Missouri Preservation Statewide Conference was held last week right here in Boonville. For the past two decades, the annual statewide conference, held at different locations throughout the state, has served to educate professionals and the public by offering presentations on topics by leading speakers in the preservation field. This year’s theme is, Preservation: A Bridge to the Future.  A fitting theme for a conference in Boonville, don't you think.

Boonville has always rallied to preserve its historic structures.  In 1937, Charles Van Ravenswaay, a prominent Boonville citizen, mounted a local and statewide preservation effort to save Thespian Hall from demolition; this effort was one of the first of its kind in Missouri.  Thespian Hall was built in 1855 and has been continuously used and operated since it opened.  More recently, a small group of citizens, now known as the Katy Bridge Coalition, fought to preserve the Katy Bridge.  Plans are underway for the first phase of renovation.  When completed, the operational life span bridge will the "Crown Jewel" of the Katy Trail, providing cyclists and pedestrians amazing views of the Missouri River.

The conference ends on Friday with the Preservation Legacy Awards Luncheon at Thespian Hall. Several individuals, groups, and organizations will be recognized for their contribution to the preservation of Boonville's history. I'll share all those honorees with you next Go Boonville. Buy Local, Play Local and Preserve Boonville.