Saturday, August 7, 2021

Once Every 200 Years

August 10th marks the two hundredth anniversary of Missouri’s entry into the United States as the 24th state.  For the next week or so there are all kinds of celebrations going on. Today Hubby Tony and I visited one of them, which took place on and around the grounds of the first State Capitol in St. Charles.

We got there a little before the official start time, and walked a couple of blocks out of the way to visit a farmer's market. There we got some produce and talked with a coffee roaster (who made us a darn good cup of drip coffee) and picked up some tips for coffee shops in St. Charles.

The anniversary event was organized by the Missouri State Parks. There were historical reenactors, lots of activities for kids, and booths manned by both state employees and community organizations. There was a section behind the building seemed to be focused on pointing out some of the state symbols....

  • A native bird organization showcasing houses for bluebirds (the official state bird)
  • A booth manned by two young women, one of whom played the state song ("The Missouri Waltz") on the state instrument (the fiddle)
  • A tent manned by a beekeeping (the state insect) organization, which was giving out information about hives and how you could make your area bee friendly
  • The Department of Natural Resources, which manned a table with samples of rocks and minerals you could find in the state. I learned about the state rock (Mozarkite), and picked up a small sample of Galena (the state mineral)
  • A woman sitting at a table holding a sign proclaiming the state dance (square dance), who told me all of the other people in her group were across the street actually dancing. She looked sad to be left behind, but gave me a lot of information about groups in the area
  • Two women sitting at a table under a large black walnut tree (the state tree nut) demonstrating ink made from the inner skin of black walnuts with quill pens
  • The department of conservation, which had a sample of the state grass (big bluestem) and mounted displays of the state game bird (bobwhite quail). We had a discussion with him and learned there was a small native prairie that still remains in the St. Louis metropolitan area, which I added to my list of things to visit
  • A volunteer organization that grows and promotes native trees
  • A group from one of the large state parks in west St. Louis county, which brought specimens of the state fish (channel catfish), amphibian (American bullfrog), invertebrate (crawfish), and reptile (three-toed box turtle). They also had a poster which displayed the state animal (Missouri mule), horse (Missouri Fox Trotter), dinosaur  (Hypsibema missouriensis), fossil (Crinoid). And for some reason they included symbols that had nothing to do with fauna. It was interesting to learn that jumping jacks were the state exercise and ice cream cones were the state dessert

We were there for about two hours before it got hot. The sun was high enough that there wasn't a lot of shade to be had and we decided to leave. It's a shame that the anniversary couldn't take place a month from now when the weather would be much nicer.

Some of our swag


  1. ן would have been interested in rocks and minerals, not interested in bees whose victim I was several times.
    'native trees', 'native prairie','native bird organization' - I like it that the country gives respect to its natives.

    1. The appreciation for native flora and fauna has only happened in the past few decades.

  2. I wonder if I could get by with big bluestem in my yard at its full height?

    1. Probably depends on your HOA, but I'm guessing not.

  3. Kansas City's PBS station is showing a documentary on Missouri and its anniversary on Thursday night... put together by Missouri State University ( I think).

    1. I'll have to keep an eye out for it on this side of the state.

  4. Quite a lovely day out. And the weather was good too.

    God bless.

  5. Sounds like a fun way for even natives to learn more about and show pride in local history.