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DAR displays plank road memorabilia

Daughters of the American Revolution members from the Sarah Barton Murphy Chapter, Lana Wampler and Pat Colyer added to the Country Days activities by setting up a memorabilia display on the original front porch of the 1833 Long House in Long Park on Saturday, June 3, 2018.

Laying on an antique bench by the original center portion of the home, was a heavy oxen for two oxen. A sign of the “Plank Road” hangs on the wall of the home. Framed in a horse shoe decorated window, is a photo of a semicircular painting located in the Farmington library. Depicted in the collage, is an oxen team, pulling iron ore carts. A lighter weight yolk was used for teams of three mules or horses for farming. A wooden tool box holds a well-worn rake, an American Flag of planks, and photo of the marking of the Plank Road previously placed by the Sarah Barton Murphy Chapter, DAR and the Daughters of the American Colonies, DAC. Another sign, “DAR” credits Lana’s collage.

Oxen were utilized for pulling heavily loaded iron ore carts from a large mine in Iron County, through St. Francois County towns of Doe Run, Delassus, and Farmington, ending in Ste. Genevieve in Ste. Genevieve County at the Mississippi River port. From the river port, the iron ore traveled along the river to smelters that separated the ore from the rocks.

The Plank Road, the first road in the state, was created of necessity. The wet weather conditions frequently bogged down iron ore carts. The virgin trees were felled, split, and placed with the split side down for the first layer. How many layers were needed depended on how wet the ground was. More layers were added as the earlier ones were needed due to heavy traffic. Toll booths were located along the route, to recover the expense of tree felling. The toll booths were located in Delassus, Doe Run and two in Farmington. One at the west entry point, at the current State Hospital Grounds entrance, by the CCC-built stone wall on West Columbia Street. The second was an exit point on the east end of Ste. Genevieve Avenue.

Lana Wampler wears a day dress of the 1830’s during Country Days. Not photographed, Lori Deer and granddaughter Mckenzie, serving as second floor docents in the children’s nursery at the Long House in Long Park. Jim Snavely assisted with setting up the display at Long Park during this year's Country Days celebration.

Lana Wampler wears a day dress of the 1830’s during Country Days. Not photographed, Lori Deer and granddaughter Mckenzie, serving as second floor docents in the children’s nursery at the Long House in Long Park. Jim Snavely assisted with setting up the display at Long Park during this year’s Country Days celebration.

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