Go on a History Vacation in Missouri! Historical Trips in MO.
the past! Come
explore the fascinating history
the Arcadia Valley Region & Black River Recreation Area
Did You Know?
is believed by many historians that De Soto explored
our region while pursuing his dream to find a northern
passageway to China back in 1541. After "discovering
the Mississippi River", he crossed from Kaskaskia
(Illinois) into our region, meeting five different tribes
of Native Americans along his trek through what is now
Southern Missouri, continuing on into Arkansas.
It was not until 1673, when Father Jacques Marquette and
Louis Joliet (who are most often credited with the discovery
of Missouri) sailed down the Mississippi River in canoes
along the area that would later become Missouri. The two
established that the Mississippi River ran all the way
to the sea. In 1682, Robert de LaSalle claimed the Louisiana
Territory for France. Read
much more here!
American History in Missouri & De Soto in 1541
Native American history in the Arcadia Valley Region,
Black River Recreation Area goes back to the Paleo-Indians,
the ancient peoples of the Americas who were present at
the end of the last ice age. They camped and hunted along
Ozark rivers, perhaps as long as 12,000 to 14,000 years
- To tour the historic towns in Iron and Reynolds
County please click
Reynolds County Missouri
- Reynolds County was organized in 1845, however
long before this designation, many early pioneers braved
the risk, hardship and sacrifice in search of their dream.
. .a more productive and rewarding life in our Ozark Region.
In 1812 Henry Fry, who is said to have come from
Kentucky as the first pioneer, settled on the
Middle Fork of the Black River area in what is now Reynolds
County. After the Louisiana Purchase, there were
ongoing discussions in established states east of the
Mississippi, about when the new "Missouri Territory"
would become a state of the Union. At the same time, land
in our region was being offered to veterans of the War
of 1812. Pioneer families from the hills of Kentucky and
Tennessee began to slowly and steadily move to our region.
The civil war era presented tumultuous times for these
early settlers, in some cases pitting brother against
brother and fathers against sons. Many notable historic
landmarks are present in Reynolds County including Fort
Barnesville, on the National Register of Historic
Notably, after the famous Gads Hill Train Holdup in 1874,
Jesse James and his gang made their escape up the Black
River along the Lesterville Road, seeking food and lodging
from farmowners along the West Fork of the Black River
in Reynolds County. According to news accounts, "in
all instances they behaved very genteelly" and paid
all their bills "lavishly."
1890, there were 6,803 people living in Reynolds County.
here to tour and learn more about the historic towns and
landmarks of these early settlers in Reynolds County,
MO. If you are planning a Family History Vacation
to Reynolds County, the genealogy
resources page of our website may be helpful in planning
Brand new Reynolds County Museum has been built!
They celebrated a grand re-opening in May, 2011!
Visit their new website.
233 South 2nd Street in Ellington.
Thursday/Friday/2nd Saturday of month 10-4
Join Reynolds County Genealogy on Facebook!
Be certain to explore all of the "favorite pages" listed on the page.
had been drawn to the early "Upper Louisiana"
territory in the 1730s due to the prospect of mining lead.
Close by, the area which later became Iron County, was
inhabited by Native Americans who used it as their hunting
ground. Known as "Lost Cove" by the Delaware
Indians, William and Joseph Reed were the first
settlers to arrive in 1798. Ephraim Stout
built a log house in the valley (as early as 1805-1807)
along the creek which still bears his name. It was not
until 1836 that the vast iron ore resources of Iron County
were discovered. Mining jobs brought many settlers
to the region and in 1857 Iron County became a county
in Missouri with its county seat in Ironton. It was also
in 1857 that the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railroad
was completed all the way to Pilot Knob, foreshadowing
a series of events that led to one of the most important
battles of the Civil
War in Missouri - The Battle of Pilot Knob at Fort
the hallowed ground of Fort
Davidson State Historic Site honors the brave Union
and Confederate soldiers who fought and died in battle.
Arcadia Valley Region communities became a popular nineteenth
century summer resort for wealthy families from St. Louis.
the historic towns and villages of Iron County Missouri
where history is preserved and graceful antebellum homes,
historic churches and mercantile buildings are a reminder
of days gone by. Visit Whistle Junction Visitors
Center and Iron County Historical Society Museum while
on your Missouri Vacation to our region.
Junction Visitor Center & Museum, Hwy 21, Arcadia,
Join Iron/Reynolds County Connections on Facebook!
our entire virtual
tour of the Civil War in Missouri
for history section of this website:
of De Soto information, from simple to detailed, by Conquistadors,
DeSoto's Missouri Chronicles, by: Biedma, Rangel, Elvas as presented
by Donald E. Sheppard)
Other references: "A History of Missouri from the Earliest
Explorations and Settlement until the Admission of the State into
the Union", Volume II, 1908, by Louis Houck
Goodspeed's, A Reminiscent History of Missouri, 1894.
History of Early Reynolds County Missouri,
1986, by James E. Bell
Special thanks to Gerald Angel, Civil War Historian
and Lee Sylcox, Reynolds County Historian
for their wealth of knowledge and assistance with this project.