Battle of Athens State Historic Site
|Battle of Athens State Historic Site|
|Missouri State Historic Site|
|Township||Sweet Home Twp|
|Area||408.5 acres (165 ha) |
|Management||Missouri Department of Natural Resources|
|Website: Battle of Athens State Historic Site|
Battle of Athens State Historic Site is located in Clark County, Missouri, along the banks of the Des Moines River. It is the site of the Battle of Athens. The historic site and open-air museum interpret the battle and its aftermath. It is one of the northernmost places in the state.
The once-thriving river village of Athens, Missouri, had up to fifty businesses and a large mill in antebellum times. In July 1861, it was occupied by pro-Union forces of the Missouri Home Guard. Wanting to seize the strategically important village for the Confederacy, elements of the pro-Southern Missouri State Guard attacked on August 5, 1861. Despite being outnumbered by more than 3-to-1, the Home Guard emerged victorious. A small action when compared to other battles, with casualties light, nonetheless it holds the distinction of being the northernmost Civil War battle west of the Mississippi River. Following the battle, many bitter feelings remained among residents. This along with the coming of railroads and less reliance on river shipping sealed the fate of Athens. By the turn of the 20th century Athens was a veritable ghost town. In 1962, remaining area residents worked together to create the Battle of Athens Park, which was donated to the state of Missouri in 1975.
Activities and amenities
In addition to interpretive programs and free tours of the Thome-Benning House, the site offers facilities for camping and fishing plus three picnicking areas and two hiking trails.
- "State parks...estimated acres" (PDF). Revised Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan: 2008-2012. Missouri Department of Natural Resources. pp. 142–143. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
- "General Information: Battle of Athens State Historic Site". Missouri State Parks. Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved October 9, 2014.
- "Visitors Guide to the Battle of Athens State Historic Site". Elsah, Illinois: greatriverroad.com. Retrieved October 9, 2014.
- "Battle of Athens State Historic Site". Missouri State Parks. Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved October 9, 2014.
- Battle of Athens State Historic Site Missouri Department of Natural Resources