Black History, Cemeteries, Events, Get involved, Missouri Preservation, Tours

Coming up: Listening sessions, a party, cemetery history and state conference

  • 6 p.m., Tuesday, May 14, 2019, & 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 21 — Boone County is holding listening sessions to get community input for its bicentennial celebration. Here’s a news release about the May 14 listening session to be held in the Centralia City Hall Community Room at 114 S. Rollins St., in Centralia. Here’s a link to the news release about the May 21 session to be held in the Activity and Recreation Center (ARC), meeting room C at 1701 W. Ash St. in Columbia
  • The release states:
    “Local artist/educator Stacy Self (Wildy World) will be creating a large mural in the shape of Boone County that depicts 200 years of Boone County history. Self, well-known for her work creating murals as community collaborations, will divide the entire space into pieces, each representing distinct geographic sections of the County. For each piece, she will seek community input about what is unique and important about that area. Based on that input, Self will design the artwork and then the community will be invited to return and paint its portion of the mural. After all pieces are complete, they will be joined to form the “map” of Boone County, which will be on display during 2020 in the Boone County History & Culture Center. At the close of the Bicentennial Year, the pieces will be given to the communities that created them, where they will be displayed for posterity.” For more information, contact Janet Thompson at jthompson@boonecountymo.org or 573-886-4309.
  • 5-8 p.m. Saturday, May 18 — 155th Birthday Party for John William “Blind” Boone in the historic Boone house at 10 N. Fourth St. The free event will include food and music and an opportunity to see the stunning restoration of this Victorian home.
  • 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 23, 2019 — The Mayor’s Task Force on the Bicentennial Celebration will meet in the Walton Building at 300 S. Providence Road. The task force is planning the celebration of Columbia’s 200th anniversary. The meeting is open to the public. The task force was launched in February of 2018.  It announced three goals for its plans: diversity, creating a lasting tribute to the 200 years of Columbia’s history and having a fun celebration.
  • 1-4 p.m. Monday, May 27, 2019 — History Comes Alive. This free, family friendly event is in its third year. Held at the Columbia Cemetery, the event features actors portraying well-known Columbians. This year’s roster includes agricultural entrepreneur Henry Kirklin, architect Mary Louise Hale Lafon, suffragist Helen Guthrie, businessman Jefferson Garth, educator and legislator David H. Hickman and entrepreneur Frederick Niedermeyer. This event is sponsored by Friends of the Historic Columbia Cemetery, a nonprofit.
  • June 19-June 21, 2019 — Missouri Preservation annual conference in St. Joseph, Missouri. Each year, Missouri Preservation, a state nonprofit dedicated to education, advocacy and assistance, holds a conference. The conference highlights preservation efforts and provides education and networking opportunities. Anyone can attend. The conference costs between $75 and $230 depending on how much of the conference you plan to attend. Register here. The organization’s full name is the Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation and it is headquartered in St. Louis.

 

Black History, Cemeteries, CoMo200, Events, Get involved, Historic Hours, Historic Preservation Commission, News Roundup, Sacred Spaces, Women

Events: Park meeting, preservation, DNA, birthday party and cemetery gets lively

Get out the slow cooker and shuffle your take-out menus, you’re going to be busy this month!

