An Historical Perspective of Civic Engagement and Interpreting Cultural Diversity in Arrow Rock, Missouri

Lewis & Clark Trail at Arrow Rock, MO

Publication: Historical Archaeology, Vol. 45, No. 1

Author: Timothy E. Baumann

Date of Publication: March 2011

PDF File: Baumann-2011-An-Historical-Perspective-of-Civic-Engagement-and-.pdf



Since 1912, Arrow Rock, Missouri, has transformed itself from a small river town into a major heritage-tourism center through a grassroots historic preservation movement. The result has been that in 1963 Arrow Rock was recorded as a National Historic Landmark site, in 2006 the National Trust for Historic Preservation listed it as one of its “Dozen Distinctive Destination” sites, and in 2008 it was recognized as a “Preserve America Community.” Like many historic towns, Arrow Rock’s preservation and interpretation focused initially on its “white, male, and rich” heritage, ignoring the majority of its past citizens. Beginning in 1996, Arrow Rock has utilized public history and archaeology to develop new interpretive programs that address its African American heritage and that attempt to engage this previously marginalized descendant community.