History of McBaine - McBaine, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 38° 53.249 W 092° 26.777
15S E 548023 N 4304435
Town history, the disasters and successes. Included is the last plank road built in Missouri.
Waymark Code: WM16F2A
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 07/18/2022
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Geo Ferret
Views: 1

County of marker: Boone County
Location of marker: State Hwy K, Katy Trail State Park, McBaine Trailhead
Marker erected: 2010
Marker erected by: Missouri Department of Natural Resources

Marker Text:

History of McBaine

1800 . . . . . . . . . .
Nashville Born, Destroyed ...

McBaine's history begins with Nashville, five miles downriver. Ira Nash received a Spanish land grant in 1800, before the United States owned the Louisiana Territory. Nash, a Virginian and one of the first American settlers in Central Missouri, laid out Nashville in 1819, and lots went on sale Jan. 1, 1820.
Nashville grew ass a river town for two decades, but the river then destroyed it. On June 21, 1844, the Missouri Statesman reported that "Nashville is also under water, and the immense bottoms adjacent. Every inhabitant of the place had to desert it. The water is now eight feet deep in the streets."

The following Week, the Statesman said "Camplin's tobacco warehouse at Nashville ... has been swept into the river. The residence of Mr. John Parker we presume is, by this time, also in the river as the bank on Wednesday morning had caved halfway under it." The Nashville Baptist Church, built around 1834 of pecan logs, was spared in the great 1844 flood and survived even beyond the building of a new church in 1872.

... and Reborn as Providence
Nashville residents wasted no time in founding a new town, on and a half miles north on the edge of the river bluffs. Lots in Providence, as it was called, began selling on July 13, 1844, just weeks after the flood. A decade later, Providence prospered as Columbia's port. Transportation over the 10 miles northeast to Columbia was rough, and the plank road of the 1850s was an improvement for only a few years.

Columbia was the key to the progress of Providence, and once Columbia became better-connected - a railroad spur from Centralia, gravel roads to Claysville, Fulton, Ashville, Mexico and Rocheport - Providence was no longer important. As a final insult, when the Missouri River shifted course in the late 1800s, the town became landlocked.

1822 . . . . . . . . . .
Grandfather and Father McBaine

The McBaine family moved to Boone County from Kentucky in 1822 and became highly successful. Turner McBaine and his son, James T. McBaine, raised crops and livestock on their ever-expanding property. James T. McBaine helped John Parker promote the doomed Columbia-Providence Plank Road. James inherited his father's land and a large number of slaves, then became a Union Army Captain at the beginning of the Civil War. Records show he bought a 43-year-old slave named Alex for $132 at public sale in January 1864. In 1881, James T. McBaine was the second largest taxpayer in Boone County, paying $1,106.67.

Turner McBaine
Born in 1853 near Providence, Turner McBaine - grandson of his namesake - went into business after graduating from the University of Missouri. He returned to live in Columbia, and spent each summer with his family on their land along the Missouri River, the largest farm property in the county, where he oversaw his tenants. In 1899, according to the Encyclopedia of the History of Missouri, 1,000 acres were planted in wheat, yielding 25,000 bushels. About 1,000 cattle and 1,500 hogs went to market annually from the McBaine farm. His sister, Mrs. Hunt, lived on a 2,000 acre farm at Huntsdale.

Arrival of the Katy Railroad
The Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway (known as the MKT or Katy) built a 160-mile extension along the Missouri River in 1892-93 from Franklin to Machens, the present-day eastern end of the Katy Trail State Park. In 1899, the Missouri Midland Railway completed an 8.8-mile branch line into Columbia, terminating at the MKT depot on Broadway. Today, that spur operated by the City of Columbia and Boone County, in the MKT Nature & Fitness Trail. The junction with Katy Trail State Park is 0.4 miles north of the McBaine Trailhead.

1899 . . . . . . . . . .

The railstop at McBaine was originally called Kennard when the first Katy train passed in 1893. It was name after Samuel M. Kennard, a St. Louis investor in the Franklin-Machens line. But the new branch line to Columbia changed everything, and Turner McBaine got busy. He platted the town of McBaine, and sold lots starting Sept. 20, 1899 - two weeks after trains steamed up the spur to Columbia. Kennard was renamed McBaine. The town was incorporated in 1911.

Missouri River Floods
Missouri River towns protected from flooding because of their blufftop layout, such as Jefferson City and Boonville, have always fared better than towns built on the bottoms, such s Nashville and McBaine. McBaine has seen a century of floods, beginning in 1903.

No flood rose higher than in 1993, during a spring and summer of constant rain. In McBaine, home owners were forced to higher ground. Columbia's water treatment plant barely stayed in operation. City wetland units along the Katy, still under construction, and the almost-completed artificial wetlands at Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area were heavily damaged. The 1993 flood caused 27 deaths in Missouri.

Even the giant bur oak tree near McBaine suffered. More than a month with its roots underwater caused leaves to curl and turn brown or drop. It survived not only the 1993 floodwaters, but an August lightning strike.

Two years later, in May 1995, the Missouri River rose again. Once again McBaine residence moved to high ground, again the water treatment plant built a protective barrier, and again the Katy Trail was damaged. Eagle Bluffs was mostly submerged, and Columbia temporarily lost two wells when a transformer exploded. On May 19, 1995, the Boonville gage read 33.14 feet, the second-highest flood stage on record after the 37.1 feet of 1993.

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History of Mark:
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Additional point: Not Listed

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