Wednesday, August 26, 2020

De Lassus, Missouri | Forgotten Settlements


Couple at the De Lassus Depot, early 1900s

     Hello everyone, and welcome back to the blog!  It's been a while, and I am so glad to see you again.  Before we get into today's article, I want to thank all of my readers for being so supportive and patient during this break.  As most of you know, I deal with physical health issues.  Back in spring, I found myself in a poor health state.  I needed to take some time away from my work to get to a better place.  I have had a great recovery, and am so excited to bring you new content that I hope you will love!

     As you may have noticed, this is the first installment in a new series!  Not to anyone's surprise, I am a big fan of small, bypassed, and historic areas.  If you're new, you may not know about my Small Town Saturday series.  In that series, I write about small towns and villages with populations under 1,000.  This series is called Forgotten Settlements, and will have a similar theme and layout to Small Town Saturday.  The different element of this series, is the communities featured will be abandoned, bypassed, or left to wither in time.  There will be locations you may have heard of, and some you haven't.  I'm very eager for this project, and hope you enjoy!

De Lassus, 2020

     Today's location is the community of De Lassus (also spelled DeLassus) in St. Francois County, Missouri.  De Lassus is located primarily within modern-day Farmington, with some of the community lying on the outskirts of the city limit.  You can find De Lassus by traveling on Highway 221 from Farmington, and turning on De Lassus Road less than one mile to the left.

     De Lassus was first platted in 1869, when the railroad was extended to that point.  At this time, the land was an estate granted by Spain, to Charles de Hault de Lassus de Luziere.  Charles was the last Spanish Lieutenant Governor of Upper Louisiana.  With this land grant, Charles made a plan for a prosperous city, one that could compete with nearby Farmington. 

De Lassus Depot, early 1900s

     The railroad extension through De Lassus was crucial for the town's founding, but De Lassus was not the first choice for this extension.  When the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railroad were creating plans for this new branch line, Farmington was chosen as a stop.  Officials in Farmington were keen on this idea, as the railroad would add another valuable asset to the city.  Though while plans began for this new project, Farmington officials made an interesting choice to aid in funding the construction.  Residents of Farmington were prompted to purchase railroad bonds, and this idea was heavily marketed to every social and financial class.  Though officials were optimistic, this proposition didn't go over as well as they had hoped.  The residents of Farmington promptly refused to purchase these bonds.  There were a few reasons for this response, a main reason being the U.S. was just 4 years out of the Civil War, causing financial strain on most families throughout the country.  This predicament was fatal for the railroad plans, and caused the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railroad to pull out completely. 

     Thankfully for the railroad, they caught wind of an up and coming town just two miles away where the branch line could be directed.  Soon, De Lassus became a stop on the Belmont Branch of the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railroad, which now detoured Farmington completely.  This was amazing for the small village, bringing jobs, residents, and notoriety.  By 1870, a post office was opened under the name De Lassus, and the growth began. 

     Alanzo and Lizzie Overall (and family) next to their newly built home, 1895 (Photo courtesy of Gena Overall Sweeney)

     As the late 1800's progressed, De Lassus was doing well.  The town now consisted of 28 city blocks, two being set aside for commercial buildings.  Families were moving into the area, building homes and founding farms.  Small businesses popped up along the streets, providing for the locals.  Things were going so well, that De Lassus offcials, inculding Charles de Hault de Lassus de Luziere, grew their ambitions even further.  During this time, a proposition was made to move the county seat from Farmington to De Lassus, including building a brand new courthouse.  Although residents found this admirable, the idea was quickly denied and dismissed.  

     Regardless to this setback, progress was still being made in the town.  De Lassus became a very important railroad shipping point, a crucial asset for both Farmington and Doe Run.  This created several jobs for locals, positions that would last for decades.  Even in the railroad's final years, the segment which ran through De Lassus would aid the nearby State Hospital, (now Southeast Missouri Mental Health Center) by delivering goods such as coal, which the entire hospital campus ran electricity and boilers on.

De Lassus Tornado Damage

     With all of this rich, 19th century history in De Lassus, you may wonder why nearly all of the existing architecture dates no earlier than the 20th century.  This is due to a nearly forgotten tragedy that shook the De Lassus community in the early 1900's.  Between 10:00pm and 11:00pm on April 15th, 1912, a tornado touched down in St. Francois County.  Most towns and communities would come out unscathed, De Lassus was not so lucky.  The tornado ripped through De Lassus, destroying nearly all of the town.  Homes and businesses were flattened, along with several reported injuries.  The railroad freight house was completely swept away, the depot was severely damaged, and the De Lassus Hotel was beyond repair.  Among this devastation, the community banded together to rebuild.  The lumber from the hotel was repurposed to build new homes for the Overall, Yancy, Hill, and Cole families.  All four of which are still standing today!  The best news of all being, there were no reported fatalities. 

Lizzie Overall and son Donald Overall in front of rebuilt home, c. 1920 (Photo courtesy of Gena Overall Sweeney)

     After the reconstruction of the town, De Lassus continued to be home to the railroad, several businesses, and a school.  The Delassus School taught first through eighth grade, and graduated hundreds of children over the decades.  De Lassus contributed to the 144 8th grade graduates in the area in 1949, the last year of operation before consolidating with the Farmington School District.  Many former students have fond memories of the school, and their education there.  My daddy went to school there and graduated from eighth grade there. He talked about how so many of the teachers were very young girls, often only a year or two older than some of the seventh and eighth graders” - Linda Russell on Facebook.

