Franklin County, MO FAQs
What is the history of Franklin County, MO and what are its notable landmarks?
History of Franklin County, MO
- officially established on December 11, 1818
- named after Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States
- The county’s history is closely tied to the exploration, settlement, and development of the American frontier.
- originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Osage. European settlers, primarily of German, French, and Scotch-Irish descent, began arriving in the early 19th century. The county’s history includes the establishment of towns, the growth of agriculture and industry, and its participation in the American Civil War.
- During the Civil War, Franklin County experienced divided loyalties, with residents supporting both the Union and the Confederacy. The county witnessed military activities, skirmishes, and guerrilla warfare, often resulting in tensions among neighbors and communities.
Notable landmarks in Franklin County, Missouri, include:
- Washington Historic District: The city of Washington, the county seat of Franklin County, features a well-preserved historic district. The district showcases buildings from the 19th and early 20th centuries, including Victorian-era homes, commercial buildings, and public buildings. It reflects the county’s architectural heritage and historic charm.
- Meramec Caverns: While the majority of Meramec Caverns lies in neighboring Jefferson County, a portion of the caverns extends into northern Franklin County. Meramec Caverns is one of the largest cave systems in Missouri and is a popular tourist attraction. Guided tours take visitors through the caverns to witness stunning geological formations.
- Shaw Nature Reserve: Located near Gray Summit, Shaw Nature Reserve is a botanical garden and nature reserve covering more than 2,400 acres. The reserve features extensive gardens, hiking trails, and educational programs. It provides opportunities for nature exploration, birdwatching, and enjoying the diverse plant life.
- Historic Hermann: While not located within Franklin County, the nearby town of Hermann is a significant historical landmark in the region. Hermann is known for its rich German heritage and historic buildings. Visitors can explore the town’s wineries, museums, and charming architecture, which reflect its cultural and historical significance.
What are the recreational activities available in Franklin County, MO?
Here are some popular options:
- Outdoor Recreation: Franklin County’s natural landscapes provide opportunities for outdoor activities. Visitors can enjoy hiking, nature walks, and wildlife observation in parks, conservation areas, and nature reserves. The county’s forests, rolling hills, and rivers offer scenic beauty and diverse ecosystems to explore.
- Fishing and Boating: The county has several lakes, rivers, and streams that offer fishing and boating opportunities. Anglers can cast their lines for various fish species, including bass, catfish, crappie, and sunfish. Boating enthusiasts can enjoy leisurely cruises, canoeing, kayaking, or paddleboarding on the county’s waterways.
- Camping and RVing: Franklin County has campgrounds and RV parks where visitors can enjoy overnight stays surrounded by nature. These facilities offer amenities such as campsites, picnic areas, and sometimes even swimming pools or playgrounds. It’s an excellent way to experience the outdoors and relax in a natural setting.
- Hunting: The county’s abundant forests and wildlife make it a popular destination for hunting enthusiasts. With proper permits and following local regulations, hunters can pursue game such as deer, turkey, squirrel, rabbit, and waterfowl in designated hunting areas.
- Scenic Drives: Franklin County’s countryside offers picturesque views and scenic drives. Visitors can enjoy leisurely drives along rural roads, taking in the beauty of the rolling hills, farmlands, and river valleys.
- Golf: The county has golf courses that cater to golf enthusiasts. Golfers can enjoy playing on well-maintained courses while enjoying the scenic surroundings.
- Winery Tours and Tastings: Franklin County is part of the Missouri Wine Country, known for its vineyards and wineries. Visitors can take winery tours, participate in wine tastings, and learn about the winemaking process while enjoying the beautiful countryside.