MARTHASVILLE, Mo – Please join the Missouri Humanities Council (MHC) in celebrating the Peers Store Community Open House, Thursday, June 25, from noon to 6 p.m. Preservationists from MHC will be on hand for those community members who may have photos, documents, memories, and stories to share involving the historic Peers Store and the region. Historic items will be analyzed on site as how to best to preserve these cherished items and, if desired, to scan and record them for the enjoyment of future generations.
The Peers Store has a long history intimately tied with the Missouri River and the Missouri-Kansas-Texas (MKT) Railroad, more popularly known as “The Katy.” Opening its doors in 1896, the Peers Store serviced communities that developed along the newly completed MKT. Its riverfront location also proved ideal, at least until 1903 when the Missouri River shifted two miles south. Still in the Missouri River flood plain, the Peers Store frequently flooded, including 1941, 1951, 1993 and 1995. Following the closing of the MKT in the 1980s, the Peers Store was eventually forced to shut its doors. Members of the Glosemeyer family who owned the store for decades officially closed their doors in 2012.
New owners, Dan and Connie Burkhardt, founders of the Katy Land Trust purchased the building in 2014. The Burkhardts replaced the flood-damaged floor and put a fresh coat of paint on the store shelves. Their efforts celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Katy Trail and bring to life this cultural landmark for a new generation of trail-walkers, riders, tourists, and community members. This summer and fall, the store will be open weekends to display the artwork of several artists and photographers who capture the beauty of the Missouri River Valley.
The Missouri Humanities Council is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the State of Missouri, and through grants and donations. The MHC promotes a thoughtful, informed, civil society through early childhood literacy programming, nationally recognized veteran writing workshops, funding humanities scholars and their work, and collaborating with libraries, historical societies, universities, and other cultural partners. For more information, please visit www.mohumanities.org or follow MHC on Twitter (@MoHumanities) and Facebook (/MoHumanities).