Historic Towns | Missouri Historic
Landmarks | Missouri Historic Sites
Visit these Historic Places and sites near
St. Louis on your Missouri Vacation.
Footprints of the past
will come alive on your
Missouri Vacation to our region.
Visit the Arcadia Valley Region & Black River Recreation Area.
If you are researching your family history, please see
our genealogy pages
for helpful resources. Better yet, travel to our region and
see for yourself!
a directory of Lodging, Bed and Breakfast Inns, Hotels, Cabins,
Cottages and Campgrounds near these Missouri historic towns and
villages, please click
of our fine hosts are ready to help plan your Missouri history
tour in our region.
Historic Towns and Landmarks Directory, Links and Index
Scroll through these pages or click on the town of interest to you.
towns no longer on current Missouri maps, however remnants
of days gone by still exist in these areas where the first
pioneers settled in Missouri
1895 Map of The Black River Recreation Area and Arcadia
Arcadia, Missouri ~ History and Landmarks,
Iron County, MO
Ursuline Academy - Arcadia College Historic
District ~ on the National Register of Historic Places
- also formerly known as the Academy of Ursuline Sisters
When Iron County was organized there were two villages within
its borders, Arcadia and Middlebrook. Arcadia
was laid out in 1849 and incorporated in 1879.
It owes its existence to what was the Arcadia High School.
The institution was founded by Rev. J. C. Berryman, and conducted
under the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.
** "The school was a grand
success, and from it graduated many of the best citizens of
Southeast Missouri." A short time prior to the
Civil War, he became the proprietor of the institution, but
due to the war, was forced to abandon it. From 1861-1863,
the buildings were used as a military hospital.
Afterwards, Mr. Berryman reopened the school and continued
it until 1867.
In 1869 Rev. L. M. Lewis purchased the school, and by
the "liberal donations of citizens erected a new brick
building, but becoming embarrassed financially he transferred
the property to a joint stock company, composed of those who
had furnished the most of the means to build the new edifice.
From that time, by an amended charter, it became know as Arcadia
College. In 1875 Professor C. O. Jones took charge of
the college, but failed to make it a success and a few years
later it was transferred to the Ursuline Sisters for the amount
of the indebtedness upon it." The Academy flourished
under the Ursuline Sisters and was greatly expanded
from 1888 through 1930. The last students to attend
the Academy graduated in 1970-71.
Tour this magnificent 17 acre campus with its mature trees,
stone retaining walls and nine historic buildings, collectively
on the National Register of Historic Places. Stroll
through the campus and view the grotto, cemetery and spring
house. Of particular note is the St. Joseph Chapel
with some of the most amazing stained glass windows in the
world. Beautiful inside and out, it is now used for weddings,
as well as religious services.
The Academy is a magnificent study of architecture.
The famous spring still gushes crystal clear water. Now privately
owned, it is operated by such businesses as, Thee Abbey Kitchen,
Academy Antiques, Hen House Antiques, Academy Bed & Breakfast
and Nostalgic Place Bed & Breakfast. The campus
is located at 128 East College St. in Arcadia just off of
For lodging and accommodations in Arcadia, Missouri click
Black, Missouri ~ History
and Landmarks, Reynolds County MO
Historical Black River Communities
~ Black River Township, Munger, Corridon, Edgehill, Bee
Fork, West Fork, Oates, Warrens Store & Alamode
In 1813, Henry Fry (the first known settler in Reynolds County)
was not a man of the soil, but rather a hunter, fur trapper
and trader among the then transient Indians who passed through
the area that would later become Black River Township in Reynolds
County Missouri. The many small streams near the headwaters
of the Middle Fork of the Black River were well suited for
trapping due to the abundant beaver population. At the time,
beaver pelts were in demand in Europe and Fry's success on
the Black River may have influenced others to come to this
beautiful place near where the East, Middle and West Forks
of the Black River come together.
Marvin Munger, a man of many talents, came from New York and
settled at the headwaters of the East Fork of the Black River.
Gradually, the area received settlers in search of their dreams.
Before the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, land grants were common
throughout the Upper Louisiana Territory, a part of which
later became Reynolds County. Black River Township had
only one such grant, but it was enormous in size and would
obscure the progress of settlers coming to this region.
The Catholic Priest, James Maxwell, had petitioned the Spanish
government for a land grant back in 1799, promising a great
influx of Catholic settlers from Ireland. Although the
fulfillment of his promise never came to pass, Maxwell was
awarded ownership of 96,000 acres of prime property in and
around the Black River and held the land until his death in
1814. Control then passed to his nephews.
Land beyond Reverend Maxwell's holdings, however, saw the
gradual footprint of many early settlers. Early maps
show two hamlets, Buford and Munger.
Black River Township was also known in the early years as
Black River Campground and was the destination for new arrivals
to the area. “New arrivals, (“squatters”)
only camped long enough to (with the help of willing neighbors)
cut, shape and raise logs into a cabin; they were all glad
to have a new neighbor. At the time, anyone within thirty
or forty miles was considered a neighbor. Soon, more and more
settlers arrived. The historic communities of *Munger, Corridon,
*Bee Fork, Edgehill, West Fork and *Alamode continued to grow.
In 1890 there were 686 people on the census in Black River
Township alone, and postal villages in Black, Edge Hill, *Bee
Fork, *Munger, Oates, and *Warren’s Store on West Fork
were thriving. (*communities no longer exist on current
of these early settlers were illiterate, but knew the benefit
of an education for their children. Schools were built and
the first church in Reynolds County, the Black River Baptist
Church, was built in Black in 1833. At the same time,
the communities of Lesterville,
(formerly known as Barnesville
Creek) began to thrive.
A driving tour of this area is dotted with landmarks of the
past. Whenever you see an old structure, be reminded
of these brave pioneers who helped to shape the history of
this new frontier in the United States.
Be certain to see the Buford-Carty Log Home and Farmstead
near Black. This two story home (see left above) was
built in 1847 and is on the National Register of Historic
For lodging and accommodations near Black, Missouri area click
Civil War Click here
to learn about the important roll the Arcadia Valley and Black
River Region played in shaping the outcome of the war.
Take a Missouri Civil War tour of our region and learn about
the Battle of Pilot Knob at Fort Davidson and Fort Barnesville.
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 ago.