"Tiny Village with Lotsa History" Arrow Rock by yooperprof

Arrow Rock Travel Guide: 15 reviews and 21 photos

A living ghost town?

Maybe Arrow Rock doesn't _exactly_ fit the definition of a ghost town - but it comes close. While in the 19th century as many as 1000 people lived here and in nearby settlements, the village now has a population of about 70 full-time residents.

Long ago, Native Americans gathered flintrock from the banks nearby Missouri River to make arrowheads - hence the name of the village. From the 1700s onwards, explorers, trappers, and traders noted the tall bluff overlooking the river valley. And in the1820s, the first generation of the residents of Missouri state made a permanent settlement here.

it "reeks of history" here

A few years ago a student in one of my classes shared with me photos from his spring break vacation. He had traveled to London with his girlfriend, and they had visited many of the most important sites: Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's, Windsor Castle, etc. The experience changed his understanding of the Western Civ he was taking from me. He explained, "This is the first time that I've been in a place that reeks of history."

Well, you could say that Arrow Rock MO also reeks of history, in its own modest way. It lives on as a site of memory, much like Williamsburg or Gettysburg, albeit on a smaller scale. It's a place of pilgrimage for the cultists of history - including these "re-enactors" of the War of 1812 who were camping there when I visited.

Arrow Rock perches on a river bluff overlooking the Missouri. It might have fared better as a town if it had been closer to the river - though it might also have been swept away by one of the Missouri's frequent floods.

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:quiet place
  • Last visit to Arrow Rock: Jun 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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