De Lassus School, c. 1900

Around the mid 1900's, changes started to arise for the local railroad. In 1904, the city of Farmington created their own solution to being bypassed by the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railroad. This solution would be an electric trolley system that ran throughout the city. These trolleys would primarily transport passengers, and was popular for doing so. Although by the 1940's, the electric railway was in desperate need for expansion. The city of Farmington and the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railroad would agree to connect their lines, creating a larger rail system. This allowed train access between Farmington, Hurryville, and De Lassus. Passengers were now able to board a train at the Washington Street Depot in Farmington, and be taken to the depot in De Lassus.

Map depicting the former Farmington/De Lassus Line (dashed line represents the railroad in relation to the modern day area)

In 1947, the Farmington railway was officially dieselized, as most railroads were doing at this time. This meaning that the electric trolleys were swapped out for diesel locomotives, which opened great opportunity for the area. At this time, De Lassus was still a major freight hub for the county, processing and shipping nearly all of the area's goods. With the approved dieselization, freight trains could now travel from De Lassus into Farmington directly by rail. This was a breakthrough for both Farmington and De Lassus, heightening the function of both cities. I am blessed to say that there is rare footage of this railway in use, as trains travel between Farmington and De Lassus. This film dates to the late 1940's, and I suggest everyone give it a watch! Click here to see the video.

Because the presence of the railroad in De Lassus existed until the mid 1900's, several residents and former residents have memories regarding this. “When I was young, we lived in the old feed store just to the right of the road on the right side of the depot. The building was owned by Lorris and Ruth Cole. It was torn down years ago. There was generally a freight wagon parked on this side of the depot. They were big and heavy. I remember the older men used to gather on the wagon and tell tales. I loved those guys and was constantly running down there to talk to them. Then my poor mother would have to come get me and take me home. She came after me with a switch one time because I had ignored her calling me. Those men gave her a hard time about the switch. As I recall the switch was only a prop (threat). She never used it.” - Linda Russell on Facebook.

     Also during this time, there were still several businesses that called De Lassus home.  One of the most memorable being the feed store owned by the Pratt family.  “The feed store was right down by the railroad tracks you would pass to get down to the river. I grew up in that wonderful little spot on the map. Things sure have changed a lot.” - Marla Hammers recalls.

Coordinate Pin Point of Cemetery Location

Although the city of De Lassus is no longer, there are still several things that can be seen within the community that tells its story. From historic homes, to small businesses, to loving churches. Though my favorite relics are those that you may not see at first glance. Such as the old railbed that is visible from Delassus road, the very one that lived and died with this town. That piece of land saw all of the prosperity, hardships, success, and dwindle. I also must mention the Delassus Cemetery, which many have no knowledge of. The Delassus cemetery has been unkept since 2005, and is no longer visible to the road. On the contrary, from my findings it is still a public cemetery that may be visited. There is at least 56 recorded graves, with the oldest having a death date of 1872. The cemetery location is several feet off of the corner of 4th street and Delassus Road. If you decide to visit, I suggest going in winter to minimize the threat of injury and animal bites.

St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railroad Railbed visible from Delassus Road, 2020

     De Lassus may not be a county or state recognized settlement anymore, but anyone who lives in or near the former town can tell you that this tight knit community is alive and well!  Still proudly representing the name, the people of De Lassus are not going anywhere.  My goal with this series is to bring the spotlight back to these forgotten places, that still have so much to say.  I suggest everyone pay De Lassus a visit, just to cruise along the hidden streets and admire the relics of a once booming city. 

     Thank you all for reading, I do hope you enjoyed and learned something new.  I'd love to hear your feedback, and your requests for future installments of this series.  I'd also be thrilled to hear any stories, memories, or photos you have on De Lassus!  Until next time.

Jennie Moore


Sunday, April 26, 2020

My Top 10 Christian Songs | Fun in Faith

     This post is dedicated to Alex Huff, Carlee Cureton, and Tracy Thomas for helping my expand my music taste to be more beneficial to me as a person.

     Hello everyone, and welcome back to the blog!  As many of you know, I have recently dedicated my life to Christ.  I will make a dedicated post to my journey at a later date, explaining my process, life changes, and inspiration.  Something that has helped me grow my relationship with God, is music.  My life has revolved around music since birth, but I have never been one to enjoy Christian songs.  Upon beginning my journey, I made a point to expand my horizons.  I have now grown to love Christian music, with it being one of my favorite ways to worship.  Here are my top 10 favorite Christian songs that I have discovered so far! 

10. Glorious Day by Passion, Kristian Stanfill

     I discovered this song merely a few days ago, which is why it ranks at number 10 on the list.  This is such a feel good song, with great instrumentation.  I stumbled across this upbeat tune on my dear friend Carlee's TikTok (iloveyousmiley), and immediately put it on my playlist.  This is an awesome song to listen to when you're wanting to feel the joy of God's presence! 

9. Only Jesus by Casting Crowns

     Casting Crowns is a well known Christian group, that makes contemporary rock music.  After listening to this album, I have to say, I get the hype.  Although their mostly known for more upbeat songs, this more tame tune really speaks to me.

8. God's Not Dead by Newsboys

     Yes friends, there was a song before the movie.  I originally heard this song at the age of 12, when attending church.  I loved it then, but I slowly forgot about about it as I grew older.  Now at the age of 18, I have rediscovered this song, and it's as good as I remember.

