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Published: January 9, 2020

Native American Treasure and the History of the River Hills

Today we did a job at one of the most scenic properties I have ever had the pleasure of helping to maintain. We were outside of a tiny little river town in southern Boone County MO. If you live in Boone County and haven’t driven down River Road – by all means stop reading this and go do so. The views are one of a kind.

This house sat atop a bluff overlooking River Road and you could see the river for miles. We came to trim up and maintain trees around the property and left with an education in local history that turned me into a wide-eyed kid again! The owners of the property kindly thanked us and invited us into the house, so we could enjoy the view that we had help enhance.
As we admired the view Jack showed us Native American artifacts they had found around the property and began telling us the story of the burial mound located on the property. We looked at each other amazed and asked to see it. So, he explained where it was, and we checked it out.

On top of a bluff clearly picked by the builders for its view over the river was a perfectly rounded mound containing what archaeologists estimated was the remains of around 200 Osage Native Americans. We had spent the day working away not knowing we were 200 yards from such an amazing piece of history.

We are so thankful to the owners for preserving it with such respect and sharing it with us. The whole time we were talking with Jack he was sharing with us the history of the southern Boone river bottoms. Another cool take away was that all of the small river towns along the Katy Trail were created by the need of steam engines to stop and refill on water and wood. The reason all the hills along the Katy trail, which used to be the actual rail road, are void of many old growth hardwoods is because they were cut to fuel the steam engines.

That’s why today you see so many forested areas of cedar and softwoods around the small river towns instead of massive old oaks. Some of this info may be old news to those of you reading it, but to me it’s a whole new understanding and appreciation for the southern Boone river bottoms. All this information was given to me in a mere twenty minutes by a man wise enough to know and kind enough to share.

4385 State Highway E, Columbia, MO 65202
(573) 825-0515
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