Local History

Theresa Bettmann / KSMU

The Hotel Vandivort in Springfield’s sprawling downtown opened its doors to guests Monday. This is one of many historic buildings getting a second chance as part of center city’s revitalization. KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann takes us on a tour of the renewed structure, a project that owners refer to as a “labor of love.”

From Chicago to Santa Monica, historic Route 66 stretched across the country becoming synonymous with an idyllic 1950s world full of neon signs and Chevrolet Corvette convertibles. Missouri State University (which is conveniently located in the birthplace of Route 66) now serves as one of the repositories for Route 66 archives in order to make it more accessible to researchers and scholars. David Richards, associate professor of library science, and Thomas Peters, dean of the libraries at MSU, recently were awarded several grants to study this highway in a new light.

Springfield-Greene County Park Board

A new directory highlights the “who’s who” of Missouri’s historic and one-room schools. KSMU’s Simone Cook tells us more about the publication, which includes details on roughly 50 schools.

“The Missouri Directory of Historic and One-Room Schools” was published in October by David Burton and Jennifer Kerivan. Burton, of the MU Extension and creator of the Missouri Historic Schools Alliance, says the directory helps tell part of the history of education in Missouri.

Springfield Public Schools - Sunshine Elementary

One of Springfield’s oldest schools celebrates a major milestone this week. KSMU’s Simone Cook has details.

Sunshine Elementary School was founded in 1864 as a country school on the corners of a then dirt Sunshine Lane and gravel Campbell Road.

David Martin, current principal of the school in Springfield, explains that the facility wasn’t even a part of the city in the mid-1860s.

Simone Cook

Like many downtown U.S. cities, historical landmarks are commonplace. The City of Springfield is no different.  KSMU’s Simone Cook tells us about the city’s third-oldest structure, located just south of the square.