Grant brings Arrow Rock pre-Civil War history to teachers

Monday, February 14, 2005

During the 19th century, the nation was beginning to tear at the seams before erupting into civil war. Right on the lines of the divided country sat Missouri, with towns such as historic Arrow Rock developing unique identities as the cultures of the American North and South took significant turns.

To help give history teachers a view of life before the Civil War, two five-day workshops will be held this July in Arrow Rock. The workshops, made possible by a $155,255 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, are the fruit of the joint labors of the Friends of Arrow Rock and the Central Missouri State University's Department of History and Anthropology.

The historic village in eastern Saline County on the banks of the Missouri River will give teachers a chance to get a hands-on feel for the history of the period, utilizing the documents, historic architecture, artifacts, artwork and museum collections found in the area. "We'll take advantage of what Arrow Rock and the surrounding area has to offer," said Jeff Yelton, assistant professor of anthropology at CMSU, naming the "Sappington home" and a nearby cemetery as among historic hot spots.

Kathy Borgman, executive director of Friends of Arrow Rock, said the organization was excited about the program. "What a thrill to facilitate learning on this level and to multiply that experience throughout the country through a hundred classrooms!" Borgman said. "No other project we've undertaken has so clearly fulfilled our mission of preserving and interpreting Arrow Rock's history."

Workshops will be run by faculty from CMSU, University of Missouri-Kansas City, University of Missouri-St. Louis and the University of Cincinnati.

Staff from Friends of Arrow Rock, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the Missouri State Archives and Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City will also be helping history teachers understand the dynamics of the period.

To attend, teachers must teach history, social studies or humanities at a public, private or parochial school. An application and more information is available online at Applications are due to Jeff Yelton at CMSU by March 15.

Contact Matt Heger at