Fall 2017

The hot days of summer are winding down and we look forward to a Missouri fall. Well, maybe students and teachers look forward with a bit less joy than many of us. Both my wife and I are retired from the classroom, so we can travel even during the week.

As we plan our travel for the fall, it is helpful to use our computers to research and learn before we venture out on the IRL highway, and sometimes we not get on the IRL highway at all. I have researched some nice online destinations to get you started on those fall travels.

My first suggestion, Missouri-Vacations.com/index.htm is a travel guide to the Arcadia Valley Region in southeastern Missouri. The page has beautiful photos and a huge amount of information. I visited some of the sites that it features IRL this past summer with some Order of the Arrow friends from Boy Scouts of America. We went to Fort Davidson, Elephant Rocks and Johnson Shut-ins. I recommend them all.

In September, there will be a civil war battle reenactment at Fort Davidson, the site of the Battle of Pilot Knob. It came near the beginning of Confederate General Sterling Price’s attempt to seize Missouri for the Confederacy. I have presented a slide show about Price’s campaign and the Battle of Glasgow, which ended just a two block walk from my home. This page, Missouri-Vacations.com/fort-davidson-state-historic-site/index.htm, has a lot of information about the Pilot Knob battle. When I was there, I enjoyed learning more about Price and seeing the artifacts in the museum.

You can read about the Battle of Glasgow on Glasgow’s Lewis Library webpage at LewisLibrary.org/BOG.html. Be sure to click on the link “Memories of Glasgow” which will take you to an article written by my wife’s grandfather, Walter Henderson Sr.

Did you know that Missouri had more Civil War battles than any state, except Virginia and Tennessee? Some say that the Civil War began in Missouri because of the Missouri Compromise and the Dred Scott decision. You can read more at Visitmo.com/missouri-travel/where-the-civil-war-began.aspx.

Something more romantic than the battles of the Civil War would be a visit to one or more of Missouri’s wineries. Before prohibition, Missouri was a major wine producing state. Those wineries either closed or changed to mushroom farms during prohibition. More recently, wine making in Missouri has made a huge comeback. There are currently about 130 commercial wineries in Missouri with more being opened all the time.

Some of these wineries have grouped together to form 11 “wine trails,” which can be explored at MissouriWine.org/wineries. The wine trails are located all over the state, so pace yourself or establish a designated driver as you sample the wines and food. One winery is located in my hometown of Glasgow. Bushwhacker Bend (BushwackerBend.com) produces a great Norton from MIssouri’s premier grape. Gene does a great job with it and also his other wines. If you visit Bushwhacker Bend, have them call me. I’ll come down to meet you.

Finally, this list of 14 romantic spots in Missouri (OnlyInYourState.com/missouri/romantic-spots-mo/) may inspire you. Beautiful photos of places from carriage rides in St. Louis to luxury hotels in Kansas City with B&Bs from Branson to the Lake of the Ozarks will prove tempting.

Be careful as you travel IRL in Missouri, but do get out and enjoy our beautiful state. If we should cross paths at a Civil War site or perhaps while sipping a glass of Missouri Wine, be sure to say hello. That sort of friendliness is a big part of what makes Missouri a wonderful place to live.

J.Y. Miller lives in Glasgow and is a regular contributor to Show-Me Missouri. His e-mail address is jymiller@ShowMeMissouri.net.

Summer 2017

Summer Time and the living is easy! If not easy, at least it will be warm and a great time to travel in Missouri. To aid you in planning some trips, both IRL and online, I have researched some internet sites for you.

When you live on top of the New Madrid Fault, which I did for 27 years in Caruthersville, the thought of an earthquake is never far from your mind. Nearly every day, there is at least a little shake. Most of them are below the threshold of feeling, but sometimes things do shake. In 1811 and 1812, the area experienced the largest earthquake in U.S. recorded history. The New Madrid Historical Museum has information about “The Big One” and much more. Learn more at NewMadridMuseum.com/. In addition to earthquake information, there are exhibits on Native American artifacts, and the Civil War Battle of Island No. 10.

Speaking of the Civil War, when Gen. Sterling Price made an attempt to capture Missouri for the Confederacy, his first major battle on his Missouri campaign was near Pilot Knob at Fort Davidson. Price technically won the battle but suffered huge losses. He began with 12,000 men and 10 percent of them died in the attack on the fort. After the first day, the 1,500 Union forces had lost only 28 men. They were running low on ammunition and during the night, they slipped away after blowing up their powder magazine. In September of 2017, there will be a reenactment of the battle. Read about it at MissouriCivilWar.net/reenactments/index.htm.

The losses caused Price to realize that he could not successfully attack St. Louis, but he did send Generals John Clark and Jo Shelby to attack my town of Glasgow (CivilWarOnTheWesternBorder.org/map/glasgow-missouri.) I often present a slide show about the Battle of Glasgow. The Confederates won this battle and captured weapons and clothing. Price had been the eleventh governor of Missouri and lived near Brunswick, just a little north of Glasgow, and General Clark was a resident of nearby Fayette. Price was defeated at Westport, near Kansas City, and retreated south after his failed campaign. The Westport Visitor Center in Swope Park has more information at BattleOfWestport.org/VisitorCenter.htm.

You could easily take the entire summer to visit Missouri’s many Civil War sites, but you may want to see some other things as well. On August 21, you can see a rare complete solar eclipse. The band of optimum viewing goes from coast to coast and the prime corridor in Missouri goes diagonally across the state. Kansas City and St. Louis are near the edge of this path. Glasgow is very close to the center and will experience total darkness a little after 1 p.m. for more than two minutes. To view a map that gives times for the eclipse, visit GreatAmericanEclipse.com/missouri/.

Use eye protection and do not look directly at the eclipse without it. Glasses can be obtained from many sources at low prices. DO NOT view the eclipse without them.

I know that you have heard things described as “...the greatest thing since sliced bread”. Sliced bread has only been commercially available since 1928, and it began in Chillicothe, Missouri. The Chillicothe Baking Company used a machine called the Rohwedder Bread Slicer to prepare bread for sale. You can read all about this mechanical marvel at ChillicotheCity.org/bread.html. You will find details of summer sliced bread festivals and can order sliced bread T-shirts and other sliced bread souvenirs including a candle that smells like fresh sliced bread.

I hope you have the greatest Missouri summer since sliced bread. If you see me at a Civil War battlefield, watching the eclipse or enjoying a toasted slice of bread, be sure to say hello. Until then, be safe in your travels on the road and online.