Individuals awarded for preserving the past and promoting tourism in the area
Director of Boonville Tourism Lisa McClary said according to a survey completed by tourist visiting Cooper County in 2011, Boonville's best characteristics were its historic buildings. McClary said these words as she opened up the Tourism and Historic Preservation Awards at the Katy Depot Thursday evening.
Mayor Julie Thacher presented the awards beginning with the Historic Preservation Awards.
Bert and Beth McClary were given the Notable Property Award for their residence located on 11th Street.
"The original house was constructed circa 1959 by George W. Morton. In 1870, the house was enlarged by H.M. Myer or one of his heirs. This is a notable property in Boonville because it is an excellent example of the evolution of brick construction in Boonville and demonstrates the lasting influence immigrants can have on an area's culture and architecture. The 1859 original construction employed flat window and door headers, typical of brick construction prior to the influx of German artisans and craftsmen. The 1870 additions converted the house to a Georgian plan and utilized arched window and door headers which have been identified as a device introduced in Missouri and other states settle by German craftsmen," Thacher said.
The Walter Williams Home, owned by Edward Lang, was Awarded the Notable Property-Work in Progress Award.
"This home located at 711 East Morgan was the birthplace of Walter Williams, one of the most influential individuals in Boonville history; he is credited with dramatically shaping the "journalism" industry. Mr. Williams founded the first journalism school at the University of Missouri and authored the "Journalism Creed", an ethical standard, which is followed by journalists still to this day. In fact, the Creed can be found at the United States Capital. Walter Williams always referred to this property as his "home" until his death," Thacher said.
The Notable Property Awarded was also awarded to the Concerned Citizens of the Black Community for 'Sumner School.'
"Black public education in Missouri has had a long history and much of it is representative of broader struggle for equality following the Civil War. In 1866, the Missouri legislature passed a law requiring townships to provide free public education for all Missourians between the ages of 5-21. Despite being on the books, enforcement of the law was a difficult matter. Additionally, communities often provided black public education that had unqualified teachers or unsatisfactory buildings. Often times, schools were located in black churches or individual homes. The third Sumner School, the one being recognized tonight, was built in 1939 and was a WPA project. This new location was in the heart of the black community. The school was used until desegregation in 1959. Between its life as a school house and its current use as a community center, it was a warehouse for the Guy's Potato Chip Company. In 1986, the CCBC purchased the building for $25,000. Through a lot of cooperation and hard work, most of which was done by the men of CCBC who were former students of the Sumner School that was once the center of the African-American community, is now a community center for all," Thacher said.
The Work in Progress Award was given to Lucy Nichols for her continued work on the Juliet Trigg- Johnson House.
"This residential home, located at 1304 Main Street has long been an overlooked gem in Boonville. The residence is known as one of the "twin houses" and was constructed by Dr. William Trig, circa 1857-1860. The doctor built two nearly identical houses back to back, this home and 1307 Sixth Street, and presented them to his daughters as wedding gifts. The Main Street home was constructed first followed by the Sixth Street property. These homes are some of the earliest examples of Gothic Revival residential structures in Boonville and one of a few of this architectural style still standing today. Juliet Trigg and her husband moved out of the home in 1883. Lucy Nichols purchased the home in 2011 and has begun restoring and maintaining the home. Nichols made an immediate and impactful statement, simply by cleaning the ivy and plants off the structure, so the property is once again visible from Main Street. We want to thank Ms. Nichols for all the work she has done and are looking forward to the finished project- it will truly be a beautiful gem," she said.
Thacher Wood Funueral Home located at 629 Morgan Street was awarded the Commercial Rehabilitation Award.
"Built in 1886 as a home for Charles Sombart, an influential business man and developed in the Boonville community. Sombart is credited with being one of the organizers of the Farmers Bank and Citizen Trust Company, building the Hotel Frederick, and several other buildings on Main Street. In 1935 it became the meeting place for the American Legion. In 1961, the property was converted to Thacher Funeral Home and it has remained a Funeral Home since. In September 2012, they began an extensive renovation on the interior and exterior of the property. They also modernized the building with the addition of central air conditioning and a new heating system. The real surprise of the renovation is the restored wood floors that were discovered," Thacher said.
Tourism awards were given to individuals who have promoted or who have brought tourism to the area.
Gene and Missy Walther received the 2013 Hospitality Award.
"The Settlers Inn has been "calling folks to the table" at their family style restaurant for over 10 years. Gene and Missy Walther and staff have welcomed locals, hosted wedding and baby showers, receptions and reunions. Tour buses visiting the area, touring Warm Springs Ranch or attending a show at the Lyceum Theatre, know that Settlers Inn offers wonderful food in a unique atmosphere. At the end of the meal, Missy bangs a pot to get everyone's attention, and tells the story of how Settlers Inn came to be. The story ends with information about sites to visit in Cooper County and an invitation to "come again," Thacher said before she handed them the award.
Mel Linhart received the 2013 Ambasidor Award.
"Since 1960, Mel Linhart's involvement with Babe Ruth Baseball has drawn many visitors to Boonville. Over the past 40 years, Mr. Linhart has served as the State Commissioner for Babe Ruth Baseball and has been instrumental in placing both State and Regional playoffs here in Boonville. These games bring in nine to ten teams and their families, from other states and Canada for a two to three day stay. In order to bring these tournaments to Boonville, Mr. Linhart promotes and "sells" the City of Boonville to his constituents. His involvement at this level is vital and important to the city's tourism efforts," Thacher said.
Cathy Barton, Dave Para and the late Bob Dyer received the 2013 Special Event Award.
"The Big Muddy Folk Festival, sponsored by the Friends of Historic Boonville, attracts visitors from all over the country. The event draws close to a 1,000 people to Boonville over a two day period. The founders, Cathy Barton, Dave Para and Bob Dyer organized and presented a premier annual folk music and workshop festival which has continued to grow over the last 22 years. Bob Dyer passed away some years ago, but Barton and Para continue to work tirelessly on the event. The Big Muddy Folk festival draws a national crowd and has put Boonville on the map of folk music and festival events," Thacher said.
The Back to the Farm Reunion, sponsored by the Missouri River Valley Steam Engine received the Hall of Fame Special Event Award.
"The Missouri River Valley Steam Engine Association, is entering into its 50th year. Before tourism was even identified as a viable economic development strategy in Cooper County, the M.R.V.S.E.A. was promoting agricultural and heritage tourism at the show. This group of dedicated community individuals, have a real passion for steam engines, preservation and agricultural history. The Back to the Farm Reunion has grown in size and event offerings and brings in around 10,000 people a year," she said.
Florence "Winky" Chesnutt was inducted into the 2013 Boonville Tourism Hall of Fame for her portrayal of heritage tourism. Chesnutt has offered tours of her plantation home that authentically represent the stories and people of the past.
"Winky understood the meaning of heritage tourism long before Wikipedia. Winky has been opening her historic home, dressing in period costume, and serving peach tea to tourists for many years. In addition to maintaining Pleasant Green, one of the oldest homes in Cooper County, Winky, a talented artist, has pinned calendars, cookbooks, tee shirts, and cups to support the Chamber, Tourism office and Save the Bridge Coalition. The tourism office has used her art in Missouri Life and SEC ads and most recently a billboard. She has served on the Chamber board, is a member of the Boonslick Tourism Council and the Cooper County historical society. Winky has always been a cheerleader for tourism in Boonville and Cooper County," Thacher said.