Missouri Historic Towns ~ Missouri Historic Landmarks ~ Missouri Historic Sites and Places
Near St. Louis in the Arcadia Valley & Black River Recreation Area

Beautiful Reed Springs Mill supplied the electric power to Centerville, Mo until 1929.

Missouri 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!

For a directory of Lodging, Bed and Breakfast Inns, Hotels, Cabins, Cottages and Campgrounds near these Missouri historic towns and villages, please click here.  All of our fine hosts are ready to help plan your Missouri history tour in our region.

Missouri Historic Towns and Landmarks Directory, Links and Index
Scroll through these pages or click on the town of interest to you.

Barnesville (now Ellington)
*Bee Fork
Black River Township

Dillard Mill

*Logans Creek (now Ellington)

Pilot Knob
*Warrens Store
*West Fork

*historic 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 Arcadia Valley Region & Black River Recreation Area
1895 Map of The Black River Recreation Area and Arcadia Valley Region

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 for Girls

Ursuline Academy, Arcadia Colleg Historic District

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 Hwy 21.

The laundry building, now Nostalgic Place Bed & Breakfast
Magnificent St. Joseph Chapel

For lodging and accommodations in Arcadia, Missouri click here.

St. Joseph Chapel Auditorium at the Academy Grotto on the Academy grounds

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 

Historic Corridon Reynolds 2 room school lovingly restored and privately owned.  Closed in the 1960s.

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 maps)

Many 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, Centerville and Ellington (formerly known as Barnesville and Logans 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 Places.

Corridon & Reynolds Cemetery
Buford-Carty Log Home and Farmstead on the National Register of Historic Places, circa 1847
Black River Baptist Church established in 1833
The old store, still standing in Edgehill, MO

For lodging and accommodations near Black, Missouri area click here.

Pleasant Union United Baptist Church est. 1890 at the foot of Goggins Mountain Old Smith Homestead circa 1870s Mount Pleasan United Baptist Church est. 1849, new building erected 1986, next to Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, outsite of Edgehill

Go to the next page of Historic Towns in the Arcadia Valley Region & Black River Recreation Area

Missouri 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.


Native American History in Missouri & De Soto in 1541  
Missouri 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. Read more here.
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