In Sept., 2009 the Santa Fe Trail Association held its 12th Symposium in Arrow Rock, Missouri. The symposium was entitled "In the Beginning....Boonslick and Beyond" because the first trips to Santa Fe originated in Franklin, Missouri (in the middle of Boonslick country). On Thursday, September 24,
I drove from my home to Boonsville, Missouri and then to Arrow Rock, Missouri.
Arrow Rock is a wonderful historic community with wonderful sites which date to the early to late 1800s. I spent the afternoon exploring the town. They have a wonderful Visitor Center with one of the finest small museums describing the early history of the area that I have visited. Arrow Rock is in the center of Boonslick region. Members of the Daniel Boone family discovered a nearby salt spring and built an operation for removing the salt and shipping it east toward St. Louis and St. Charles the largest Missouri
communities of the time.
I walked aroud the town and visited some of shops and such historic sites as the Huston Tavern where many SFT travelers found rest and food, the Big Spring where SFT travelers watered their animals and themselves, and the site of the Missouri River landing where steamboats stopped for rest, wood, and passenger services.
Here is the historic Big Spring (also called Santa Fe Spring).
In the afternoon, I joined a one-mile hike dow the "Arrow Rock Historic
River Landing Trail". The trail took us by the original landing site
and finally to the Missouri River itself (left). Gradual movement of the river now puts it a mile away from Arrow Rock.
In the evening there was a "get-acquainted" social at Prairie Park, an antebellum
mansion built and owned by William Sappington who was involved in the SFT trade.
During the evening we samples hard hors d'oerves, toured the mansion, and enjoyed period music by local quintet.
I drove back to Boonville for the night.