antique lover’s paradise.


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HISTORY TOUR


Morgan Street Park — Northwest corner of Main and Morgan Streets — TOUR DIRECTIONS At Morgan Street, turn left. The park is on the north side of Morgan Street. ALONG THE WAY You’ll pass right in front of the Zuzak Wonder Store at 311 Main Street. Originally constructed in the 1860s as a clothing and tailor shop, Herman Zuzak combined two storefronts to create the Zuzak Wonder Store in 1917. Known as a department store that sold a little of everything, Zuzak helped usher in the popularity of the five-and-dime store. As early as 1897, Zuzak hit upon the idea of having Santa Claus come to town by way of the Missouri River ferry on the day after Thanksgiving. That tradition is still played out on Main Street, when Santa arrives on a fire truck to help start the Christmas holiday shopping season. The current Zuzak Wonder Store opened in 2010 as an art gallery and antique shop. The Morgan Street Park is dedicated to several early pioneers of Boonville and Cooper County. A statue of Hannah Allison Cole, who was one of the earliest settlers of Boonville, stands at the park’s entrance. Busts of David Barton, George Caleb Bingham, Frederick T. Kemper, James Milton Turner, and Walter Williams line the walkway. Several park benches make this a serene spot to take a break.


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HISTORY TOUR


Old Cooper County Jail and Hanging Barn — 614 East Morgan Street — TOUR DIRECTIONS Take Morgan Street east from Main Street and proceed for one-and-a-half blocks. The jail is on the south side of Morgan Street. ALONG THE WAY At 611 East Morgan, just across the street from the jail, you’ll find the former Mansion House. Built in 1869, the hotel was a popular overnight stay for travelers embarking on the Santa Fe Trail. The original structure of the Old Cooper County Jail was completed in 1848, but the building would undergo several changes in its 130 years of use. The jail’s most famous prisoner was Frank James, brother of Jesse James, who was brought to the Cooper County Jail in 1884 on a warrant for a train robbery. Bond money was quickly raised by citizens of Boonville, and the case was dismissed for lack of evidence. The jail was deemed “cruel and unusual punishment” by a federal court in 1978 and closed permanently. The Hanging Barn behind the jail was originally built in 1878 to house the sheriff’s horses in the event a posse was needed. The barn was the site of one of the last public hangings in Missouri on January 31, 1930. Today, the Friends of Historic Boonville Office and Archives are housed here. Tours are available for five dollars per person, Mondays through Fridays from 10 am to 2 pm.


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HISTORY TOUR


Walter Williams Home — 711 East Morgan Street — TOUR DIRECTIONS Proceed on Morgan Street one-half block east past Seventh Street. The house is on the north side of Morgan Street. ALONG THE WAY Pick up a book or leave one for someone else to read at the Little Free Library, located right next door at 707 East Morgan Street. Best known as the president of the University of Missouri from 1930 to 1935, Walter Williams was also instrumental in establishing the first school of journalism in the country at MU, and he served as the school’s first dean. Williams is said to have sat in the shade of the westernmost cypress tree in front of Taylor’s Bakery at 519 Morgan as a boy and pondered whether to continue his training as a tinner or whether to learn the newspaper business. Fortunately, he chose the latter. Although responsible for the education of generations of journalists, Williams learned his trade on the job as an apprentice at the Boonville Topic. By the age of twenty, Williams had become the editor of the Boonville Advertiser, a newspaper that he would eventually own. His boyhood home, built in the 1850s, is currently owned by Edward Lang, managing editor of the Boonville Daily News, who annually decorates the property with literally a hundred trees as part of the Historic Boonville Christmas Homes Tour. Tour this home from Christmas to January 6 or by appointment in the spring and fall. Call 660-888-8932.


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HISTORY TOUR


Bell House — 724 East High Street — TOUR DIRECTIONS Take Morgan Street east to Eighth Street, turn left and proceed a block to High Street. The home is on the southwest corner of Eighth and High Streets. ALONG THE WAY You can reflect on the historic Victorian neighborhood in Bell’s View Park. C.C. Bell handpicked this spot for its scenic view of the Missouri River and created a serene sitting area surrounded by colorful flowers and plants. The park is on the northeast corner at the intersection of Eighth and High Streets. The former home of Boonville’s mayor and acclaimed “Missouri Apple King” Charles Christian Bell, this Queen Anne home with an amazing view of the Missouri River was built in 1886. The most outstanding features of this brick home are the towers that were added in 1891. The tower on the northeast corner is three stories high with a dome roof topped by a finial. The second tower is two-and-a-half stories with a bell dome and ball finial. C.C. Bell was one of the most prominent men in Boonville at the turn of the twentieth century. He began his career packing and shipping apples, but in 1901 he sold that business and developed the Bell Fruit Farm. For eleven years, Bell was president of the Boonville Board of Trade and served as the city’s mayor from 1886 to 1889. This beautiful home is currently a private residence.


