Pulaski County is very unique and rich in history. Many buildings dating back to the 1800’s still stand and may now operate as museums. The Waynesville Daily Guide has taken a look into some of Pulaski County’s most notorious places and buildings.
1. Fort Waynesville
Fort Waynesville was built on a bluff in 1862 and was in existence until 1865. The historical marker can be found on Fort Street above the Waynesville square. The fort was built by the Union Army during the Civil War to protect the Wire Road, which was a main supply route and contained telegraph communication wires. The Old Stagecoach Stop is still in existence even though the Fort has disappeared. During the Civil War, the Old Stagecoach Stop was used as a hospital. Since then, it has been a hotel, boarding house, and museum.
2. Bussman Lodge
The Bussman Lodge foundation is located in Devils Elbow. The lodge was owned by Aloysius Bussman of St. Louis, manufacturer of Bussman fuse. The lodge was once used as a family summer home, a resort for Bussman employees and later for boy scouts outings. Among several things, there is a chimney and bridge that still stand, today.
3. Frisco Depot
The Frisco depot was once a trading post in the 1800’s and was the last depot in Pulaski County. It last served as a mail pick-up/drop-off station for the rest of the county. The Frisco depot and caboose now serve as a museum in the small community of Crocker.
4. California House
The California house was once a stage coach stop, an inn, and the site of many conflicts and encounters during the Civil War. In 1840, the land was acquired by William and Sarah Maxey. After William’s death, Sarah remarried Bennett Musgrave. Bennett and Sarah operated the California House in 1857. The structure of the California house was the finest in the county. The original structure was eventually torn down and rebuilt. The farm home located in Colley Hollow is believed to be sitting on the original foundation of the California House. This is now private property.
5. Ozark Springs Resort
Ozark Springs Resort known as the Cave resort and restaurant was founded by E. A. Steckel in the 1920’s, who also founded Turkey Ridge. The resort, which sits at the end of Turkey Ridge, served as a place for croquet and horseshoe matches until Steckel’s wife, Minnie, took over after his death. St. Louis vacationers dominated the resort cabins until World War II. The property was again purchased in the 1980’s where a restaurant was built inside Steckel’s cave. The restaurant, Caveman Bar-B-Q, prospered as a destination for those traveling Route 66. The property was acquired again in 2009 and operated as “The Cave Restaurant and Resort”. Sadly, the restaurant is now closed and is private property.
6. Schlicht Mill
Schlicht Mill also known as the Gasconade Mill is an early mill of Pulaski County located between Waynesville and Crocker. John A. Schlicht owned and operated the mill for many years. He added a full roller process to the mill and had steam and water power. The mill operated for 105 years and flourished into a small community with a tavern, general store, and barber shop. Men would take wagon loads of wheat and corn to the mill to have the grinding done. Some did their hunting and fishing as they waited. Photo courtesy of Terry Primas.
7. H.E. Warren Store
The H. E. Warren store was built in 1869 by Captain Henry E. Warren and Sam Gibson. The store, located in Richland, is recognized as the oldest business in Missouri still operating under the original name. The building has offered a grocery store, variety store, shoe store and department store. The store sells primarily clothing with a variety of other goods. Photo courtesy of Terry Primas.
8. The Waynesville Courthouse
The Waynesville courthouse, built in 1903 by Henry H. Hohenschild, is now registered on the National Register of Historic Places. The courthouse operates as a museum to include Civil War, World War I, World War II, and Desert Storm exhibits. The courthouse was rebuilt after the old courthouse was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. The courthouse is the sight of the very first and only legal hanging in Pulaski County in 1905. Photo courtesy of Jax Welborn.
9. The Talbot House
The Talbot House, located in downtown Waynesville, was built in the late 1800’s. In 1920, the house was purchased by Dr. C. A. Talbot where he practiced medicine inside the home. After his death in 1945, Dr. Talbot’s wife, rented rooms out to locals. The old Victorian house is now operated as a business that sells antiques.