BOONVILLE, Mo. — There’s one small town that you should visit if you’re traveling through the Show-Me-State. Thrillist named Boonville a “must-visit small town.” The popular website only picked one city in every state.

Historic railroad Katy Bridge over Missouri River at Boonville with a new viewing deck – aerial view

Boonville, Missouri, has a population of 7,870, and is named after the pioneer Daniel Boone and a nearby salt deposit that was run by his sons, who boiled the salt out of briny springs.

If you would like, you can tour the Native American burial grounds, some of which are located in Harley Park. They also have a bed and breakfast named Rivercene Mansion Bed and Breakfast that is on the National Historic Registry. 

The large mansion was built by the industrious riverboat baron, Captain Joseph Kinney. His fleet carried passengers and freight from New Orleans to Montana. 

A single trip netted Captain Kinney $50,000, which he used to build and furnish the Rivercene mansion. The house has eleven bedrooms, eleven fireplaces made of imported marble, and a hand-carved mahogany railing for the grand staircase. The front doors weigh 300 pounds and are made of walnut.

Full profile of Daniel Boone explores Kentucky in an illustrated scene. Boone was born November 2, 1734, in Pennsylvania, and died September 26, 1820, in Missouri. Illustration published in First Lessons in Our Country’s History by William Swinton, A.M. (Ivison, Blakeman, Taylor, & Company, New York and Chicago) in 1872.

There are more than 400 registered historic sites smack-dab in the middle of Missouri. One of which is the old Cooper County Jail and Hanging Barn which housed a relative of the famous outlaw, Jesse James

Boonville was also the first site of the first land battle in the American Civil War.  The Battle of Boonville happened on June 17, 1861, more than a month before the First Battle of Bull Run. It is often seen as the start of the American Civil War. 

In reality, the battle east of Boonville, Missouri, was just a skirmish that lasted about 30 minutes. The quick mobilization of Union Brigadier-General Nathaniel Lyon shocked and destroyed the rebels, causing them to leave the Missouri River and run south to Arkansas. 

The Battle of Boonville took place on Rocheport Road, a few miles east of Boonville, Missouri 65233. The real battlefields are on private land and can’t be reached. 

Handler Roger Rausch brushes Budweiser Clydesdale,Ponzie, at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery in St. Louis on Thursday, April 22, 2021. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Please be kind to the landowners and don’t go on their land without permission. The trip starts at the Battle of Boonville Historical Marker and goes east to the Merna Parking Area for the Overton Bottoms North Unit of the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge

The trip then follows what is thought to be the path the Federals took as they moved toward Boonville.

Warm Springs Ranch is the official breeding farm of the Budweiser Clydesdales.  The world-famous facility is also located in Boonville, and well worth a visit.