Arrow Rock (MO) State Historic Site administrator is Harris-Kearney House Museum's February Second Saturday speaker

Westport Historical Society News Release

Contact: Alana Smith, President
(816) 561-1821, (913) 231-6749
4000 Baltimore, Kansas City, MO 64111
Facebook: 1855 Harris-Kearney House Museum

Date: January 7, 2014 For Immediate Release

Westport Historical Society continues Second Saturday Library Speaker Series in 2014 

The Westport Public Library and the Westport Historical Society are pleased to announce the February Second Saturday Speaker. Michael Dickey, the Site Administrator at Arrow Rock State Historic Site, will present a talk entitled, Specie, Sweat and Survival: The Impact of the Santa Fe Trade on Missouri’s Economy.

Many presentations about the Santa Fe Trail deal with the personalities, landmarks or activities of caravans on the trail. However, few report on the motivations of those traders and how trade affected the economy of Missouri, which in 1821 was in a full blown depression. Banks in Missouri were non-existent, hard currency was rare, and merchants and farmers were unable to dispose of their stock. But all of that changed with the inauguration of successful trade between Missouri and New Mexico. By 1839, Missouri was described as being “the soundest in the Union in her monetary affairs,” owing to the trade with New Mexico. This program will analyze the financial impact of the trade and how it provided an economic platform for the development of the new state of Missouri. 

The talk will be held at 2pm on February 8, at the Westport Public Library, which is located at 118 Westport Road. A reception will follow at the 1855 Harris-Kearney House Museum, located across the street at 40th & Baltimore.

About Michael Dickey
Michael Dickey is a native of Independence, Missouri. He has been employed by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources since 1986, and has been the historic site administrator at Arrow Rock State Historic Site since 1995. He is also the manager of Sappington Cemetery and Boone’s Lick State Historic Sites. Mike has been involved in historical reenactments since high school and is a past board member of the national Santa Fe Trail Association and is currently a board member of the Boonslick Historical Society.

In 2004, he wrote the first comprehensive book published about Arrow Rock’s history, Arrow Rock: Crossroads of the Missouri Frontier. This book won the Missouri Governor's Humanities Award in 2005 and an Award of Merit from the American Association of State and Local History in 2006. In 2011, the University of Missouri Press published his second book, The People of the River’s Mouth: In Search of the Missouri Indians. It was the first book ever published about the Native American tribe for whom the Missouri River and our state are named. Mike has also written numerous articles and given presentations at national symposiums.

About the 1855 Harris-Kearney House Museum and the Westport Historical Society
Located at 4000 Baltimore, in Kansas City, MO, the 1855 Harris-Kearney House is the oldest remaining residence in Kansas City. The house was built by the Harris family in 1855, and is now a museum owned and operated by the Westport Historical Society (WHS). The WHS was founded in 1956 to promote, preserve, and foster public interest in the significant history of Westport, Missouri, the Town of Kansas, and Missouri, as well as their founders.

The 1855 Harris-Kearney House Museum is currently closed for the winter season. Tours can be scheduled during this time by calling or emailing the museum. Normal businesses hours will resume on March 5, 2014, and the museum will be open for walk-in tours Wednesday-Saturday, from 1-5pm. For more information, visit our Web site, www.westporthistorical.com. Contact us at (816) 561-1821, westporthistorical@gmail.com, or find us on Facebook.

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