7. God Girl by Jamie Grace

     Like other songs on this list, this was also a TikTok find.  This is a feel good song for all my gal pals out there.  This song always makes me grateful for how amazing it is to be a God girl.

6. Fear Is a Liar by Zach Williams

     In my opinion, Zach Williams is one of the best Christian artists of all time.  His songs hold a special place in my heart, this being one of them.  A family friend, Tracy, showed me Zach's music in a time of darkness, and has since become a staple in my life.  This song has such a deep meaning, and a lesson that we all need to learn.  Thanks, Tracy!

5. Reckless Love by Maranatha! Music, Adam Smucker

     Okay, okay, I know this is a basic choice, but this song is popular for a reason!  This song was recommended to me by Carlee, and I liked it off the bat.  Although, it didn't take on its special meaning until hearing a church of 100 people sing it together.  The voices bouncing from the rafters echoed in my heart, and that service became a turning point for me.

4. Nobody by Casting Crowns, Matthew West

     If there is a song that will make me dance, its this one.  This song just fills me with the Holy Spirit, and always boosts my mood.  This is a great song about spreading the word, and not having fear about your physical fate.

3. Love Broke Thru by TobyMac

     I have been hearing TobyMac's name for years, but this is my first venture into his music.  I really love this song, because it always brings me the warmth of God's love.  I will definitely be diving into more by TobyMac!

2. Amazing Grace - HGHTS Remix by Hyper Fenton, Moflo Music, HGHTS

     Talk about a happy song.  If you are ever feeling down, don't hesitate to put this tune on.  This song is a modern pop sound with a positive reminder appropriate for any occasion.  Of course, I also found this on TikTok.

1. Chain Breaker by Zach Williams

     Unlike most lists, there was a clear winner for the number one spot.  I can listen to this anytime, anywhere.  It has brought ease into hard times, and peace into overwhelming moments.  The message in this song perfectly describes my journey to a better life, as God has broken my chains.  I was unaware of most of my chains, until God removed them.  I recommend this tune to anyone and everyone, no matter where you are in your journey. 

     I really hope y'all enjoyed this list, and find some new music to listen to!  I still have a lot of discovering to do, so please feel free to share your favorites with me.  I am always open to suggestions, especially when it comes to music.  Thank you all for reading, and making the blog possible.

Covid-19 Update

     I want to take a moment to address how Covid-19 will impacting the blog/instagram.  For the most part, you will not see much change in my content.  I do though want to make a disclaimer that any posts on travel and social events are not current.  During this time, I will be pulling photos and topics from previous excursions.  Some fashion content such as thrifting lookbooks may be delayed, as well as some Small Town Saturday etc. posts as all interviews will have to be conducted via social media.  Though I will still be putting out content consistent to my usual standards, it may just be out of order from my original projection.  Stay home, and stay safe, friends.

With love,

Monday, April 13, 2020

Glamlite Cake Palette Review | Jennie’s Vanity 
Glamlite Cake Palette

     Hi everyone, and welcome back to the blog!  Today's post is pretty exciting, as it is my first post in my beauty series, "Jennie's Vanity"!  As most of you know, I have had a love for cosmetics for years.  Makeup artistry has been one of my most dedicated hobbies, and I decided it was time to take it one step further.  I have been posting my makeup looks on my social media for years, and have always dreamed of going more in depth. In this series I will be sharing all things beauty, from reviews, to favorites, to hauls.  When a Jennie's Vanity post goes up, there will be a corresponding post on my social media.  I hope y'all enjoy this new series!


     Glamlite Cosmetics is a brand that I have had my eye on for a while.  They are known for their unique style branding, and iconic products such as the Burger Palette.  Glamlite's products have been reviewed by the most popular beauty gurus, like Nikkie Tutorials and Jeffree Star.  After announcing their newest release, the Cake Palette, I knew it was time to get my hands on the magic of Glamlite.  The Cake Palette is a brightly colored eyeshadow palette of 20 shades, that  retails for $40.00 on I had spoken on my Instagram about the Cake Palette being the newest addition to my wish list, and it had fallen on the most generous of eyes.  My close friend Anna was kind enough to purchase and gift this palette to me.  For that I cannot thank her enough, and it makes this palette all the more special.

     First things first, I have to appreciate how quickly the palette arrived.  It only took three days for the palette to depart from Glamlite, and arrive at my home.  It was well and safely packaged, with no harm to the product in transit.  I have to praise the box that the palette comes in, as many brands don't put as much work into the outer carton like Glamlite.  The packaging is well thought out, creative, and overall a touch I really appreciated.  It goes without saying that the interior of the palette is gorgeous, with the eye immediately being drawn to the brightly colored eyeshadows.  I really love the color story of this palette, it is without a doubt a product that inspires me to create.


     Upon diving in, I found the matte shadows to be very well pigmented, and easy to pick up on the brush.  It dispersed a fair amount of product, without too much fallout.  I first applied the shade "Key Lime" into the crease, defusing it up toward the brow bone.  I then dipped into shade "Icy Mint", putting that in the crease and blending it just under the first shade, leaving the edge of "Key Lime" still visible. For the final matte shade, and the one I was most excited about, I applied "Birthday Cake" in the lower crease, outer V, and outer lid.  This shade is the star of the palette in my opinion, and without a doubt one of the most impressive matte blue shades I have ever used. All of the matte shades translated well on the eyes, staying true to the color they appeared in the pan.  The mattes were even, and easy to blend. 

