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Preserve America is a national initiative in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; the U.S. Departments of Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and Education; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities; and the President's Council on Environmental Quality.

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Preserve America Community:
Weston, Missouri

Weston (population 1,631) was founded in 1837 and was the first settlement in the Platte Purchase, a six-county area ceded to Missouri by the Sac and Fox Indian tribes. A steamboat port on the Missouri River across from Ft. Leavenworth, the community was the principal marketplace for the fort and an important point of departure for travelers headed west. Weston flourished during its first 20 years of existence.

In the 1850s, however, a series of fires devastated the town, and later the Missouri River shifted course, leaving Weston without a port. Future growth never matched the pace of the early years, but its slow pace helped to ensure that Weston’s historic buildings would survive into the 21st century. In 1972, 16 city blocks and parts of eight additional blocks were designated as an historic district on the National Register of Historic Places.

The largest structure in downtown Weston is the St. George Hotel, which was built in 1845 and then rebuilt after an 1890 fire. Vacant since 1984, the hotel was completely rehabilitated and reopened in 2004. A result of a public/private partnership, the restored hotel again offers travelers guest rooms and suites.

The Weston Historical Museum is housed in the former Weston Baptist Church. In addition to its displays and library, the museum offers community tours and the popular “Cemetery Strolls Into The Past.” While touring local cemeteries, visitors meet re-enactors who portray lives from Weston's past, including descendants of Daniel Boone, Robert E. Lee, and early Weston slaves.

For more information

Weston Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center:   www.westonmo.com

Posted June 4, 2009

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