  • 7 p.m. Monday, May 6, 2019 — Columbia City Council is meeting and the expansion of Flat Branch Park is up for discussion. The meeting will be held in Council Chambers at 701 E. Broadway. How’s history connected here? The park expansion is part of plans to celebrate Columbia’s bicentennial in 2021, and park construction is set to start next year. At the heart of the matter is more parking for the commercial building at Providence and Broadway owned by Mark Stevenson. The building is the former Ice House, which has been at the heart of a building controversy before. The building has been saved, but now the question is how much parking where. Tonight’s meeting will cover the four different options highlighted in this article, “Parking spaces at center of debate in Flat Branch Park expansion project,” published in the Columbia Missourian on May 5, 2019.
  • 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, 2018DNA for Genealogists, a program featuring international genealogy consultant Kathleen Brandt will be held at the Columbia Public Library. Free and open to the public, the event announcement states Brandt will help people unscramble DNA which test might be right for you and help people look for their ancestry including Native American or Jewish ancestry.
  • 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, 2019Historic Preservation Commission meeting. in Conference Room 1C at City Hall. This group helps guide the city’s preservation efforts. It meets monthly and topics on this month’s agenda include demolition permits, a follow up on 917, 919 W. Broadway and 14 N. West Blvd., and plans for a window workshop. This meeting is open to the public.
  • 5-8 p.m. Saturday, May 18155th Birthday Party for John William “Blind” Boone in the historic Boone house at 10 N. Fourth St. The free event will include food and music and an opportunity to see the stunning restoration of this Victorian home.
  • 1-4 p.m. Monday, May 27, 2019History Comes Alive. This free, family friendly event is in its third year. Held at the Columbia Cemetery, the event features actors portraying well-known Columbians. This year’s roster includes agricultural entrepreneur Henry Kirklin, architect Mary Louise Hale Lafon, suffragist Helen Guthrie, businessman Jefferson Garth, educator and legislator David H. Hickman and entrepreneur Frederick Niedermeyer. This event is sponsored by Friends of the Historic Columbia Cemetery, a nonprofit.

 

Columbia Historic Preservation Commission, Events, Get involved, Historic Preservation Commission, Missouri Preservation, Missouri State Historical Society

Events: African American newspapers, National Register changes, State preservation conference

Mark your calendar:

  • 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 30 — The African American Press in Missouri, a lecture about African American newspapers in Missouri. The presentation will be given by Debra Foster Greene, Lincoln University professor emerita of history. From 1875 to 1970, Missouri had more than 60 black-owned newspapers. The event is free and will be held in the Stotler Lounge in the Memorial Student Union. It will start with light refreshment at 6 p.m., with the lecture at 6:30 p.m. and an opportunity to meet Greene at 7:30 p.m. This event is sponsored by the State Historical Society of Missouri.
  • 11:59 p.m. (E.T.) Tuesday, April 30 — Deadline to comment on changes to the National Register of Historic Places. According to this April 26, 2019 article in Forbes magazine, new rules are to be put in place that will make it more difficult to have places placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Being on the Register does not protect a property fro demolition, but it can make it eligible for tax incentives. The two changes call for making it possible for one landowner within an area to “override the consensus of the population of an entire district.” It would also change the rules for nominating properties that are controlled by Federal agencies, making it impossible for local agencies to “advocate for sites within their own communities.”
  • 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, 2019 — The Historic Preservation Commission of the city of Columbia will hold its regular monthly meeting in Conference Room 1B in City Hall at 701 E. Broadway. The HPC is designed to educate and inform the community about the city’s “historical, archeological and architectural heritage,” according to the city’s website. The HPC also “investigates and recommends to the Council the adoption of ordinances…” Meetings of the HPC are open to the public.
  • June 19-21, 2019 — Registration for the Missouri Preservation’s annual conference is open. The event will be held in St. Joseph, Missouri and work sessions range from saving brick buildings to tax credits to window restoration and repair. The event is $75 for one day, $150 for two days and $230 for the entire event. Missouri Preservation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to education, advocation and assistance. Transparency note: I attended this event last year and found it education and valuable.
Get involved, University of Missouri

1949 and 1959: Photos of Columbia

Want to see what Columbia looked like to photographers of the Missouri Photo Workshop in 1949 and 1959? I found the images stunning.

Photographers come from across the U.S. and around the world to participate in this Workshop at the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism. Since 1949, Workshop participants have gone to a small town in Missouri each year to documenting lives there, according to an announcement on the Missouri School of Journalism Facebook page posted today.

Twice, Columbia was the town documented. These links to 1949 and 1959 will take you to a slideshow of haunting views of Columbia.

If you’re not from Columbia, here’s a link to find other towns which were featured.

There are no captions, only images. But I find myself wondering who are these people. Where are they today? Do they see themselves? Do they see our lives in 1949 or 1959?

Do you know them? Can you identify them?

 

 

Black History, Boone County Bicentennial, CoMo200, Events, General, Get involved, National Register of Historic Places, Notable Properties List, University of Missouri

Seven ways to use this website

If you’re a regular reader, thanks! If you’re not, here are seven ways this website can help you and will convince you to follow this website.

