Please welcome back guest blogger, author Lora Young, as she tours the Katy Trail and reports the interesting tidbits that she learned researching for her novel, Malicious Mischief. The great state of Missouri is rich in history. From Native American artifacts to the modern-day railroad, signs of the past are everywhere. Since the Katy Trail bisects Missouri, it’s a perfect place from which to see many signs of days gone by. The Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway (later changed to ‘railroad.’) was listed on the New York Stock Exchange as K-T, hence the nickname “Katy.” If you were to travel from St. Charles to Clinton on the Katy, here are a few things you’d see along the way.
- Femme Osage Creek was supposedly named by a French settler who encountered a dead Osage woman in the creek.
- Defiance was given its name after the town prevented Matson from having the only nearby rail stop.
- It was in the area of Matson that Daniel Boone and sons platted the town of Missouriton. Across the river is Tavern Cave.
- One of the most impressive bridges along the Katy Trail crosses the Auxvasse River (French for swamps and morasses).
- Cote Sans Dessien (hill without design) was a small settlement established in 1808. Geographically it is a lost hill (one not eroded by the Missouri River). Members of the Sac and Fox tribes waged a major attack on the settlement in 1815.
- South of mile marker 122.1, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark described the woodrat, a species new to science.
- On June 4, 1804, Lewis and Clark camped somewhere in the vicinity of mile marker 151.0.
- The wreck of steamboat Plowboy occurred near mile marker 163.7.
- There is a pictograph above Lewis and Clark’s cave. Hidden up the creek drainage at mile marker 174.9 is the once popular Boone Cave. Once open for tours, it’s now owned by the Missouri Department of Conservation.
- The trail’s only remaining railroad stone-arched tunnel near Rocheport is 243 feet long.
- The Rivercene Bed and Breakfast in Boonville was the 1869 home of riverboat Captain Joseph Kinney. (It’s also the model for Delia’s home in Malicious Mischief.)
- Boonville (founded in the early 1800s) was a frontier river port and later a rail station. More than 400 structures are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Boonville was the site of the first Civil War battle west of the Mississippi on June 17, 1861.
- The Lewis and Clark Expedition encountered curious paintings and carvings on the bluffs of the Missouri River.
- Diana Bend Conservation Area is named for the steamboat Diana that sank here c. 1836.
- The Santa Fe Trail began in Franklin, and it was here that Kit Carson learned the saddle-making trade before departing for the Rockies.
- Sedalia (1857) remains an important railroad town as Amtrak maintains a station here. The Department of Natural Resources restored the Katy Depot which dates from 1896. (The depot is also the setting for Malicious Intent – Katy Railway Mysteries Book 2.)
- Sedalia is best known for the Missouri State Fair and the one-time home of Scott Joplin, famous composer of ragtime piano music (Maple Leaf Rag, The Entertainer)
- Calhoun, founded in 1835, is the oldest town in Henry County. Pottery factories once operated here, hence the nickname “Jugtown.”
- Clinton is the Henry County seat and home to the largest town square in Missouri.
Thanks for stopping by!
Tune in tomorrow for a Fun Friday behind-the-scenes look at Lora’s cover model photo shoot and setting photos. Many of these facts were taken from the MO Parks website. All photos courtesy Lora Young
Take your own tour of Historical Missouri
Her most annoying trait is the one she needs the most. Delia Eastman returns home from teachers’ college with two goals: find a teaching position and sidestep her mother’s insistence on finding her a husband. But employers don’t care for women who are smarter than they. Neither do suitors. As she struggles to find her place, she discovers her sleepy riverboat town has turned into a powder-keg of rivalry between the steamships and the railroads. Increasingly violent vandalism on the railroad brings her face-to-face with Endy Webster, a handsome trainmaster whose investigation into the crimes leads him to the door of a prominent steamship owner—Delia’s father. As Delia tries to clear her father’s name, she keeps tangling with Endy. He’s intelligent. He’s charming. And he’s guarding secrets. Thinking he might know more than he’s telling, Delia reluctantly agrees to collaborate with him to solve the crimes. With the vandalism becoming deadly, they’ll need every scrap of intelligence and logic to stay alive. Working together may not be their first choice, but it might be their last. Available On Amazon for Kindle Available On Amazon in Print