The Museum on Main Street has brought its Crossroads: Change in Rural America exhibit to small towns in Missouri. After visiting the Bootheel’s Kennett, it’s now in southwest Missouri’s Crane through December 12.
Julie Green, President of the Stone County Historical/Genealogical Society, said that the Smithsonian Institution exhibit offers towns a chance to look at how their population and economy changed over time.
“We were requested to provide at least two other exhibits talking about the changes that came through Stone County that made us different,” she said. “One of them was the railroad. We grew a lot of vegetables, very good for tomatoes. But when we were growing them, we had no place to really take them to ship them.”
Green told Missourinet that the criteria for the exhibit had to be towns with a population of under 5,000 people.
“Old Crane is about 1,500,” she said. “So that gave us population-wise, and then grants were written to get the exhibit. Twenty-six or 27 came into the (Missouri) Humanities. Out of those, six were chosen, of which we were the one for southwest Missouri.”
She said the railroad changed agribusiness for local farmers, but so, too did the construction of Table Rock Lake in the 1950s.
“The tourism,” said Green. “I mean, let’s face it, when the lake came in in the 50s, it took away a lot of the good farmland down on the river bottoms on the White River and the bottom of the James. But it also brought lakes in with resorts, fishing tournaments, recreation, Silver Dollar City. That’s in Stone County, by the way, people.”
The exhibit is open Thursdays through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Stone County Historical Society Event Center.
The exhibit will also be visiting Knob Noster, Brookfield, Salem, and Kearney. It has already been to Kennett in the Bootheel.
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