Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Road Trip - Westbound - The Village of Arrow Rock, MO

Arrow Rock is a Missouri River town in the state of Missouri; if you start from St. Louis and head towards Kansas City it's maybe two-thirds of the way there. Its origins are from the days when sons of Daniel Boone started a salt production operation at the location of the nearby Boone's Lick State Historic Site; Arrow Rock was the port town from which salt was shipped down the Missouri. Artisans such as blacksmiths and gunsmiths moved in, as well as physicians, and the town became an important stop for fur traders headed upstream, as well as for travelers along the Santa Fe Trail.

Arrow Rock State Historic Site consists of the restored village of Arrow Rock, plus an excellent visitors center situated at the entrance. The visitors center features a brief orientation video, and very informative exhibits tell the story of early native tribes, the influence of the French and Spanish, the entrance of American settlers led by Daniel Boone and his family, the later development of the town, and its decline after the river's course shifted away from the town, combined with the development of rail transportation.

The Friends of Arrow Rock operate a tram that takes you through the old town for only five dollars. Here are a few pictures from the tour.

The Tavern. You can go in and walk around, and even sit down and order a meal. And be served one. And pay for it.

The River Landing Trail. Goods were brought over this trail to warehouses on the river shore. The Missouri River shifted a mile away from the town, and this ended Arrow Rocks' importance as a stop along the river.

The Calaboose. This is a stone jail, which replaced an earlier one made from logs. Legend has it that the only prisoner ever placed here was a certain drunk, who made such a racket after being locked in here one evening that the townspeople demanded that he be released immediately, which he was.

The Masonic Lodge. There is also a restored Black Masonic Lodge Hall. About a third of Arrow Rock's residents were African American.

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