Events, General, Get involved

Research resources

Researching history can be fun and here is a resource list to help you get started, as I promised everyone who turned out for the Columbia’s Hidden History talk at the Columbia Public Library at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, June 19.

Don’t forget you can send me your suggestions for research and myth busting at dobrien387@gmail.com

Some important things about research:

  • This is not a definitive list. You’re never done learning and I’m not either. If you have a source or resource you’d like added to the list, just email me at dobrien387@gmail.com.
  • If you want to access the resources at the Boone County Historical Society, The Genealogical Society of Boone County, the MU Archives, the Missouri State Historical Society, call ahead to make sure the archivist or librarians there will have time to help you and/or the organization is open.
  • Remember, it’s OK to ask for help and people at these organizations want to help people do research whether you’re an average Jane or Joe or a journalist like me.
  • Most important — just do it. The worst thing that could happen to you is you’ll become addicted to historical research and what’s so bad about that?

 

Get involved, Missouri Preservation

You can help save history

Each year, Missouri Preservation announces a list of buildings that are in peril of being lost. The deadline for nominations is Aug. 31, 2018.

You can be the eyes and ears of Missouri Preservation, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving Missouri’s unique architectural and historic landmarks.

No need to be an expert. The form is easy to fill out and you can download it here.

Why get involved? If you’ve ever driven by something and wondered what happened to the building that used to be there, you’ve experienced a loss of our history. Sure, not every building deserves to be saved, but we all know the lyrics about tearing down paradise to put up a parking lot.

Location and timing matters

In 2010, a view of 2911 Old 63 S., Annie Fisher home, demolished 2011.
In 2010, a view of 2911 Old 63 S., Annie Fisher home, demolished 2011.

Sometimes a building ends up being demolished because it’s in the wrong place at the wrong time. That’s what I like to think caused the loss of the Annie Fisher’s house on 2911 Old 63 South. The grand building was once the site of Fair Oaks, the restaurant of Annie Fisher, one of Columbia’s first African-American businesswomen. Learn more about Fisher here, including information on the houses she owned that still exist, via this article by the Columbia Tribune published May 20, 2015.

When she operated her business there, it was in the countryside of Boone County. Then Columbia grew and the house was zoned commercial and with a storage operation next door, few people wanted the huge house with all those windows that Fisher loved so much because they allowed her to see the beautiful countryside. The house was demolished in 2011, according to this Columbia Tribune article published Nov. 29, 2011.

Fisher’s home is gone but others don’t have to follow it. Nominate a building or place to Missouri’s Historic Places in Peril by Aug. 31, 2018 to give an old building a chance.

Background on Places in Peril

Originally called Most Endangered, the Places in Peril started off in 2000 as a media campaign designed to highlight endangered buildings. In 2015, the program was rebranded Places in Peril. As the Missouri Preservation website states, “Once the historic resource is gone, it’s gone forever. By publicizing these places we hope to build support towards each property’s eventual preservation.”

Start looking — Aug. 31, 2018 will be here before you know it.