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.

Missouri Digital Heritage / Springfield Greene County Public Library

During World War One, one of southwest Missouri’s main contributions to the Allied forces was supplying mules and horses for work in the trenches. KSMU went back in time to gain a better understanding about these hardy animals for our Sense of Place series on local history.

Michael Price might be sitting behind a desk, but this man knows a lot more about mules than you might think.

Images courtesy of the Springfield-Greene County Library District

 

Today, the City of Joplin is a thriving hub for health care and transportation. But there was a time when it was no more than a collection of tents huddled around a series of mines.

Walking into the Joplin History Museum, you’re greeted by the two resident cats who watch over the building—and an entire wing designed to look like an old mine.  

Springfield-Greene County Library District

  One the most influential people in Springfield’s history was a civic trailblazer during the first half of the 20th century.

 

John T. Woodruff moved to the Springfield area in 1904 and went on a 40-year spree of civic projects and expansion across the Ozarks.

 

But today, most people don’t know who he was or the impact he had on the community, says Missouri State University Library Dean Thomas Peters.

 

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.

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