     I have to say, I am a fan of bright colors, and I am almost always wearing some kind of colorful eyeshadow.  I find that brightly colored eyeshadows can be very hit and miss, especially from brand to brand, but the matte shades of the Cake Palette are definitely a hit.  

     When it came time to add some shimmer into the look, I was eager to dip in.  I cut my crease with concealer and decided to go in with shade "Blueberry".  It applied well and stood out on the eye, but of course, I decided it needed more.  I then applied shade "Lavender" over shade "Blueberry" which gave it a light duo-chrome shift that was to die for.  The last shade I added, also a shimmer, was "Blue Raspberry".  I put that shade on the edge of the shimmers to make the transition into "Birthday Cake" a little more cohesive.  The shimmers applied beautifully, with an almost creamy texture.  I find that they apply best with a finger like most shimmers do, but could be applied with a brush if you have the patience to layer up the product. 

     I am eager to say that both formulas performed well, and Glamlite's shadow formula's as a whole are right on target for my standards.  The only disclaimer is that the eyeshadows may stain.  This is not uncommon for brightly colored eyeshadows, are will not cause any harm.  I noticed pink staining on the lid where "Blueberry" and Lavender" were applied, and I noticed staining from shade "Birthday Cake" on the outer lid.  The staining was mild and faded away withing a few hours, and could easily could be covered with foundation or concealer in the meantime.  It is also important to note that I am very fair complected, so someone of a darker skin tone may not experience staining at all.  I personally don't mind the staining and it will not deter me from a good product, though I thought it was worth mentioning.

Final Thoughts & Photos:

     Overall, I really enjoyed using the Cake Palette, and it will absolutely have a home in my collection.  This product not only meets, but exceeds my personal standards.  I was able to create a look I was very happy with, and I'm eager to keep creating with this palette.  I would recommend this product to anyone looking for bright, colorful, and well performing eyeshadows.  I feel that the array of shades provide the perfect variety of color, and endless creative opportunity.  I will continue to share my look using this palette, and can't wait to see what Glamlite does next. 

     Thank you all so much for reading, and I hope you are feeling inspired to dip into your makeup and be creative.  I hope y'all enjoyed the first post in this new series, and tune into the next installment.  I can't thank my followers enough for giving me the opportunity to pursue and share my art. Thank you.
     With love, Jennie

Monday, February 3, 2020

Twelve Mile Creek Emporium | Small Business Sunday

Photo courtesy of Pamela Allen

     Hi everyone, and welcome back to the blog!  Today, I'm going to be sharing a location that holds a special place in my heart.  This is Twelve Mile Creek Emporium, Wine Cottage, and Bed and Breakfast in Caledonia, Missouri.  Twelve Mile Creek is a family owned business with something for everyone.  Not only do they offer the amenities in the title, but they also offer home decor, freshly made meals, baked goods, and locally made products of all kinds.   

     In addition to the wonderful business itself, Twelve Mile Creek resides in a historic landmark.  This building goes by names such as the Fisher/Fischer Home, Caledonia Wine Cottage, the Ramsey House, or simply The Big Yellow House.  Whatever you may call it, this is a location with history to the brim, and a big story to tell.

Walnut Staircase, courtesy of Pamela Allen

     The Big Yellow House was constructed in 1824 by Jacob Fischer, making it one of Caledonia's oldest standing structures.  Over time the building has served as many occupations, but was originally built as a stage coach stop and inn.  Coaches would pull to the front of the building, where passengers would exit onto the same stone walkway that serves Twelve Mile Creek customers today.  During this time, travelers and stage coach drivers would frequently lodge in the inn's twelve original rooms.  

     When built, the inn consisted of two separate structures.  The front, rectangular portion of the building was for lodgers,  and the structure behind served as slave quarters.  Tunnels ran from either side of the inn to the slave quarters, with a third tunnel extending to the creek.  These tunnels can still be seen from the basement. The two structures were joined together some time around 1860, to form the home we all recognize today.  Though this isn't the only unique feature of the home.  The Fischer House is home to a continuous, three-story walnut staircase, the only one of its kind in the Ozarks.  The property also houses the 2nd oldest persimmon tree in Missouri, which still drops persimmons seasonally!

Quarantine Room as of today, courtesy of Pamela Allen

     As one of the homes many purposes, it was overtaken by the Union Army in the American Civil War, and turned into a hospital.  The hospital treated both Union and Confederate soldiers from The Battle of Pilot Knob, saving many lives that day.  A room on the third floor of the home was converted to a quarantine room for contagious patients, with a hole being cut from the door to serve the patient's food through.  The lock and hole in the door still exist today.  Along with saving the lives of soldiers, the home also served as a stop on the underground railroad.  Slaves were led through the tunnels, northward to freedom. The Fischer House treated and freed many men, women, and children, who likely wouldn't have survived if it were not for the Big Yellow House and it's gracious owners.  

Product sold at Twelve Mile Creek, courtesy of Pamela Allen

     Over time, the Fischer House served as a residence to several families, leaving many with fond memories of the home and its tenants.  Before it became the booming business we know now, the Fischer House had fallen in disrepair.  I had the pleasure of touring the home before the Allen's (the current owners) just prior to their purchase of the property.  I must say, it was heartbreaking to see this landmark in such condition.  Though we have Pamela, Roger and the rest of the Allen clan to thank for single-handedly saving this historic property.  This family has put blood, sweat, and tears into this home, bringing it back to life.  Myself, along with many others have so much admiration for what the Allen family has put into not only the Fischer House, but the Village of Caledonia.

