Friday, May 18, 2012

Missouri's Nathan Boone

This has been a very busy week, but most of it has been social or pleasant. Tea parties, salads on the deck, a breakfast brunch on a friend’s porch, and today was really great as DH and I, along with friends, visited the Nathan Boone State Park. It was just grand!

The site is about an hour from us and is just outside the berg of Ash Grove, Missouri. The land in this area is positively gorgeous… rolling rich farm land that looks very much like parts of Kentucky. No wonder the Boones found it a good place to start a homestead.

Nathan Boone was the last of Daniel Boone’s ten children. He was a farmer, planter, army man who sired fourteen children of his own. This homestead was where he died after retiring from the military service at age 67. He married his wife Olive when she was 16 and who was a strong, noteworthy woman herself. I intend to read more about these two Missouri residents and to brush up on old Daniel as well!

We registered at the park office and opted for the guided tour which was a wise move. Dakota turned out to be a fascinating guide who knew his stuff. We followed a path through a small woods to the farm house that was about a quarter of a mile back on open prairie…totally beautiful place.

Dakota took us into the house, into the root cellar, and pointed out many spots in our view. The house was a traditional dog trot log cabin that in later years was enclosed to provide one more small room for living. Dakota opened the doors on either side of the house, the old dog trot, and a delightful and cooling breeze came up from the valley and through the house.

One of the most interesting features of the house was the shoe box. It was a practice to put two shoes in the walls and leave them there when building a house to ensure good luck. This tradition can be found as far back as the 1600’s, and when repairing and restoring the home, the workers in deed found shoes from the mid 1800’s.

Not many people know much about Nathan Boone, only the family name. This home and the homestead site are well worth the time to visit, to learn the history of, and to enjoy.

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