The 2013 Missouri Preservation Conference held a wide range of activities on Thursday, where attendees experienced the surroundings of Boonville and a tour of Arrow Rock.
Linda Caldwell, Executive Director of the Tennessee Overhill Heritage Association, devoted her keynote address to ‘saving America's rural history.’ The Tennessee Overhill consist of a three-county region in the middle of the Cherokee National Forest in the southeast portion of the state.
She explained the area is rich in history and landscape full of beauty but the question was, how to promote the area as heritage tourism?
Caldwell said individuals travel to a place to see the different culture and histories of a place. With a mix of colonial, Native American and landscapes she along with many individuals began a long road to promote the area. She said partnerships are key and a wide range of people are needed for their different outlooks on a project. Within the last 20 years they have constructed multiple trails, re-habbed an old railway into a passenger train through the mountains and restored many buildings, which now are open for tours.
Further in the evening, Executive Director of the Katy Bridge Coalition Paula Shannon, Boonville City Attorney Megan McGuire and Assistant Director of Boonville Tourism Sherry Broyles talked about the Katy Bridge and tourism branding.
The evening ended with a tour of historic homes around Boonville. Thacher Funeral Home, which has recently been restored was a host on the tour.
"The evening has been great. Once the individuals toured homes on High Street, they stopped here," Thacher Funeral Home Director, Jim Wilson said.
He said people from across the state visited the home, even an individual from Washington D.C. Among topics of the night included the restored inlay floors, hand-painted fireplaces and woodwork.