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HISTORY TOUR


Thro House — 701-703 East High Street — TOUR DIRECTIONS Turn left at Eighth and High Streets. The home is on the north side of the street, near the intersection of High and Seventh Streets. ALONG THE WAY Stay on the sidewalk on the north side of High Street, and you’ll pass a number of fine Victorian homes, each with a beautiful backyard view of the Missouri River and Boonslick Bridge. In 1863, John Thro, a soldier in the Civil War and later Cooper County Court Judge, took the Overland Trail to California, where he stayed for three years before coming back to Missouri. Upon returning, Thro set about building this home using the highest-grade lumber from his own lumber company. Judge Roy D. Williams—a local historian and colorful character— purchased the home and remained there until the his death in 1972. His wife, Adda, would remain in the home until her death in 1978. In 1978, the property was purchased by R. Crosby Kemper, who restored the home using photographs from The Vine Clad City: A Souvenir of Boonville, Missouri, a book published in 1900. The front porch was extended, a wood shingle roof was constructed, and stained-glass windows were installed. The home is currently a private residence.


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HISTORY TOUR


Andrews House — 617 East High Street — TOUR DIRECTIONS Go west on High Street. The house sits mid-block between Sixth and Seventh Streets on the north side of High Street. ALONG THE WAY The four-bedroom home at 623 East High Street was built in 1894 by architect George Franklin Barber for William Alexander Sombart, the son of Charles William Sombart and brother of Henry E. Sombart, whose home is the fourth listing on this walking tour. The Sombarts belonged to a prominent Boonville family at the turn of the twentieth century and this home reflects their standing in the community The Andrews House overlooking the Missouri River on High Street has been home to several prominent Boonville families. The home was originally built by Colonel Charles Edwards Andrews, a graduate of Kemper Military School and prominent Boonville businessman, and his wife, Jennie, who was the founding regent of the local Hannah Cole Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. The house was built in several sections in the mid-1800s. The two-story brick Italianate front section was added in 1881 to 1883. Today, the home is a private residence.


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HISTORY TOUR


Hotel Frederick — 501 East High Street — TOUR DIRECTIONS Take High Street west to Main Street. The hotel sits on the northeast corner of High and Main Streets. ALONG THE WAY Just three doors down from the Frederick, on the north side of Main Street, you’ll pass right by the High Street Victorian Bed and Breakfast. The Queen Anne-style brick house was built in 1880 by Charles Vollrath and overlooks the Missouri River. The Hotel Frederick, built in 1905 by Charles A. Sombart and named after his son, is the best example of Romanesque Revival architecture in the region. Sombart added thirty-six rooms to the original structure in 1932. The Sombart family sold the hotel in 1964; a succession of owners attempted various repurposing plans. When the building closed in 1994, it had been serving as the Boonville Retirement Center. After sitting empty for nearly a decade, the Hotel Frederick was purchased by the Haw family of Kansas City, who spent an estimated four million dollars to restore the property without eliminating its early twentieth-century charm. Stop in to see the regional antiques that adorn the public areas, or sit down for dinner in The Fred, the hotel’s fine-dining restaurant. You might find you want to stay for the night. A wing of Hotel Frederick is home to Missouri Life magazine. Visitors are welcome to stop in and see the hall of covers Mondays through Fridays.