 California Spaghetti Salad served at Twelve Mile Creek, courtesy of Pamela Allen

     Though the best part of this national treasure, is that it's for sale.  After years of hard work, the Allen family is ready to retire.  Pamela says "The time has come for us to find the perfect caretaker for this historic beauty. Retirement beckons us and we would like to heed that call!  If you think you have what it takes, give us a look.  Possibilities are only as far as your imagination allows. Price is negotiable as to what you want it to be for you!"  If you are interested in making the Fischer House your own, you may call Twelve Mile Creek at 573-779-1238, or pay a visit at 128 S State Highway 21, Caledonia, Missouri 63631. 

Wine selection at Twelve Mile Creek, courtesy of Pamela Allen

     Thank you all very much for reading, and I hope this landmark excites you as much as it does me.  Perhaps you will pay a visit, or even find your next home, or business.  I also want to thank Pamela Allen for allowing me to use her photos for this post, and always being so kind during my visits to Twelve Mile Creek.  I hope you tune in to the blog again soon!


Saturday, January 4, 2020

Bollinger Mill State Historic Site | Landmark Landing

Bollinger Mill, Bufordville, Missouri, taken by Jennie Moore

     Hi everyone, and welcome back to the blog!  Today's post is the newest installment in my series "Landmark Landing".  If you're not familiar with this series, Landmark Landing is where I share the story and my experience of the landmarks I visit!  If you enjoy this style of writing, feel free to check out the first post in the series on Hurricane Mills, Tennessee!

     My most recent landmark stop was to the Bollinger Mill State Historic Site in Bufordville, Missouri.  Bufordville is a small community about eight miles west of Jackson, Missouri.  This historic site is not only home to a magnificent mill, but also one for four of the last covered bridges left in Missouri.  Aside from the designated historic site and state park, Bufordville holds multiple historic homes that have stood the test of time, and adds to the area's character.  

     Bollinger Mill and present day Bufordville came to be all because of one man.  This man was George Frederick Bollinger, a Swiss-German immigrant living in North Carolina.  Bollinger came to the Midwest with a friend in 1796, and upon exploring along the Mississippi River, wound up in the Cape Girardeau area in 1797.  This territory was under Spanish rule at the time, and Bollinger soon became friends with Don Louis Loromier, the Spanish Commandant of Cape Girardeau.  

     While Bollinger was in the Cape Girardeau area, him and Lorimier made an agreement.  Lorimier vowed to give Bollinger a land grant for himself and other settlers if he would return to North Carolina and brought back with him others to settle in Missouri.  Bollinger agreed, and began his trek back to North Carolina. 

     In North Carolina Bollinger found 20 Swiss-German families, along with his own to make a new life on Lorimier's land grant.  The group loaded up their covered wagons, and began their journey.  After weeks of travel, the group arrived on the east bank of the Mississippi, across from Ste. Genevieve.  They set up camp and waited two weeks until the ice was thick enough to cross, and then proceeded to their new settlement.  In January of 1800, present day Bufordsville was settled.  Upon arrival, Lorimier followed through with his promise, giving each family several hundred acres, and the Bollinger family 640 acres along the Whitewater River.  The settlement was called "The Dutch Settlement".

Antique Shop in Bufordville, taken by Jennie Moore
     In 1803, the Louisiana purchase was made, and by 1804 The Dutch Settlement was officially a part of the United States.  Bollinger then proceeded to build a log dam, a log mill, and a blockhouse on his property.  It was at this time the settlement began to be referred to as Bollinger's Mill.  The town had already been maintaining a steady growth, but in the next coming years, it would begin to prosper.

     As Bollinger's Mill flourished, Bollinger himself found great success.  Aside from his growing village, in 1806 Bollinger began his political career.  Bollinger did well in politics, and became a prominent figure in the area.  He did so well in fact, that Governor William Clark appointed Bollinger lieutenant of the Fouth Regimental Militia.  By 1820, Bollinger was elected to Missouri State Senate.

    In 1819, a man by the name of Timothy Flint visited Bollinger's Mill.  Flint was an author and missionary, who documented his findings in the town.  He spoke of homemade liquors, lush orchards, well built structures, prospering businesses, and hard working residents.  He concluded that the German immigrants which inhabited Bollinger's Mill dramatically improved the land.

     By 1825, Bollinger had added a distillery and a blacksmith shop.  He had also taken it upon himself to replace his early wooden structures with stone.  Bollinger replaced the dam, and built a new foundation for the mill.  He also added another wooden story to the mill at this time. 

     George Frederick Bollinger died on September 23rd, 1842.  He was proceeded in death by his wife that had passed away only a few years after they had made the move to Missouri.  They lay to rest in the Bollinger Family Cemetery, which is located on the park property in Bufordville, and is open to the public.  Following Bollinger's death, his daughter Sarah Bollinger Daugherty and her sons took over the mill.

     The mill had been running strong for several years after Bollinger's death, that is until the Civil War broke out.  During the war, as Union troops moved through the area, they set fire to Bollinger Mill.  Their reasoning for the fire was to prevent the Confederate Army from gaining access to the flour and meal produced by the mill.  The fire destroyed the 1825 mill, leaving only the foundation.  The war not only impacted the mill, but halted the construction of the covered bridge over Whitewater River.  The bridge construction had begun in 1858, but would not be finished until 1868.

