Feb. 22 Schoolcraft Presentation Aims to Connect Missouri to its Past

Feb 21, 2019

A view from the entrance of Smallin Cave.
Credit Scott Harvey / KSMU

The Springfield Conservation Nature Center will host Eric Fuller as he takes attendees back in time through a historical portrayal of pioneer adventurer Henry R. Schoolcraft.


Centering on Smallin Cave and the Schoolcraft geological survey, Fuller will focus on the “Then and Now” aspects of the cave.


He’ll draw from Schoolcraft’s own words about his exploration across the Ozarks 200 years ago for the “then” portion, and he'll also detail what the Smallin Cave site is doing to celebrate the bicentennial.


“It kind of gives people an idea of how things were, and then how we’re trying to celebrate with how things are today.”


Fuller models his clothing, along with his hair and beard, off of pictures of Schoolcraft for authenticity. He says he admires Schoolcraft for his insight into what Missouri was like before it was a state.


“It reminds us of the fact that we have a beautiful land that was occupied by people we often forget about, which is the Osage.”


Osage artifacts, as well as other items and pictures of the cave, will be shown during the presentation. Fuller says that he hopes the audience will come away with a deeper appreciation for Smallin Cave and this part of the Ozarks Past.


The presentation will take place on Friday, February 22nd at the Conservation Nature Center. The Conservation Nature Center is located at 4601 S. Nature Center Way, Springfield, MO 65804.