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.

Johnson Family Collection

Drive by Phelps Grove Park in central Springfield and you'll likely see people walking their dogs, playing Frisbee, or having a picnic. This park is over 100 years old, and we explored its past as part of our ongoing Sense of Place series looking at local history.

According to Richard Crabtree, a local realtor and Springfield historian, the land for Phelps Grove Park was purchased during the Civil War, but it did not become a park until 1914 when it became both a park and a neighborhood.

Megan Burke/ KSMU

There’s a new showstopper in town—but it’s not really new at all.  In fact, it’s a very old chandelier—over seven feet tall and carrying 70 pounds worth of hand cut crystal.  It’s hanging on the second floor of the Gillioz Theatre in downtown Springfield.

  The chandelier is the first thing visitors see when they enter the Gillioz. It’s positioned perfectly between two pillars on the second floor and radiates its newly restored LED lights throughout.

Sarah Teague / KSMU

In Drury University’s oldest stone building, the 1906 Chalfant Pipe Organ can be heard. The Stone Chapel stained glass casts a pastel glow about the sanctuary, illuminating the dust throughout the room, which lands softly on the pews. Dr. Earline Moulder sits on the organ’s stool, her hands and feet methodically pumping rhythm through the pipes.

Neal Lopinot
Scott Harvey / KSMU

Neal Lopinot is pointing to artifacts associated with Delaware Indian Village, often called Delaware Town, that date back to the 1820s. 

“These are British gun flints, pipe fragments, square nails, scissors.  This is probably part of a stove; from a stove. This is probably part of a utensil; spoon/knife,” he says.

Through a treaty, a group of Delaware moved from Indiana to southwest Missouri and for a short time occupied land along the James River Basin and part of what would later become Springfield.  

Matt Campanelli / KSMU

Cars race by along Glenstone Avenue along the cemetery’s eastern boundary. Half a block to the west, where Seminole Street intersects Glenstone, you’ll find the cemetery’s main entrance. When closed, its two black gates read “U.S. National Cemetery.”

Inside, hundreds of Union and Confederate soldiers, many of whom were killed during the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, are buried here. Many of these soldiers share the same name: Unknown.

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