Bufordville Covered Bridge, taken by Jennie Moore
     After the burning of the mill, the Bollinger family sold the mill ruins to Solomon Richard Buford in 1866.  Buford rebuilt the Bollinger Mill on the original 1825 foundation, which was completed in 1867.  Along with the mill, the covered bridge was completed at this time.  The bridge was constructed by Cape Girardeau builder, Joseph Lansmon.  Lansmon built the 140 foot long bridge from nearby yellow poplar trees.  This bridge soon became a lifeline for the town, as the Macadamized Road Co Toll Road began operation.  The toll road was vital to the area, as it spanned from Jackson to westward Greenville.  The bridge operated as a toll bridge until 1906, when local farmers grew tired of waiting for the tolls to be abolished.  They then ripped out the toll gates themselves, and proceeded to use the bridge without paying.

     The small town that began as a settlement of just 20 families gained its post office in 1869, under the name Bufordville after Soloman R. Buford, the current mill owner.  Buford operated the mill until 1897, when he sold the property to the Cape County Milling Co.  The company operated the mill until 1953, when they sold it to the Vandivort family.  The Vandivort family were relatives of George Frederick Bollinger, and had interest in preserving the mill and it's property.  Wanting the mill in the best care, the Vandivort's donated the property to the Cape Girardeau Historical Society in 1961.  In 1967, the property was donated to the state of Missouri, who still owns it today.  Both the mill and the bridge are on the National Register of Historic Places.

 Bollinger Mill State Historic Site, taken by Jennie Moore
     I really enjoyed my visit to the Bollinger Mill State Historic Site.  The mill's ground floor serves as a museum with many examples of how the mill worked in its day.  There are many artifacts for visitors to see, many original to the mill.  This museum is self guided, and completely free.  The staff also sells guided tours, where you will be taken through the entire multi-story building.  There property can be explored freely, including the covered brige, the Bollinger Family Cemetery, and a hiking trail.  There are multiple seating areas, including picnic tables. 

     I also want to add that I found that the property is friendly for all kinds of visitors.  There is wheelchair access to the mill and site office, along with public restrooms, and once again, lots of seating.  I really loved the kind lady that was operating the office that day, as she was extremely fun to talk to and very helpful.  There are souvenirs available for purchase at the mill, where I found a super cute iron-on patch for my patch jacket! (Which I will be sharing in another post.)

     Overall, I really recommend this as a stop on your road trip.  The Bollinger Mill State Historic Site is a great place for the family, a date, or the lone wolf that loves to travel.  This place is just another example of hidden gems in your local area.  Let me know if you visit Bollinger Mill, and what you think!  Thank you all for reading, I hope you enjoyed! 
With love,

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Small Town Saturday | Irondale, Missouri

Camp Irondale Staff, 1960

     Hi everyone, and welcome back to the blog!  Today, I am so excited to introduce my newest series, Small Town Saturday.  In this series, I will be talking about my favorite small towns.  I will highlight their founding, history, and what life is like there.  I conjured up the idea for this series when pondering on how small towns, which are often looked over, could get more recognition.  These bypassed places are gems just waiting to be found, and I want to help bring them to the light.

     I am starting this series off with Irondale, Missouri.  Irondale is a quaint village located in Washington County, with a population of 447.  Irondale was first laid out in 1857 by John G. Scott, who built an iron furnace there.  Scott later sold his iron furnace to Edwin Harrison and Company, who operated the furnace until 1880.  Edwin Harrison and Company also bought 13,000 acres of land at the time, including the site of present day Irondale.  Not long after, the now company town was surveyed by Belt and Priest, and was called Irondale for its iron furnace.

 Irondale Milling Co.

     Irondale was formed from three different assets, the company which operated the iron furnace, and two small prior settlements.  These two settlements went by the names of Mineral City and Log Town.  Mineral City sat on the west side of Dry Creek, where iron ore was hauled from the ore bank neighborhood.  Log town sat on the east side of Dry Creek, and was named for a handful of log homes in the area used as dwellings.

     By 1867, just ten years after being platted, Irondale gained its own post office.  The town was doing well, and had many assets to offer the people.  With the iron furnace in full swing, mining also became a large operation.  Mining had begun in Washington County as early as 1823, when the Springfield Iron Furnace was opened on Furnace Creek.  The mines in Irondale put out iron, lead, and even zinc.

Savoy Railroad Depot, 1912   

     One of Irondale's most notable early memories, was when the town experienced a brief name change.  Due to mail mix ups between Ironton and Iron Mountain due to similar names, Irondale changed its name to Savoy in 1906.  Though the name did not stick, and after just a few years the town turned back to its original name of Irondale.

Irondale Railroad Depot and crew

     Another vital trait to Irondale, was the railroad.  The St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway moved into the area in the mid 1800's, and made its way directly through Irondale.  The railroad was a major asset for Irondale, and although Missouri has many abandoned rail lines as of today, this is not one of them.  Though the trains no longer stop in Irondale, the line put in place near 150 years ago, is still very active.  Freight trains rumble through multiple times a day, and if you're lucky, you'll catch a glimpse of Amtrak's "Texas Eagle" passenger train gliding through the night.  Irondale's railway line has changed hands multiple times over the years.  It was built and operated the St. Louis, Iron Mountain, and Southern Railway, which was later sold to Missouri Pacific, and is now owned by Union Pacific, one of the biggest railroad companies in the country.