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HISTORY TOUR


Veterans Memorial Park — High and Main Streets — TOUR DIRECTIONS Cross High Street west of Hotel Frederick. The park is on the northwest corner of High and Main Streets. ALONG THE WAY Take in the view at the south end of the Boonslick Bridge, which connects Cooper County to Howard County on the north side of the river. The bridge, which opened in 1995, also has a pedestrian/ bicycle lane and is the only point where the Katy Trail crosses the Missouri River. Boonville’s Veterans Memorial Park was dedicated in 2004 to all who have served in the United States armed forces. Beautiful stone monuments have been strategically placed to offer a majestic view against the backdrop of the Missouri River. Stone benches along the walkway offer a perfect place to reflect and honor Missouri’s military heroes. The park was designed by Missouri sculptor and artist, Sabra Tull Meyer, and is centered by her sculpture titled Freedom Flight. The park was a cooperative effort between the city of Boonville, Raymond Warnhoff Post 4072, and the nearby Isle of Capri Hotel and Casino.


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HISTORY TOUR


Ballantine House — 409 East High Street — TOUR DIRECTIONS From Veterans Memorial Park, take High Street west. The building sits on the north side of High Street. If you opt to take the Katy Trail, you’ll go behind the structure. ALONG THE WAY On the north exterior wall of the Main Street Diner, south as you leave Veterans Memorial Park, you’ll see a mural that depicts important scenes and characters from Boonville’s history. Images of Hannah Cole, Daniel Boone, Fort Cooper, the Katy Bridge, and the Missouri River were painted by Fayette artist Peggy Guest in 1993, the year that floodwaters of the Missouri River reached thirty-seven feet—a fact incorporated into the lower left corner of the mural. The two-story part of Ballantine House on the west side of the structure was built in 1822 as a hotel known as the Ballantine House, likely named for Boonville businessman David Ballantine Sr. This German Style brick structure is one of the oldest still standing west of the Mississippi. Additions continued until around 1880, which might explain the mixture of Greek Revival architecture with a strong Missouri German architectural influence in the secondary section. The building continued to operate as a hotel under several different names—Courtney House, Santa Fe Hotel, and Commercial Hotel, to name just a few—until the early 1970s. Today, it provides office space for a number of area businesses.


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HISTORY TOUR


Katy Bridge —On the Missouri River just off First Street — TOUR DIRECTIONS Take the Katy Trail west along the Missouri River. Go south on Second Street, then west on Morgan Street. Or take Fourth Street south from the Ballantine House, then go west on Morgan Street. At First Street, turn north and follow the trail to the open portion of the bridge. ALONG THE WAY You won’t be able to miss the Isle of Capri Hotel and Casino, sitting on the south bank of the Missouri River. On the south side of the High Street cul-de-sac, you’ll see the Nimrod-Rector home. The original log cabin portion of the home was built in 1829. A brick addition was constructed in 1848. Formally named MKT Bridge 191.1, the bridge has been known simply as the Katy Bridge for generations. Construction on the unusual lift span bridge started in 1931 to replace an older bridge built in 1873. The center part of the bridge actually lifted to let river traffic pass below and lowered to let train traffic cross the river. The historic bridge was saved from demolition by a railroad company that intended to use parts for a railway bridge elsewhere. The state, Boonville citizens, and Katy Trail enthusiasts delayed the demolition long enough for ownership to be transferred to the city of Boonville. Plans call for the bridge to be restored and reconnected to the Katy Trail on the north side of the Missouri River.


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Katy Depot — 320 First Street — TOUR DIRECTIONS Take First Street south from the Katy Bridge and cross Morgan Street to the depot. You’re now just across Spring Street from where you parked your car to begin your tour. ALONG THE WAY Directly to the west (behind you as you face the depot) is the Selwyn Shoe Company building. Built in 1919, the building originally housed the Hamilton Brown Shoe Company, which closed near the end of the Great Depression. In 1941, the Selwyn Shoe Company opened for business and continued in operation until it closed in the early 1970s. In 2004, the building was converted to senior apartments. The Boonville station is the only surviving Spanish Mission-style depot on the MKT, or Katy Trail. Prior to 1911, the area where the depot sits was a vacant livestock yard. Completed in 1912, the Boonville Katy Depot quickly became a popular stop for up to thirty trains a day. On May 1, 1958, two passenger trains stopped at the station for the last time. The MKT closed the depot in the early 1960s, when highway travel finally surpassed the rail. In the mid-1990s, a $425,000 restoration project returned the Katy Depot to its former glory. The Katy Depot now houses a bicycle shop and and is the headquarters of the Boonslick Area Chamber of Commerce.


