Area history buffs, get ready – the extremely small stack of available literature on the Boone's Lick Road has now increased by about 220 pages. In an area deemed the new El Dorado of the West in times past, thousands of immigrants and their families used the historical route, which connected St. Charles with the Boone's Lick Country.
"This work came about almost 10 years ago, when I was writing a book on the Santa Trail. I knew there would have to be a future piece on the Boone's Lick Road, because, essentially, it's connected with the Trail and is the same road," said the author of the new work, Hal Jackson.
"Boone's Lick Road: A Brief History and Guide to a Missouri Treasure" is a collection of fresh history and investigation. Jackson, who enlisted the help of Ken Kamper, a noted historian on Daniel Boone, compiled personal accounts, drawings, diagrams and photographs into a thorough rendering of history.
"I did some research and found virtually nothing on the Road as far as literature," said Jackson.
Jackson is a prefessor emeritus of geography at Humboldt State University and is currently part of the adjunct faculty of the University of New Mexico's Department of Geography. For research purposes concerning the book, he travelled between St. Charles and his home in Placitas, New Mexico.
Jackson has dedicated "Boone's Lick Road" to the Daughters of the American Revolution and is seeking to organize a national Boonslick Road organization.
"Right now, we have Senator McCaskill backing us with the National Park Service. The Santa Fe Trail is recognized as a National Historic Trail, and the same should apply to the Boone's Lick Road. We're probably 2-4 years away from that happening, though, as bureaucratic steps have to be taken through Congress," he said.
"Boone's Lick Road: A Brief History and Guide to a Missouri Treasure," is available for purchase on Amazon.com. The author's phone number, for interested or potential readers, is 505-867-1742. The following paragraphs are taken from the book's preface:
"The writing of this book came about almost by accident. When I was doing field research for my book on the Santa Fe Trail (SFT) I was introduced to the late Denny Davis, who owned the newspapers in Fayette and was a recognized expert on the SFT. Denny took me under his wing and showed me the important sites and stories of the SFT in Howard County. He also made certain that I understood the importance of the Boone's Lick Road (BLR) and its connection to the SFT. When I began work on a new SFT book, I told Leo Oliva, my co-author, that we had to have a lengthy section on the BLR in the new book as it was on that road that most travelers came to Franklin and the SFT.
The Boone's Lick Road grew at each of its ends. St. Charles County, on the east, had been slowly increasing in population so that by 1812 the settlement frontier lay near the present western boundary of the county. The west, by contrast, grew because of the modest salt-working enterprise of the Boone brothers, Nathan and Daniel Morgan, at Boone's Lick. Others were attracted to the lick area, which soon gained fame as Boonslick Country."