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Jefferson City, Missouri, from Lewis & Clark to Winston Churchill

© By Adam Southwood
 
British Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill was one of Jefferson City's most famous visitors, arriving by train and escorted by President Harry Truman. He made his way by motorcade to nearby Westminster College and delivered an historic speech, March 5, 1946, initiating a phrase to be heard around the world, warning that the Soviets were creating an "Iron Curtain" across Europe.
     Located near the geographic center of the state, Jefferson City was actually created as state's capital in 1821, selected as a result of a mandate that required the capital be located on the Missouri River, within forty miles of the mouth of the Osage River. The waterways were major arteries of trade and travel into the state. Jefferson City was named after Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States, responsible for the Louisiana Purchase, the treaty that resulted in land acquisition from which Missouri was born.
     The beautiful capitol is built in ornate Roman Renaissance style after the nation's Capitol in Washington, D.C. Carthage marble, quarried in Carthage, MO, is used for the exterior walls, corridor floors, rotunda and stairways. Its architectural features include eight 48-foot columns on the south portico and six 40-foot columns on the north side, a 30-foot wide grand stairway and bronze
 


Take A Flight Over Jefferson City
front doors, each 13 x 18 feet, the largest cast since the Roman era.
     The dome rises 262 feet above the basement floor and is 90 feet in diameter. Ceres, the Roman Goddess of Agriculture adorns the top. The five-story-tall building covers three acres and contains half a million square feet of floor space. The Capitol is home to the Missouri State Museum, highlighting Missouri's history and resources. (201 W. Capitol Ave. (573) 751-2854, Open 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday - Sunday Tours Monday - Saturday every hour on the hour, Sunday 10:00, 11:00, 2:00 and 3:00)
     Built in 1871, the governor's mansion is a three-story, thirteen-bedroom home with great hall with 17 foot-high ceilings and elaborate chandeliers. (100 Madison St., (573) 751-7929; www.missourimansion.org, Tours 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 1:00-3:00 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, except during August and Dec. 24; hour advance registration required)
     At the north end of Jefferson Street, Jefferson Landing is the city''s original river landing prior to the Civil War. It includes:
 •    Lohman Building - Built in 1839; it served as a tavern, hotel and large city warehouse and mercantile business and today a visitor center.
 •    Union Hotel - Built in 1855; it was developed to house visitors arriving on the Pacific Railroad, now the lower level serving as the Amtrak station while the upper level houses the Elizabeth Rozier Gallery.
 •    Carnahan Memorial Garden - Built in the late 1930s with money from the Works Progress Administration (WPA) project, which allowed President Franklin D. Roosevelt to create work opportunities for those unemployed during the Great Depression. Renamed the Carnahan Memorial Garden in 2001 in memory of former Governor, Mel Carnahan. (100 Jefferson St., (573) 751-2854 Open 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Tuesday - Saturday; Tours every half hour)
     Lincoln University dates back to the close of the Civil War when soldiers and officers of the 62nd and 65th Colored Infantry, comprised primarily of Missourians, organized an educational institution for the benefit of freed African American soldiers, opening in 1866. The Inman E. Page Library is an 80,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility referred to as the "information mall." (820 Chestnut St., (573) 681-5599; www.lincolnu.edu Open - hours follow school schedule)
     The Lewis & Clark Expedition was the first crossing of the North American continent north of the Mexican border undertaken by white men. In 1804, Lewis & Clark camped near the mouth of the Moreau and Osage Rivers near Jefferson City on travels west with the Corps of Discovery, a monument placed in Jefferson City.

Architecture  Biking  Capitol Building  Inman E Page Library  Lewis & Clark Monument  US Infantry Memorial

Adam Southwood writes for Canadian, U.S. and European magazines and newspapers. He is a graduate of both McMaster University in Hamilton and UWO in London with an interest in culture and history. He has produced several educational programs for TV.

Photo Credits
Courtesy of Jefferson City, Missouri CVB

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Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_City
Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Jefferson_City
Jefferson City, Missouri CVB: http://visitjeffersoncity.com/

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