    William Helms Jr. (The Iron Mountain Baby) pictured with the bag he was found in

     The railroad also provided transportation to the popular Camp Irondale, and is most famous for the story of the Iron Mountain Baby.  On August 14th, 1902, William Helms (June 5th, 1835 - December 13th, 1917) a local farmer and Civil War veteran was walking along the railroad tracks in Irondale.  Upon meeting where the line went over Big River, Helms stood aside while northbound No. 4 blew by over the trestle.  Afterward, Helms began to move on with his walk when a strange noise caught his attention.  He traced the noise to what he described as an "old fashioned telescoping valise".  Inside, he was shocked to find a baby, which had been thrown from the train, and had fallen fifty feet.  The child had sustained serious injuries, but was alive.  After taking the child to be examined, it was determined that it was a boy, estimated a five days old.  Helms took the child home to his wife, where he was nursed back to health, and adopted by the family.  He was named William Moses Gould Helms, after his new father, the railroad owner, and being found on the water.  William Jr. went on to recover and live a full life, and the St. Louis, Iron Mountain, and Southern Railway paid for his schooling at Braughton's University, and Southwest Missouri State Teachers College (now Missouri State University). 

Boy Scouts arriving in Irondale by train, 1922
     Many residents of Irondale have fond memories of the railroad.  "I remember as a kid, hobos would always get off the train and come to our house.  I believe our house was marked in some way, like they knew it was safe to come to."  Said Paul Lashley.  "I remember as a kid, always running outside when I heard the train coming to watch it go by, but I think I only caught it three or four times."  Said Jennifer Lashley.

     The old Depot Saloon Building, taken by Jennie Moore

     Even though the passing of time has left Irondale with no train stops, plenty of hints to Irondale's railroading past still remain.  With a keen eye, several sites can be found that allude to the town's once hopping railroad scene.  One of my personal favorite remains is the old Depot Saloon, which is located behind the Blue Haven Cafe, across the railroad tracks.  The building was constructed in the late 1800's as an office for the local zinc mines, but was later converted into the Depot Saloon.  Stories passed down by those who visited the saloon tell of how locomotives used to stop in front of the saloon in order for the railroad crew, including the engineer to purchase beer.  At the time, beer was sold in metal buckets, which would be loaded back onto the train.  If you look closely at the photo, you can still see the faded paint job on the building which reads "Old Lynch Rye", which was an advertisement often found on bars and saloons at the time all throughout Missouri and the Midwest.  Not many of these paint jobs have stood the test of time, which is just another reason I love this site so much.

   1856 Stone Arch Railroad Bridge, taken by Jennie Moore

     Another railroad relic that can be seen today is the stone arch railroad bridge which sits over Dry Creek.  This bridge was built in 1856, is one of the oldest bridges in Missouri, and one of the oldest bridges in the country that is still in service.  It is admirable structure that still serves a big purpose in Irondale.

The old Railroad/Kirkpatrick Building, taken by Jennie Moore
     Perhaps the most iconic site on the list is the old railroad building, also known as the Kirkpatrick place, which sits near the stone arch bridge.  The residents of Irondale will tell you that it has looked the same as long as they can remember, as if time had progressed to a point and stopped.  The building was reportedly built in 1867 as a hotel, and later became railroad offices.  "My great-grandfather was a bellhop when he was younger.  It shut down in the 60's."  Said Kayla DeSherlia on Youtube.  "The building was owned by my grandfather and grandmother in the early 1920's, John Ace Eye and Sally Anis Smith Eye.  Not sure when it was sold, but it belonged to the Kirkpatrick family in the 1940's."  Said Rose Dickey on YouTube.

Irondale Pool 2019, taken by Jennie Moore
     Another thing Irondale is known for, is the old Boy Scout camp, or Camp Irondale.  The camp was first opened in 1920, but scouts began camping in the area as early as 1913.  The camp began under the name Camp Irondale when land was donated to the St. Louis Council by Clarance Howard.  The community was very supportive of the camp, with nearly all of the lumber used being donated by a local mill, and assembled by farmers.  Though the camp started small, it gained traction fast.  In 1945, an Olympic sized pool was opened at camp Irondale, which replaced the previous spring fed pool.  Rumor has it, this was the first Olympic sized pool not built for the Olympics.  The massive pool was wildly popular, and was in operation until the 1970's, even after the camp itself moved out.  "Growing up, Irondale Estates was in its prime and my brother Pat bought a lot so we could use the Olympic sized swimming pool. Needless to say my sisters and I had nice tans to begin fall classes with." Said Sue (Sucharski) Roney.

Inspiration Hall Chapel 2019, taken by Jennie Moore

     The camp also had many other features such as a chapel called "Inspiration Hall", a climbing tower, water tower, two lakes, several cabins, post office, pavilion, parade grounds, flag pole, nature lodge, and more.  Many of these are still standing, and can be visited today!  The camp was home to as many as 1,200 campers each summer, many of which still reflect on the memories made there.  The camp didn't have a suitable access road for vehicles for many years, meaning the campers arriving by train had to hike from the depot.  In 1938, the Camp had a special visitor, Marlin Perkins.  Perkins was a zoologist, and the host of television's "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom".  He spoke to the scouts, toured the camp, and even visited the "Snake Pit" of Irondale Nature Museum!  Also in 1938, the American Legion donated to the camp an "Indian Village" of six, 20 foot tepees with wooden floors.

Camp Irondale, courtesy of the Lashley/Sucharski family

     The camp remained in operation until 1965, until it met its successor, S-F Scout Ranch (Knob Lick, Missouri).  Now, a portion of the old camp is now a subdivision, known as Camp Irondale Estates.  Though Irondale still owns about 15 acres of the camp, which is in the process of restoration.  In 2010, the Ozark Trailblazers District in the Greater St. Louis area council worked throughout the spring and summer to restore parts of the camp that Irondale still owns.  The chapel, "Inspiration Hall", has been restored and is still in use as of 2019.  If you would like to help keep the camp's history alive, you can become a member of the Historical Society!  (See bottom of post for information on the Historical Society.)

