Rolla - Rolla, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 37° 56.637 W 091° 47.259
15S E 606524 N 4200289
The influence of the railroads, the Civil War, and early settlers on this important Missouri City.
Waymark Code: WM3AWW
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 03/07/2008
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member GEO*Trailblazer 1
Views: 39

Marker Erected by: State Historical Society of Missouri and State Highway Commission
Date Marker Erected: 1953
County of Marker: Phelps County.
Location of Marker: Kingshighway (Bus. I-44) & Fairgrounds Rd., Buehler Park

Marker Text:

This Ozark plateau town, 1120 feet above sea level, was a "Child of the railroad." On a natural passageway to southwest Missouri, midway between St. Louis and Springfield, this site was chosen by the Southwestern Branch of the pacific Railway for an office and warehouses, 1855.

Rolla became county seat of Phelps County when E.W. Bishop, one-time associated with the railroad, donated 50 acres of land for this purpose, 1858. Court was held in the railroad office for a time. The county name honors John S. Phelps, Mo. Governor. The town name is probably a phonetic adaptation of Raleigh, N.C., but conjecture also credits other theories. Early settlers found a source of saltpeter for gunpowder in nearby caves.

During the Civil War, Rolla, strategically located at the terminus of a railway, was a great Federal military encampment. After Lyon's defeat and death at Wilson's Creek, 1861, his troops retreated here. Curtis with 12,000 men left here for the decisive Union victory at Pea Ridge, Ark. 1862. The sites of Fort Wyman and Dette, within town limits, recall elaborate Civil War fortifications.

The University of Missouri School of Mines & Metallurgy, early school of mines in U.S., was opened in 1871. The school has a notable mineral museum. Also in Rolla are the State Trachoma Hospital, first such institution in U.S., completed, 1939; Missouri Geological Survey Offices; and Federal Bureau of Mines and U.S. Geological Survey branch offices.

At St. James, 10 miles northeast, are the State Federal Soldiers Home, founded, 1897; and Missouri's Boys Town, youth conservation project, opened, 1949. Near St. James is Rosati (formerly Knobview), an Italian settlement famed for its grape production.

Maramec Iron Works, 7 miles southeast of St. James, is site of first major commercial iron furnaces in Missouri, 1826. Near the iron works is lovely Maramec Spring, which has an average flow of 96 million gallons daily.

Part of Mark Twain National Forest falls in the area which abounds in caves, streams, springs, highland views, and Indian mounds.

In nearby Pulaski Co., 26 miles southwest, if Fort Leonard Wood, U.S. Army training post.

Web link: [Web Link]

History of Mark:

Update to this 1953 marker:
1. The school of Mines and Metallurgy became the University of Missouri-Rolla in 1964. The State Trachoma Hospital closed, and the building was sold in 1957 to the State Highway Patrol for use as a training center. It is now part of the University of Missouri-Rolla campus. The Missouri Geological Survey is now the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geology and Land Survey.

2. The Federal Soldiers Home is now the Missouri Veterans Home, and Missouri Boys Town is now Boys Town of Missouri, Inc.

Additional point: Not Listed

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Recent Visits/Logs:
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Fattuhr visited Rolla - Rolla, MO 04/21/2010 Fattuhr visited it
YoSam. visited Rolla - Rolla, MO 06/27/2007 YoSam. visited it

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