Pilot Grove to Boonville - Cooper County - Pilot Grove, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 38° 52.537 W 092° 54.740
15S E 507604 N 4302977
Points of interest and history along the Katy Trail State Park.
Waymark Code: WM11KHN
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 11/07/2019
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Geo Ferret
Views: 2

County of marker: Cooper County
Location of marker: 1st St. & Roe St., Katy Trail State Park Trailhead, Pilot Grove
Marker erected: 2010
Marker erected by: Missouri Department of Natural Resources

Marker Text:
Pilot Grove to Boonville 11.50 miles, is considered by many Katy Trail users to be the most difficult stretch of the trail due to uphill grades. Over the first several miles, riders cross a rolling landscape dominated by hay and crop fields. Around milepost 199, long vistas toward Boonville and the Missouri River can be seen to the left.

At milepost 197 is the site of Prairie Lick, once a MKT railhead for agricultural products. The Katy's only overhead crossing of interstate 70 is at milepost 196. Riders make a final descent into Boonville and the Missouri River valley on Lard Hill.
According to local legend, the hill was named after a MKT train killed a woman's pig but refused to pay her more than $5.
To receive justice, she melted down the fat of the pig into lard. Each morning for weeks afterward, she and her children covered the tracks along the grade with the lard, forcing trains to slip and skate uphill. Needless to day, the railroad gave in and mad the full compensation.

The 1912 Mission-Style Boonville depot stands just past the trailhead. The depot now serves as home to the Boonville Tourism Center. The Boonville Katy Caboose Museum is located in Caboose #134 outside the depot and is open for visitors.

Web link: [Web Link]

History of Mark:
The Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (MKT)
Begun in the 1870s, the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, also known as the Katy, ran through much of the Missouri River valley by the 1890s. With the Pacific Railroad running from St. St. Louis to Jefferson City by 1856 and the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad becoming the first cross-state railroad in 1859, the Katy was a relative late comer to the railroad game. However, it provided a vital link between the agriculture of central Missouri and the quickly developing American southwest. The Katy added to Missouri's prosperity, supporting towns along the corridor and causing several new towns, such Mokane and Tebbetts, to spring up almost overnight.

The Katy Ceases Operation
In the fall of 1986, the Katy experienced severe flooding that washed out several miles of track. Due to the cost of repair, the fact that railroad use was in decline, and the company was in financial trouble, the company decided to cease operations. On Oct. 4, 1986, trains 101 and 102 became the very last trains to use the corridor and the Katy ceased operations on its route from Sedalia to Machens.

The Railroad Amendment
The National Trails System Act Amendments of 1983 provided that railroad corridors no longer needed for active rail service can be banked for future transportation needs and used on an interim basis for recreational trails. When the Katy Railroad ceased operations, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources filed for a certificate of interim trail use for the corridor from Sedalia to Machens and it was granted in April 1987. The department used the opportunity to develop one of the most successful rails-to-trails conversions in the United States.

The Development of Katy Trail State Park
The first section of the trail from Rocheport to McBaine opened in April on 1990. In August of 1990, another section from Augusta to jut northeast of Defiance opened. The rail corridor from St. Charles to just past Sedalia was developed by 1996. Through a donation from the Union Pacific Railroad, the department then extended the trail to Clinton, opening the section between Sedalia and Clinton in September of 1999. Funds from the Missouri Department of Transportation will be used for construction of the final section of Katy Trail from St. Charles to Machens. Future plans include the Rock Island Trail-Katy Connector, which will connect the trails at Windsor to Pleasant Hill.

Additional point: Not Listed

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freezer54 visited Pilot Grove to Boonville - Cooper County - Pilot Grove, MO 05/02/2021 freezer54 visited it