FOCUS ON MISSOURI: Springfield

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springfieldMOSpringfield is the third largest city in the state of Missouri and the county seat of Greene County (named for American Revolutionary War General Nathanael Greene). Springfield’s nickname is the “Queen City of the Ozarks” and is known as the “Birthplace of Route 66“.  It is also home of several universities including Missouri State University, Drury University, and Evangel University.

Civil War
On August 10, 1861, Union and Confederate forces clashed a few miles southwest of Springfield in the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, the site of the first major conflict west of the Mississippi River, involving about 5,400 Union troops and 12,000 Confederates. Gen. Nathaniel Lyon was killed, the first Union general to die in combat, and the Confederates were victorious. Union troops fell back to Lebanon, then Rolla, and regrouped. When they returned to Springfield, the Confederates had withdrawn.

The First Battle of Springfield, or Zagonyi’s Charge, occurred on October 25, 1861. It was the only Union victory that year in southwestern Missouri and set the stage for the Battle of Pea Ridge in March 1862, which gave the Union control of the state. Then on January 8, 1863, Confederate forces under Gen. John S. Marmaduke advanced toward the town square and the Second Battle of Springfield ensued. As evening approached, the Confederates withdrew. The next morning, Gen. Marmaduke sent a message to Union forces asking for proper burials for Confederate casualties. The city would stay under Union control until the end of the war.

Wild Bill Hickok shootout
On July 21, 1865, Springfield helped give birth to the Wild West era when the town square was the site of the Wild Bill HickokDavis Tutt shootout, a “quick draw” duel between Wild Bill Hickok and Davis Tutt. Two small brass plaques inlaid into the pavement on Park Central Square mark the locations of both Hickok and Tutt during the famous shootout.

Birthplace of Route 66
Springfield is recognized as the “Birthplace of US Route 66“. It was in Springfield on April 30, 1926 that officials first proposed the name of the new Chicago-to-Los Angeles highway. In 1938, Route 66 became the first completely paved United States Numbered Highway in America — the “Mother Road” — stretching from the Great Lakes to the Pacific Coast.

A placard in Park Central Square was dedicated to the city by the Route 66 Association of Missouri, and traces of the Mother Road are still visible in Downtown Springfield along Kearney Street, Glenstone Avenue, College and St. Louis streets and on Missouri 266 to Halltown. (Wikipedia)

 

WilsonsCreekBattlefield
Wilson Creek Battlefield – Nathaniel Lyon became the first Union soldier to be killed during the Civil War on August 10, 1861. See where it happened on a 4.9-mile interpretative drive through the park, as well as see the Ray House, which served as a field hospital.
FantasticCaverns
Fantastic Caverns – America’s Only Ride Through Cave – 4872 North Farm Road 125 Springfield, Missouri 65803
HammonsFieldCardinals
Hammons Field – Hammons Field is located in downtown Springfield at 955 East Trafficway. – The Springfield Cardinals are the Double-A Texas League affiliate of the 11-time World Champion St. Louis Cardinals. They are one of eight teams in the Texas League along with the Arkansas Travelers, the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, the Tulsa Drillers, the Corpus Christi Hooks, the Frisco RoughRiders, the Midland RockHounds and the San Antonio Missions. The Cardinals captured their first Texas League Title in 2012. They are owned and operated by the St. Louis Cardinals, and welcomed the largest crowd in team history — 11,818 fans — on July 4, 2013.
PythianCastle
Pythian Castle – Springfield’s Pythian Castle is a purportedly haunted event venue designed in imitation of a grand European castle. It features a comedy lounge, dinner theater and cabaret. Pythian Castle is also a beautiful wedding venue.
WorldsLargestFork
The World’s Largest Fork – At 35 feet tall and 11 tons, the fork angles up toward a three-story building occupied by Noble & Associates, a Springfield ad agency. 2215 W Chesterfield Blvd., Springfield, MO

 

SpringfieldConservation
Springfield Conservation Nature Center – Covering 80 acres, the Springfield Conservation Nature Center has on its site a total of 3 miles of trails, covered lunch areas and bus and RV parking spots. The building has an auditorium, classrooms and an information desk.
SpringfieldSOLO
Solo Cup Manufacturing (Former)
MilitaryMuseum
The Air and Military Museum of the Ozarks – Although it started with a single showcase, The Air and Military Museum of the Ozarks now has over 5,000 pieces of military memorabilia. The museum hosts Museum School for students so they can learn more about history and science. 2305 East Kearney, Springfield, MO 65803
Capture
Springfield National Cemetary – Established in 1867, the Springfield National Cemetery is the resting place for many of the men who died at the Battle of Wilson Creek. The cemetery has several monuments and memorials, including a marble pillar honoring Brig. Gen. Nathaniel Lyon.
Mizumoto
Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden – Springfield’s Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden is a tranquil oasis of lily ponds, wooden bridges, bonsai trees, rock arrangements and plants native to Japan. It is best explored during warm weather.
MissouriSportsHallOfFame
Missouri Sports Hall of Fame – Established in 1994, the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame honors Missouri athletes from various sports. Famous inductees include Stan Musial, George Brett, Lou Brock, Bob Ozzie Smith and Dick Vermeil. – 3861 E. Stan Musial Drive Springfield, MO 65809

hike

For the Best Hikes in and around Springfield, visit AllTrails

 

Thanks for taking your time to read about Springfield, Missouri.

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