Sense of Place

Profiling historical people, places and things throughout the Ozarks. Until recently, Sense of Place had been a long-running series on KSMU. We re-launched the series in August 2017 to capture unique stories on history throughout our region. Below, see recent reports and archives from over the years.

Mike Smith / KSMU-FM

Audio:  As we enter the building a large wooden door closes, followed by the voice of Holly Baker: 

“We are in what used to be the 2nd Infantry Barracks, but right now is serving as our museum and theater.  And this is where we have our brand new exhibit The Fight Over Freedom, the story of Ft. Scott during The Bleeding Kansas and the Civil War periods”

Scott Harvey / KSMU

This once popular road, as described by Troy Banzhaf, was equivalent to modern-day highways as it connected several states and was highly traveled. A portion of this road is also infamous in the role it played in a dark time in history. Banzhaf is the chief of interpretation at Pea Ridge National Military Park in Garfield, Arkansas. This site is best known for its Civil War history and the battle that occurred there in 1862.

Kathryn Eutsler/KSMU

From the street, it doesn’t look like much. On one side, a privacy fence contains overgrown weeds that resemble mounds of green and yellow spaghetti. On the other side, rows of white and grey houses. Cars whoosh by.

"There’s an old railroad bed that runs through there.”

That’s Terry Waley, executive director of Ozark Greenways. He says the organization first acquired this land years ago, and figured:

“Someday we’ll turn it into a trail.”

Scott Harvey / KSMU

“You’re looking at about two-thirds of the battlefield from up on top of this vantage point up here,” says Troy Banzhaf.  

Atop the East Overlook at Pea Ridge National Military Park in northwestern Arkansas, you get a sense of the scope of this battlefield, where roughly 2,000 Union and Confederate soldiers lost their lives in March 1862. I’m standing alongside Troy Banzhaf, chief of interpretation at the park, as he describes the capabilities of the cannons scattered across the grass below.

Scott Harvey / KSMU

Along a shallow creek in the woods of rural southwest Missouri sits a bronze statue resting atop a large limestone rock. It’s of a young boy, who sits upright, shirtless, with his right hand resting upon his knee, his left supporting a small plant.   

The nine-foot high sculpture pays homage to George Washington Carver, who was born a slave on this land, the Moses and Susan Carver farm, in 1864.

“He’s often seen in kind of this one-dimensional way as the wise and affable peanut guy and his 300 uses of the peanut. The real Carver is much more multi-dimensional.”

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