Other Attractions While in Boonville, check out the other area attractions. You might not be able to walk to them, but they’re easy to find and just minutes from downtown and the walking tour. Boonslick Barn Quilt Tour Seek out the nearly sixty barns throughout Cooper, Howard, and Saline Counties that display a colorful quilt block on the barn front. Pick up a guide at the Boonville Visitors Center or find the map at BoonslickTourism.org. Various locations • BoonslickTourism.org

Champion Bicycles Service, rentals, and sales of bicycles and equipment are available along the Katy Trail at the restored Katy Depot. Open April through October. 302 First Street • 660-882-3353 ChampionBicycleSedalia.com

Boonville Aquatic Center It’s THE place to be on a hot summer day. Open Memorial Day to Labor Day. 1207 Eleventh Street • 660-882-4019 Facebook: Boonville Lions Park Aquatic Center

Cooper County Historical Society This society provides genealogy information for people researching family histories. 111 Roe Street, Pilot Grove • 660-834-3582 PilotGroveMo.org/cchs.html

Boonville Clay Company Learn how to make your own pottery or buy a finished ceramic piece in this unique studio. 505 East Morgan Street • 660-596-6934 BoonvilleClayCompany.com

Hail Ridge Golf Course Play a round at one of the premier eighteenhole golf courses in mid-Missouri. 17511 Highway 87 • 660-882-2223 hailridgegolf.com


Harley Park This park, on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River, was established in August 1887. 428 Parkway Drive • 660-882-2332 BoonvilleMo.org

Walnut Grove Cemetery This historic cemetery was dedicated in 1852 and is one of the most beautiful in the state. 1006 Locust Street • 660-882-7622 Facebook: Walnut Grove Cemetery

Isle of Capri Hotel and Casino Hotel, casino, and dining on the south bank of the Missouri River. 100 Isle of Capri Boulevard • 877-488-8350 Boonville.IsleofCapriCasinos.com

Warm Springs Ranch The breeding farm and home for the Budweiser Clydesdales. Tours are available April to October by reservation. 25270 Highway 98 • 888-972-5933 WarmSpringsRanch.com

River Hills Sporting Clays River Hills specializes in shotgun sports and various types of clay bird games. 22701 Rocheport Road • 660-882-9130 RiverHillsSportingClays.com Russell Stover Find chocolate, ice cream, and hundreds of assorted confectioneries in one convenient shop. 2425 Mid America Industrial Drive 660-882-6988 • RussellStover.com Vintage Hill Farm This hundred-acre farm was built in 1907 and is a mecca for plant enthusiasts. 5643 Highway 87, Franklin • 660-848-2373 VintageHill.com

VISIT WALKING TOUR STOPS Roslyn Heights 100 East Spring Street • 660-882-3967 Mitchell Antique Motorcar Museum 210 East Spring Street • 660-888-1384 Old Cooper County Jail and Hanging Barn 614 East Morgan Street • 660-882-7977 Boonville Visitor Center 100 Spring Street • 660-882-3967


Walking

HISTORY TOUR

Working up a thirst? Feeling a little hungry? Check out these downtown eateries. Breadeaux Pizza 513 Main Street Dos Arcos Restaurant 415 Main Street The Fred Restaurant 501 High Street Katy Trail Cafe 409 Main Street Maggie’s Bar & Grill 416 Main Street Main Street Diner 203 West Main Street Palace Restaurant 225 Main Street Taylor’s Bake Shop 519 East Morgan Street


About Boonville — Stay Awhile — In 2015, Smithsonian magazine named Boonville on its list of “Twenty Best Small Towns to Visit.” In fact, Boonville so impressed the editors of the magazine that the town cracked the Top Ten, coming in at Number Nine on an impressive list that included Estes Park, Colorado; Traverse City, Michigan; and Cooperstown, New York. Since its initial founding by Nathan and Daniel Morgan Boone, the sons of Daniel Boone, it could be said that all roads lead to Boonville. The Boone’s Lick Trail went east to St. Charles, while the Santa Fe Trail, which started just across the Missouri River, took settlers west. The river itself was a major transportation route for both commerce and travel. With more than 400 hotel rooms available in a variety of price ranges, Boonville makes the perfect hub in the Boonslick area to explore all of the historical and recreational venues that await your discovery. There’s a lot to love about Boonville. Come for a visit and stay awhile!


goboonville.com

Profile for Missouri Life Magazine

Boonville Walking History Tour  

Boonville Walking History Tour  

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