HARRISON COUNTY, MISSOURI GENEALOGYTRAILS





BLUERIDGE, MISSOURI



by:  Bob Taggart
source: Harrison County Bicentennial History
transcribed by: Melody Beery

The town of Blue Ridge is located in Adams Township, a section of the southern part of Harrison County.

The town has had three names. It was first named Kedron, second Scratch Out, and thirdly it was named Blue Ridge.  The area was known for the Blue Stem grass which grew in abundance, and it may have gotten its name this way.  However, some say it got its name because of the blue haze which could be seen over the ridge as you approached from the West in the morning.  During the early days the town square was south of the present Watt's Grocery Store.  There were houses on both sides of North and South Street, and East and West Main Street.  Blue Ridge was a thriving community with 32 homes occupied in addition to the busy uptown area, which contained a complete shopping and service center.

There were two hotels, one of which is still standing and was known as the Culp Hotel.  The Rev Wayne Caulkins and family now reside in the former hotel.  At one time Blue Ridge had three doctors, three grocery stores, one of which is still here and known as the J.V. Watts Grocery, a post office, blacksmith shop, jewelry store, two drugstores, livery barn, carriage shop and many other businesses.

South of the square was the Blue Ridge School.  The school house is still standing on the Marion Gannon farm two miles south of Blue Ridge, which was moved there in 1954.  The school was built in 1889.   There were three churches:  Christian Union Church, which is the only church left, a Methodist and a Nazarene Church.  The town was located between Bethany and Trenton, and was quite a trading center until the early 1900's.  At this time much of the trade began to dwindle when a railroad was built through Gilman City and many business men moved from Blue Ridge to Gilman City.

The Blue Ridge 4th of July picnic was held west of town in a grove on the Charlie Platz farm.  In interviewing early residences, they stated that whiskey was made in town, and to add a special touch to it, they put tobacco in the bottom of the barrel.  Blue Ridge was a lively town on Saturday night.

People rode horses from miles around to Blue Ridge almost every evening of the week for visiting, partying and on Wednesday and Sunday nights filling the churches for evening services.  All the way around the town square was a hitching rack.  In the middle of the squre was a large evergreen tree that was used as a town's Christmas tree.  There was also a flag pole near the tree and the flag was flown every day.

At present time Blue Ridge has 11 residents with a population of 17.  It is a quiet little town, unincorporated now, but still has some business and is the crossroads for many farmers and business men in the area.  Blue Ridge is a well known name in the minds of many people in Harrison, Daviess and Grundy Counties.   A special thank you to Mrs. Lottie Gannon, of Blue Ridge, who moved to the town in 1897 at the age of 16, for information for this article.  Also to Mr. Rhett Hamaker, of Gilman City, whose family came to the Blue Ridge area in 1857.  Mr. Hamaker was born in 1888 and moved to Blue Ridge in 1889 at the age of 11 months.

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