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Local History

History of The Woodlands Explored in New Book

Kevin White, MSU Photographic Services

Just southeast of Ritter Springs Park sit 161 acres of old timber land with ruins of a 1930s era transient camp. In 2013, Betty Jeanne Turoff, a descendant of one of the original owners of the land, donated the property to the Missouri State University Foundation on condition that it not be developed and that it be used as an outdoor nature laboratory under the management of the Darr School of Agriculture.

Dr. Anson Elliott, director of the Darr School, said he'll abide by Turoff's request, which included renaming the property The Woodlands.

Sally Lyons McAlear, an emeritus staff member from the Darr School, has revived the story of the Springfield Federal Transient Camp in the book A Refuge in the Woodlands.

Printed copies of the book are still available (for $20) by calling the Darr School of Agriculture at 836-5638.