  1. First, I keep up with and post any news and events related to history on the page “All Media Coverage.” That’s why this week’s list includes information on upcoming meetings to mark the Boone County bicentennial. All the news comes from reliable news outlets such as KOMU.com, the Columbia Daily Tribune or the Columbia Missourian.  Note, I’m a one-person show, so I’m not perfect. If you see something missing, send me a note or comment below. I’m a keen fan of crowd-sourced knowledge!
  2. Forgot that important happening or upcoming event? Use the All Media Coverage page to refresh your memory.
  3. Only interested in Black history? I got a page for you that I keep updated. There’s an update today! Really want to follow BoCo200 or CoMo200 information? I’ve got a page about that, too. In today’s update, there’s a link to one of the most moving articles I’ve read about the links to slavery common icons have. Those columns at MU? Not such a beautiful site since I now know they were likely built with slave labor.
  4. Not keen on the news? Only want to find out what buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places or the city’s Notable Properties List? No problem. Houses, Apartments, Areas, Buildings, Schools including the University of Missouri, Stephens College and Columbia College all have their own pages. Each page is organized by address so you can find out if that cute house that looks fresh out of a fairy tale at 121 N. West Boulevard is on the National Register.  Spoiler: It’s not.
  5. Can’t be bothered with looking at this website? I understand. We’re all busy. You can sign up for emails whenever I post something.
  6. In love with Facebook like I am? You can find my posts there along with other information as I catch it.
  7. You can send me questions or comments and I’ll try to find answers for you. I have uncovered primary documents proving that David Guitar of 2815 Oakland Gravel Road never served in the Confederacy. An owner of the house during the 1940s renamed the house Confederate Hill, but the original owner of the house never fought against the Union forces. I’ve found a downtown building built by the first Korean student at the University of Missouri. Do you have a question you’d like answered? Let me know and I’ll try to find the answer.

Here’s this week’s news roundup. Enjoy!

  • April 20, 2019 — Center unveils historic photo collection. Source: Columbia Daily Tribune. Summary: Immigrants. A mother. A Reconstruction-period soldier. These images are among the historic photographs on display in the exhibit “Faces Found: Boone County Portraits 1886-1940,” at the Boone County History and Culture Center.
  • April 18, 2019 — Bicentennial mural project meeting in Sturgeon. Source: Columbia Daily Tribune. A meeting is set for April 27, 2019 in the Sturgeon Christian Church Fellowship Hall to seek input about what should be in the mural artist Stacy Self will create for the 200th anniversary of the founding of Boone County.
  • April 14, 2019 — Rude Awakenings: Invisible chains hang on our iconic columns. Source: Columbia Daily Tribune. Summary: An article noting the African-American history that goes unnoticed. For example, the columns left standing in the Quadrangle of the University of Missouri are from a building built in 1839, most likely using enslaved labor. The article notes that in 1830 nearly a quarter of the Boone County population were slaves. The article calls for making sure the history of blacks are not ignored during the bicentennial celebrations.
  • April 12, 2019 — Boone bicentennial plans moving ahead. Source: Columbia Daily Tribune. Summary: Reporting on plans developed for celebrating Boone County’s 200th anniversary. Those plans include having a mural created with input from various Boone County towns. For example, Hallsville residents want representations of Native Americans from the Osage Tribe and a 1963 explosion included. Boone County was created in 1820. The mural will hang in the Boone County History and Culture Center.
  • April 12, 2019 — Letter to the Editor: Looking for new Good Old Boys. Source: Columbia Daily Tribune. Summary: Men who meet at Midway Truck Stop are looking for men to join them for dinner, as many members have left. The meal is at 5:30 p.m. in the cafe. The next meeting will be Monday, May 6.
CoMo200, Events, Get involved

Get a peek at a park and mark your calendar WAY ahead

Get out your 2021 calendar and mark it now. Really. The celebration of Columbia’s bicentennial is set for May 2021 and last week, the design for a park expansion set to mark the CoMo200 celebration was given the OK by The Downtown Leadership Council.

Not so fast. The plan still needs approval by the Columbia City Council. The plan will come before the city council on May 6.

Here’s a peek at the proposed park.

