Sunday, March 07, 2010

The Irish Wilderness of the Ozarks

Whenever we get the chance, the family stops at historical sites and parks. This past Monday, we were driving through the Mark Twain National Forest and saw a sign for the Irish Wilderness. My first name has Irish roots and my hair is auburn, but apparently I do not have a drop of Irish blood in my veins. However, I've always had an attraction to that country, possibly for the above reasons. Imagine my surprise when I saw something with Irish connections in the middle of the state of Missouri! Since I was behind the wheel at the time, I determined to stop and discover what this place was and why it existed. Everyone got out of the car as I pulled into the parking area - nobody else was there at the time. The kids had a chance to run down the trail a bit, and I took a few photos. There was no history or explanation to the name on site, so I had to do a bit of research. Thanks to the internet, research doesn't take quite as long as it did years ago. The site dates back to before the Civil War. The hope had been a new beginning for Irish immigrants, thanks to a Catholic priest by the name of Father Hogan. It didn't last long, however, and much about it still remains a mystery. But what has been discovered is documented in a book that recently won the Gold Medal Award for non-fiction.
Although our visit lasted all of 10 minutes, the kids were able to let out some energy and I was able to satisfy my curiousity. Sometimes we just need to stop to taste some history even when there aren't any roses to smell.
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1 comment:

Dave said...

Cool collage, Kel. I'm glad that I get to see all of this with you.