From extensive and thorough research of primary and secondary sources, including Bloomfield and regional newspapers, the reader experiences as if first-hand the birth and development of this county seat town perched astride an ancient Indian warrior's trail on Crowley Ridge, an anomalous thin range of high hills that formed a line from Cape Girardeau southeast into Arkansas, providing the only practical avenue of travel through the vast swamplands of the region. The reader experiences the town's founding in 1835 on the site by a recent earlier Shawnee Indian village and the unfolding of progressive years as the town endures the Civil War, enters the age of railroads, and the passing of the torch between successive generations from 1835 to 2003.
A comprehensive 45 page index includes a multitude of such entries as Lewis and Clark, the earthquake of 1811, the "Stars and Stripes" (which was born in Bloomfield in 1861), and the Cape Girardeau-Bloomfield toll road, indicative of the scope of this history. Also included are thousands of names, which will be a boon to geneaologists. More than a typical local history, this is a richly presented slice of small town americana including the good and the bad and a few surprises.
Students of history will find this book relevant to regional and national studies, especially in the early chapters relating to the colonial years, the Louisiana purchase, andAmerican Indians. Because of the town's stragtegic location during the Civil War, and at the urging of General U.S. Grant, a large fort was constructed on the burnt-out town square. One of the three largest battles in the state was fought here; and in 1861, while Federals were occupying the town, a group of Illinois soldiers with newspaper experience published the first official issue of the U.S. Armed Forces newspaper, "Stars and Stripes." Bloomfield is now nationally recognized as its birthplace. The rpesent Stars and Stripes Museum and Library in Bloomfield has received support from many exservicemen including such notables as Andy Rooney, Bill Mauldin, and many other who worked for the Stars and Stripes.
One rather unique feature of this history is the pin-pointing of exact locations in Bloomfield where events occurred down through the years, which will enable one to conduct his own guided tour of this historic town.
Readers wishing to obtain copies of the original photos used in illustrating the book should refer to the website order blank. Identify the photo (or photos) by the page number and the caption under the illustration.
Bloomfield Missouri: Highland in the Swamps
Copyright © 1998,
2003, 2014, 2017 Robert H. Forister