Already parking has surfaced as a potential problem with the park plan. According to this coverage published on April3, 2019 by ABC17News.com, a public comment on the proposed plan states the owner of the historic Columbia Ice House at the corner of Providence and Broadway wants to preserve more parking spaces along Providence Road.

The land where the disputed parking is located is owned by the city, the article notes.

Set to complain the city is wasting money on parks? Think again. The city purchased the land for $1 million, but the park development will be privately funded.

Wondering what the heck CoMo200 is?

Here’s the skinny.

  • Ongoing — The taskforce has been meeting monthly. See this city page for meeting times. All meetings of the entire taskforce are open to the public.
  • The members of the taskforce have changed.
  • A Facebook page and website have been developed. Working groups to collect content and plan publicity and events have been working.
  • November 2018 — A kickoff event was held to mark the founding of Smithton, a settlement which moved due to a lack of water and renamed itself Columbia.
  • Here’s a pdf of the speech Mayor Brian Treece gave at the event which outlines the founding of Smithton.
  • February 2018 — Members to the taskforce to plan the celebration for Columbia’s 200th anniversary were named in February 2018.
  • December 2017 –A resolution creating the taskforce approved by city council. It outlined the purpose and plans of the group.

Sparkle or sputter? It’s up to you.

Here’s the greatest danger to the celebration of Columbia’s bicentennial: You. Yup. If you don’t get involved, it won’t be the celebration we all want.

Every person on the taskforce and the working groups is a volunteer. The History Working Group, of which I’m a member, is open to ideas and volunteers.

Got something, someone, someplace that should be remembered as part of the celebration? Let me know here, go to the website and sign up or check out the Facebook page.

The History Working Group meets at 5 p.m. the third Tuesday of the month in City Hall Conference Room C. Or send me an email. A tweet. A text message. A smoke signal. (Just kidding about the smoke signal.)

Columbia’s history is all about you.

 

Apartments, Black History, Columbia Historic Preservation Commission, Events, Get involved, Historical Homes

Meeting Saturday: Saving my father’s bookcase

On Saturday, April 6, you’re invited to help write Columbia’s action plan for historic preservation at a meeting from 10 – 11:45 a.m. It will be held in the historic J.W. “Blind” Boone House at 10 N. Fourth Street. Free coffee and snacks will start the event at 9:45 a.m.

It’s a chance to be heard by the Historic Preservation Commission members and help write how we as residents of Columbia want to preserve our history.

So, what do you think should be the city’s priorities? How do you think historic preservation could benefit you? Reply here or on the city’s Historic Preservation Commission’s Facebook page.

Why this is important: My father’s bookcase

For me, historic preservation comes back to my father’s bookcase. When my brothers and I were cleaning out my mother’s house, long after my father had died, one of them held up this battered bookcase/table combination. It didn’t look like much. It was painted a generic white. Clearly, it had seen better days. But just before my brothers tossed it into the dumpster, I said, “I think Dad made that in shop in high school.” We all stopped. “Really? I didn’t know that,” one of my brothers said. “Yeah, I think so,” I said.

We kept it. That’s what historic preservation is all about to me. It wasn’t the bookcase itself. There are lots of small white bookcases in the world. But it was the fact that my father made it — and trust me he wasn’t a master craftsman when he made that bookcase. It gave us a chance to remember and talk about a man who loved and cared for his family the best way he knew how, working long hours, two jobs and repairing everything himself.

Columbia’s bookcases

    • If you were around in 2000/2001, you may remember we almost lost Stephens Park to development. Instead, a city government-citizen partnership provided the push and funding to allow the purchase of this land for one of our city’s most beautiful parks.
    • Or maybe you recall the near loss in 2013 of the Neidermeyer Apartments
    • We’ll be holding the meeting one of the city’s most important historic preservation wins, a journey that took 16 years, the J.W. “Blind” Boone House.

If we’d lost the Boone house, we would have lost the reminder of a man who was born in 1864, the child of a contraband former slave and a Union army bugler. Boone went on to tour the country as a classical and ragtime composer and musician becoming one of the richest men in Boone County before his 1927 death. 

What “bookcases” in Columbia do you want to save? How can the HPC better serve you? What partners should the Commission be seeking?

Let’s have coffee on Saturday and talk about it. I’ll be there to tell you more about my Dad.