We received an email from Caleb Bolin and with his permission, we are sharing it. If you can help him, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
My name is Caleb Bolin, and I live in Kirksville. For more than a year I have been working on a research project on the history of the Chariton River and the area surrounding it. I am using my photography, information from old books and various archives, and more recently in-person interviews to try and show how the river and the region have changed from pre-European settlement to the present, with a significant focus on the straightening of the river, changes to the forests, grasslands, wetlands etc. surrounding it, and how industry in the region has played into that and changed with it.
I am reaching out to see what information you all may have on some of these topics. I also am trying to find more people to interview about their recollections of the river in the past, especially from before channelization was finished or right after, and how it has changed over time. Finally, I am looking for old photographs of the river and the area to compare and contrast with the way things look today.
I look forward to hearing what you all know about the River in your area!
I should clarify that I’m also looking to talk to people about their family connections to the river, their families’ stories of it, and how it has changed in their own lifetimes up to the present day. I have been speaking to people who were born even in the 1940s (albeit not in Chariton County) who have still seen significant changes to the river and the area. If anybody you know comes to mind as a good person to talk to, or if you all would have any photos or other information on the straightening I would really appreciate it. I’m also looking for information on how agriculture has changed in the area, the old fish traps that used to be in Chariton County, and lots of other stuff. Anything helps.