Boonville, I love you. First of all, your downtown is charming and quaint and I hope to do some local shopping later in the year when it's warmer and we get to town before 6pm. Second, the Hotel Frederick is lovely and historic, and no matter what skinflint TripAdvisor reviewers say, it's worth every penny. Stay at the Super 8 if you don't care about nice towels and bedding. Third, Boonville Facebook fans, you really rallied when I put out the call for tips, and while we didn't get to much on this winter trip, we will be back for sure. Finally, wow, this little patch of dirt on Highway 87 near the Katy Trail.
As you can see from just one side of the sign in the first photo, there is quite a lot of history and "firsts" crammed onto either side of the Missouri River right here. This is on the other side of the bridge from Boonville, which was "settled" when the widow Hannah Cole moved here with her nine children in 1810. A neighborhood fort was built at her property for the War of 1812, and this and other neighborhood forts are commemorated on the bench above.
But before Hannah Cole, there was Lewis & Clark, who explored this site in 1804. Apropos of nothing, June 8th is my birthday. You'll find plenty of Lewis & Clark Trail signage in this area, since they were following the Missouri River.
Franklin, on the other side of the river, was once where you are standing now, and if you face this post and look at the flagpole across the road, you'll see the site of the former town square. Unfortunately, the river forced the town to relocate (New Franklin, of course) in 1826. Old Franklin was the site of many firsts in the area, including the first land office and newspaper north of the Missouri river. In 1821, the first trading expedition to Santa Fe left from Franklin, and thus the Santa Fe Trail began.
And finally, we have this section of the historic Boonville Bridge. This is kind of like a shrunken version of the bridge, with pieces of the guardrails and the nameplate for you to gaze upon. It was replaced by the Boonslick Bridge (which will take you back to Boonville from this site) in 1995. You can see what the old bridge looked like here.