Irondale Elementary class photo, courtesy of the Lashley/Sucharski family

     Even aside from the camp, many people have fond memories of growing up in Irondale.  Before West County schools existed, there was the Irondale Grade School.  Though this was no one room school house, but was a large, two story, stone building.  This school was heated by coal, and was said to have its own kitchen.  "My class in  Irondale was about 13, and when we went over to Leadwood for Junior High School, there were about 50 students between Irondale, Frankclay, and Leadwood.  I am proud to say we had good teachers all the way from Kindergarten to 12th grade." Said Sue (Sucharski) Roney.  "Irondale was a great place to grow up at." She added.  

Irondale boys and girls basketball team ,1923

     Though many small schools in the early 1900's were neglected sports and extra curricular activities, Irondale Grade School and surrounding area schools did not follow that path.  Irondale school children took part in sports, and competed with other school teams as early as the 1920's.  Irondale also had a yearly homecoming, that lasted many years after Irondale Grade School was closed.  "I remember even when I was a kid, it was a big deal.  It drew people from all over, and people that had moved away from Irondale would come back for this event."  Said Jennifer Lashley.   
Hickory Grove School near Irondale, Ferlin Husky pictured bottom left 

     Along with notable events, Irondale has also produced notable people.  Irondale was home to aviation pioneer, Tom Benoist (December 29th, 1874 - June 14th, 1917).  Benoist helped make St. Louis a center of American aviation, designed the Benoist XIV aircraft, and also operated the worlds first scheduled airline.  Jessie N. Self is also an admirable name for the community, as he was a school teacher in Irondale until he was called to serve in the Civil War.  Self became Captain of Co. F, 32nd Missouri Infantry.  Self passed away while in the service on February 25th, 1863 due to war related illness.  Letters written by Self can be found in Missouri State Archives.  Lastly, and most well known, is country music artist Ferlin Husky (December 3rd, 1925 - March 17th, 2011).  Husky was from the Irondale area, and attended grade school in  Irondale.  I had the pleasure of meeting Ferlin several years ago, and am pleased to say he was a kind man.  

Irondale Bank, 1901

     Speaking of notable people and events, many don't know of the Irondale Bank robbery that took place in the early 1900's.  On October 26th, 1928, two men, unmasked, entered the Irondale Bank.  The men approached cashier W.H. Jamison, and drew revolvers to his head.  They ordered Jamison to open the vault, and surrender the contents.  Jamison cooperated and then was ordered to open the rear door of the bank, where the two men fled to their automobile with $1,700.  Jamison was unharmed, and the men raced away toward Leadwood.  Though on the loose for a short time, they were later caught as one of the men confessed.  Jamison told the newspapers that the bank faced no real loss thanks to insurance.  

     Blue Haven Cafe, taken by Jennie Moore

     Although Irondale is no longer a mining and railroading boom town, it is still alive in its faithful residents.  One of my favorite stops in Irondale is the Blue Haven Cafe.  The cafe was established in 1946, and is still serving the community today.  Blue Haven Cafe serves several meals, delicious home made desserts, and even has a one of a kind house salad dressing.  Everything I have tried from the Blue Haven Cafe, has been wonderful.  It is a great place to go for a home cooked meal away from home, a burger, or just a light salad.  The prices are very affordable, and the staff makes you feel as if you've known them your whole life.  I was blessed enough to meet the Lashley/Sucharski family at the cafe for lunch to help me with gathering information for this post.  The family are life-long residents and visitors of Irondale, and were such a joy to talk to about life in Irondale.  The cafe and the people in it, are a must see.

     I also must mention Roy's Convenience Store, the one stop shop for gas, groceries, and more.  This little store is reminiscent of an old general store, with a little bit of everything.  There is a never ending flow of customers flowing in and out of Roy's, as it is the only store and gas station for miles.  I really enjoyed popping in!

Irondale Grade School, mid 1900's

     In conclusion, I hope this edition of Small Town Saturday prompts you to pay Irondale a visit sometime.  It is a place of rich history, just waiting to be uncovered.  Irondale never fails to provide smiling faces upon every visit.  Below I have listed the information for the businesses of Irondale.

Blue Haven Cafe-
105 S Oak St, Irondale, MO 63648
11:00am - 8:00pm Tuesday - Sunday

Irondale City Hall-
110 S Oak St, Irondale, MO 63648
8:30am - 4:00pm Monday - Thursday

Irondale City Park-
Ash St, Irondale, MO 63648
To donate or participate in fundraisers to help better the city of Irondale's public areas, call the Irondale Park Board at 573-749-3223.

Roy's Convenience Stores-
113 S Oak St, Irondale, MO 63648
7:00am - 9:00pm daily

The Historical Society of Leadwood, Surrounding Areas and Museum-
501 Bank St, Leadwood, MO 63653
5:30pm - 7:00pm Tuesdays

     Thank you all very much for reading, and I do hope you enjoyed.  I hope you are eager for this series, and please feel free to recommend any places you would like to see in this or any of my series.  Thank you for making the blog possible!

     A special thanks to the Lashley/Sucharski family, the Blue Haven Cafe, and the Irondale City Board.

With love,