At 8:30 a.m. Bob and I started our 10K (6.2 mile) Jefferson City State Pen Path (Capital) Volksmarch. We had it in our heads that we would do the first part of our walk and make it to the state capital in time for the 9:00 a.m. tour. Ha!“Begin at the beginning," the King said, very gravely, "and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”
~Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
We did not anticipate interesting history along the way. (The history was not included in the Volksmarch even though there were two places where it was only a block off the route to learn more.)
First detour we made was to go a block off the walk route for a good view of the two US 63/US 54 highway bridges over the Missouri River, one northbound, one southbound.
|Bridges at Jefferson City over the Missouri River|
In your journeys you may see (or have seen) the Train Town USA logo. In 2012, Union Pacific Railroad celebrated its sesquicentennial (150 years).
Union Pacific began building west from Missouri to the Pacific Ocean, opening the frontier to immigrants who settled in existing communities or started new ones. Union Pacific invited communities along the rail lines to join the "Train Town USA" registry. The registry is open to all incorporated communities along Union Pacific tracks or terminals. Elected city officials and executive members of the Chamber of Commerce filled out an application to become a "Train Town USA."
The "Train Town USA" emblem in Jefferson City is displayed at the Centennial Park plaza built by Rotary Club International in the Bolivar Street neighborhood. The Bolivar Street neighborhood used to be mostly working class German immigrants. In the 1850s, two changes transformed the neighborhood into the city's industrial area: one was the improvement of streets and footbridges that connected the area to the rest of the city east of it, and the other was the railroad. The industrial area was known as Millbottom. Millbottom was named for the mills that operated there.
In the mid-1880s there was Victoria Mill, Jefferson City Gasworks, Capitol Star Mill, and the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company roundhouse. Besides these large commercial businesses were other businesses, many with residential space above, and warehouses. Today, many of the nice older homes have been converted to office space.
At the end of the 19th century, Jefferson City was doing very well as the state capital. BUT, all was threatened by a battle over whether the state capital should remain in Jefferson City. Sedalia argued that, because there was no bridge, Jefferson City was inaccessible to residents north of the Missouri River. St. Charles thought Jefferson City was devoid of culture, just a way station as the country moved westward. Ah, politics.
To protect and ensure the city's prosperity, in 1893 a special committee of the local Commercial Club organized to raise money to build a bridge. A corporation formed by businessmen and property owners raised the entire $225,000 to finance the bridge. In the photo below is the site where the bridge was built.
|Site of former Bolivar Street Bridge.|
Speaking of the capital, let's get back to our walk. We rejoined the route and continued up a hill to the Capitol.
|Signing the Louisiana Purchase|
|Capitol in Jefferson City, Missouri|
|Frieze on the outside of the Capitol|
|Capitol dome topped by a sculpture of Ceres, |
Roman goddess of grain and agriculture
|Cat griffin lamp|
|Mississippi River Statue|
|Alligator by Mississippi River Statue's knee.|
|Thomas Jefferson whom the city is named after|
|Pediment over main entrance|
|Bob with Missouri River Statue|
Then we went inside. On the first floor of the Capitol, is the Missouri State Museum. On our first turn inside the museum, we were hooked and ended up spending about 1-1/2 hours there. Bob and I never knew what became of Lewis and Clark after their famous expedition to the Pacific Ocean. While we were reading about governors of Missouri, we came upon the portraits of Meriwether Lewis, who was governor of Missouri from 1807-1809, and William Clark served as governor from 1813-1820. We were amazed neither of us were aware of what happened to Lewis and Clark after their expedition. Now we know.
The museum covered the history of Missouri from the Native Americans to the Germans, had exhibits on how people made their living: tourism, mining, mills, agriculture, building, and so much more. The museum is composed of two parts: Civil War Missouri and the Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Hall, AKA "history hall."
We learned how some Missourians were Confederate and some were Union. They spent more time protecting themselves from each other than they did aggressively fighting the war. The Missourians were in a border war with Kansas. In 1883 Order No. 11 was decreed forcing residents from a number of Missouri counties to move without taking their belongings.
When we finally finished with the museum, we chose to do a self-guided tour.
|Looking up through murals to the Rotunda|
|Great Seal of Missouri|
|Ceiling over the law library|
We just kept oohing and aahing over the gorgeous stained-glass windows. There were about nine of them in the room representing qualities for the house to think about when they were considering a bill.
|"Lewis Joins His Hunting Party" lunette|
|Bust of J. C. Penney|
|Pioneer Mother mural|
|Beautifully decorated interior of the Capitol|
|This is for you, Mom!|
|Lewis and Clark Monument|
The rest of our walk was up and down hills all around Jefferson City.
We walked past the historic Missouri State Penitentiary (1835). A Mustang car club was just arriving for a tour.
|Missouri State Penitentiary|
|Mustang car club|
|Very nice neighborhood.|
Toward the end of our walk, the walk instructions recommended Central Dairy for ice cream cones. We went in and indulged in two-scoop cones. What a treat at the end of almost 5 hours of walking and touring!
|Central Dairy ice cream shop|
At this point, we were late getting back to our rig to check out of the campground. I had called them earlier to let them know we were running late. They said it was okay.
We rushed back to the campground, hooked up, and took off for Branson, Missouri. I noticed as we were driving that the pick up was shimmying and shaking, not normal for our reliable Beast.
South of Springfield, Missouri, we stopped to have dinner at Lambert's, the home of "Throwed Rolls." They're not kidding. When you sit at your table and see the guy coming with the cart of fresh-baked rolls, you put your hand in the air and he throws a roll to you.
Lambert's is okay. To us, the meal had way too much starch. In addition to as many rolls as you could eat, they had "pass-arounds" - big bowls of fried okra, black-eyed peas, macaroni and tomatoes, fried potatoes with onions - that they would bring by your table and dish out as much as you wanted. The meal itself was huge. It was way too much food and not of a healthy kind.
After dinner, we bee-lined south to Hollister, Missouri, a couple of miles south of Branson, to the Escapees Turkey Creek RV Park where we would stay for three nights. The highway between Lambert's and Hollister had me hanging on for dear life. I couldn't believe the grades. Nowhere did it give a percentage like so many places in the West, but when you make it over the top of a hill and the bottom of the next hill looks almost straight down, that's when I get nervous. We would go from 40 at the top of the hill to 70 by the time we reached the bottom. And that was with all the shimmying and shaking the truck was doing. Scary!
When we found Turkey Creek RV Park it was dark. Thankfully there are some lights around so we could see. We were immediately greeted by the friendliest cat I had ever met. She went over to Bob to say hi first. She talked and talked to each of us. She loved to have her head patted and scratched. We don't know who she belonged to. A most unusual cat: a silver tabby with short hair but her tail was a soft, very long plume. Her tail was as long or longer than she was.
We opened the door to the rig with just the screen closed and she went right up on our top step to say hello to our cats. Sunnie was less than welcoming. He raised the fur on his back and snarled. Bowie could have cared less. After we were settled, she meowed outside our door for quite a while. She seemed very skinny, like she had been abandoned.
At the office the next day I asked who she belonged to. No one knew. That night was the only time we saw her. Others in the park also reported seeing her around and that she tried to get into people's RVs. They weren't very happy about it. One lady said the cat tried to go in the shower house with her.
So, another long day. Tomorrow we're meeting up with Bob's brother and sister-in-law, Tom and Rosemarie, in Branson.
Travel Bug out.