See history yourself and save a historic road

On Sunday, May 2 p.m., a public forum on a stretch of the historic road, the Boone’s Lick, will take place. The meeting will be in the Midway Locust Grove United Methodist Church at 2600 N. Locust Grove Church Road.

So why plan on attending this event and what does it have to do with Columbia historic homes? I’ll outline a few of my ideas, but want to hear from you. Why do you think this event and the Boone’s Lick Road matter? And what connections have you found from historic homes to trails, roads or other modes of transportation?

Why attend: You’ll have a chance to see a stretch of “road,” that Daniel Boone and many pioneers traveled — the Boone’s Lick Road. The meeting is about a tiny stretch of that road that once stretched from St. Charles to Franklin, Missouri, and was the headwaters, so to speak, of the Santa Fe Trail. The history of the trail is spotlighted by the Boone’s Lick Road Association, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the trail, telling its story and gaining federal recognition of the road as a National Historic Trail.

The portion of the road under discussion is one of the best preserved remaining part of the road that crowds — yes crowds! — of pioneers, traders, merchants and settlers traveled. It is a place where you can see what Missouri and the trail once looked like. But it may not last. Many parts of this trail are now roads, streets or even lost in the woods or fields.

The portion of the former Boone’s Lick Road was given to Boone County by the Sanders and Powell families according to this May 1, 2014 article in in the Columbia Missourian headlined “Public forum to discuss preservation of Boone’s Lick Road Historic Area.”

Columbia’s historic homes:

Roads are lifelines, and the Boone’s Lick Road bears this out. This house at 1312 W. Broadway, is the former Booneslick Inn, and was once on the pioneer trail, the Boone’s Lick Road.

This house at 1312 W. Broadway, is the former Booneslick Inn, and was once on the pioneer trail, the Boone's Lick Road. It was named to the Columbia, Missouri Notable Properties List in 2004. Image used with permission. FitzImages Photography/City of Columbia HPC.

This house at 1312 W. Broadway, is the former Booneslick Inn, and was once on the pioneer trail, the Boone’s Lick Road. It was named to the Columbia, Missouri Notable Properties List in 2004. Image used with permission. FitzImages Photography/City of Columbia HPC.

It is a private home now, but once you know it was once an inn, can never not see that past reality again. The Gordon home, now gone, destroyed by fire, was where Stephen’s Lake Park is now. These homes were along what were the major highways of that era. While today, many people value a home built from from traffic, historically homes or taverns on a main road were more valued. At that time, the main modes of transportation were walking, horseback or via wagon. A home or inn along a well-traveled trek got the news, the goods, and in terms of a tavern, the commerce first.

Today, we value being out of the way, back then, they valued being on the way.

So, do you think we should preserve the Boone’s Lick Road? What is about the road that is valuable — or isn’t? Any roads you’ve found preserved you’d like others to know about? Drop me a note or comment below.

 

 

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