Saturday, January 16, 2016

Charming Rocheport, Missouri Has Lots of History

When we were in Columbia before Christmas, we enjoyed a drive around the countryside. Some of the areas we visited have recently flooded. This little statuary was barely within sight of the river that day.

When I did a search of flooding in this little village of Rocheport, I did not find recent information, so perhaps it was spared this time. It was a charming place that has made its latest dollar on tourism generated by the Katy Trail, a walking-bike trail that runs the old MKT (Missouri-Kansas-Texas) rail line across the state of Missouri. The Katy Trail is the longest rail trail in the country at 240 miles.

This bridge and tunnel are part of the trail.

The sign shown above tells of Indian pictographs that Lewis and Clark observed and recorded here. When the railroad created the  tunnel, they blasted the pictographs and all that are left are the records.

The pole in the rock above the tunnel appeared to be a telegraph pole.

Further along the river bank, was the site of the old train station. It has been rebuilt to provide rest rooms and signage.

There was information about steamboats on the Missouri. Check out the Western Engineer!

I read that the design was specifically made to strike fear in the hearts of the natives, known to attack the boats. Major Stephen H. Long was commissioned by the Secretary of War in March of 1819 to explore the country between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains. One report said that they were the first expedition of scientists and artists into the area and that they brought back east samples and at least 270 drawings of indigenous alpine flora, new species of wolf and coyote, fossils, insects and geographical information. Long named Long's Peak for himself in Colorado.

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