GASCONADE — Several hundred people turned out Saturday to mark the 200th birthday of the city of Gasconade, the original county seat of Gasconade County and now a small river town looking to …
GASCONADE — Several hundred people turned out Saturday to mark the 200th birthday of the city of Gasconade, the original county seat of Gasconade County and now a small river town looking to grow as it enters its third century.
As darkness settled over the community of about 300 residents Saturday, Mayor Debbie Green looked back on the day’s events and felt quite satisfied.
“It went absolutely marvelously,” she told The Gasconade County Republican. She estimated more than 300 people attended the event, including many former residents who came back to help mark the town’s historic birthday.
“We had a very good crowd,” Green said. “Well over 300 people, at least,” she added.
The day’s attractions included antique cars and trucks, an old fire truck and performances by the Chamois Marching Band under the direction of Beth Sieg, who drew a round of applause from Green. Boy Scout Troop 116 of Hermann provided food items for the gathering.
The bicentennial celebration began as a thought among the city’s Board of Aldermen and the mayor and was fleshed out by the residents.
“The community got involved a little bit later,” Green said.
Of particular note was the work done by Cindy Wolf to promote the celebration on Facebook. “She did a great job on that,” the mayor said.
The city on the western bank of the Gasconade River served as the original seat of government for the newly created Gasconade County in 1821. But, a problem in those early years — the same problem that has plagued the community in more recent years — forced county officials to pack up and move.
“It was the county seat, but the flooding kept coming,” Green explained. She said that after it was realized the river was going to flood fairly regularly, it was decided to move the courthouse away from the river. The county seat was eventually placed in Hermann, high on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River.
Any proceeds from Saturday’s events — and whatever donations were collected — will be placed in the city’s bank account aimed at upgrading the City Park. Among the planned improvements are a carving out of RV sites and camping sites, moves aimed at attracting more people to the northwestern Gasconade County community.
“We just wanted to celebrate our town,” Green said. “My goal as mayor is to let people know our town is changing.”