What can we do to get people to leave the highway and visit our town? SHOOTOUTS IN THE STREET, THAT'S WHAT! Sadly, we were not there for a shootout weekend, but having been to quite a few historic towns and events in my day, I wanted to high five everyone in town for not going the cliched "Civil War" route. Blackwater goes the Old West route, and the South Fork Regulators make an appearance the second Saturday of every month, April through October. Our fall calendar is booked to the max, but I am really looking forward to this next year.
So let's take a tour of Blackwater! Above is the first thing we came across, a museum dedicated to the pioneers of the rural telephone system. It's kind of a self guided museum. We didn't actually encounter any other people when we were in here.
Around the corner from the museum is the town jail, a cute little setup off a wood plank sidewalk that hides the very thoughtful public restrooms.
So I know you are asking yourself, what in the world is the Bucksnort Saloon? That's what we wanted to know.
The Bucksnort Saloon is a detailed recreation of a western saloon that has everything but the whiskey (or any alcohol). There were guys in period costume hanging out, welcoming visitors and answering questions. It's marvelously well done.
All of the gaming tables are authentic recreations (that middle one is a faro table!) hand made by one of the gentlemen we met at the saloon.
They even have a chuckwagon out back!
Down the street, right before the railroad tracks, is the original Iron Horse Hotel. It is now a bed & breakfast, with a restaurant that is open on weekends. Francis's parents have stayed there, and say that you should be aware that it is right next to railroad tracks, and that trains come through regularly.
They have a gorgeous courtyard in the back, and I saw on Facebook that they just had their first wedding there a couple weeks ago.
And the icing on the cake, they restored their railroad station for use as their community center, which was being set up for a party when we were there. What an awesome idea.
High five, Blackwater! I love what you've done with the place, and I will be back in the spring! If you are interested in visiting Blackwater, MO, it's just a couple miles off 1-70, about 160 miles west of St Louis, and about 90 miles east of Kansas City. In addition to the shootouts, saloon, museums, and B&B, they also have a couple antique stores and the Bucksnort Trading Company, where you can get your Old West costumes, herbal products, baskets, blankets, and jewelry.