January 17, 2016

The Hickam Cabin

   In the fall of 1816, John Hickam, his wife, Christiana (Comer), and his large family arrived at Head's Fort on Moniteau Creek, about four miles north of Rocheport, Missouri, after a long journey from Washington County, Virginia. In the spring of 1817, they came to what is now Boone County, possibly settling first in Perche Bottom, and, around 1819, taking up residence near what is now known as Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, south of Columbia. Sometime in the 1820s or early 1830s, John built a log cabin on the northernmost boundary of an 80-acre tract, later owned by his son, Ezekiel Comer Hickam.
  In 1829, Ezekiel married Nancy Ann Sims, whose father, William Sims, came to Missouri from Kentucky in the early 1820s and purchased land near Cedar Creek. Ezekiel and his wife began their married life in the cabin. Extrapolating from birth dates, their first two children, Lycurgus and Lysander, may have been born there. 
   In 1848, John died. He passed on to his family 10,000 acres of land. His remains lie in the Bethel Hickam Cemetery on the south side of Columbia. In 1855, Lycurgus, and his sister Cornelia, helped found the Bethel (Missionary) Baptist Church at the same location. Lycurgus served as deacon and many of the Hickam family members rest in the cemetery there.
   There are some disputes about the cabin; does it stand in its original location, and is it, in fact, the original or a replica built in 1964? Due to its deteriorating condition, the Friends of Rock Bridge dismantled and rebuilt the cabin in 2014, giving it a new foundation, roof, and entrance door.

   From Columbia, head south on Highway 163. At the traffic light at the intersection of Route K and Highway 163, turn left onto Highway 163 S. Go about a mile and turn right at the first park entrance. Follow the road .3 miles and the Hickam Cabin will be on your left.

January 15, 2016

The Easley Country Store

    A reconstruction of the Easley Store sits on the northwest side of the street in the historical village, Boone Junction, at the Boone County Historical Society in Columbia, Missouri. In 1890, William Greene Easley established the store in the town of Easley in the river bottom of southwest Boone County. 
    The store served the surrounding community as a post office, gathering place, and general store. It remained within the Easley family for three generations and was in continuous operation for over a century. After train service through Easley ended in 1986, and the floods of 1993 and 1995 damaged the building and its contents, the store closed.
   The Society decided to reconstruct the store, a well-known landmark in Boone County, as an anchor to its new historic village. The Society completed reconstruction in 2007 and the replica officially opened in June of 2008. 
   Items from the original store include the pine flooring planks, five of the six windows, some of the trim, many of the roof boards, a sign painted in 1952 with the words "Raymond Easley General Store", and a part of a Coca-Cola advertisement painted on the north wall. A potbelly stove in the middle of the store provided the only source of heat in winter. 
To see the replica of the Easley Country Store, start at the Boone County Historical Society (3801 Ponderosa St, Columbia, MO 65201). You will find the historical village, Boone Junction, on the south side of the museum. The store is open during some special events. Tours can be arranged for four or more from April through October ($5 each) Call 573-443-8936 for current information.