History of Parks Visited

Taum Sauk
  • 1.5 billion years ago: As seen at the Taum Sauk Scour- Mungar Granite, Weathered Mafic Dike and Taum Sauk Rhyolite were formed.
  • 500 million years ago: As seen at the Taum Sauk Scour- Cambrian Dolomite and Cambrian Conglomerate were formed.
  • 1955: The area that is now Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park was donated to the state by Joseph Deslodge, a conservationist and civic leader.
  • December 20, 1963: The Taum Sauk Hydroelectric Power Station began operation.
  • December 14, 2005: The reservoir at the Taum Sauk Hydroelectric Power Station failed, releasing approximately 1.4 billion gallons of water, which created a scour below.
  • April 21, 2010: The Taum Sauk station reopened and was able to generate power for the first time since the flood.
Missouri Botanical Gardens
  • 1819: Henry Shaw acquired the land that would eventually become the Missouri Botanical Gardens.
  • 1859: Shaw opened the land to the public as the Missouri Botanical Gardens.
  • October 1, 1960: Climatron opened to the public.
  • 12,000 BC-1,500 AD: The Native Americans in this area used the “Crescent Hills chert” from the quarry to make tools.
  • 1890-1910: The area was clearcut for timber reources, including pine and oak. Today, the park is dense with vegetation, but it was much more open prior to the clearcutting.
  • 1941-1945: Tyson was acquired by the federal government and was used to store munitions and high explosives in newly-built bunkers.
  • 1950-1951: Tyson park and the surrounding area was made into a public park, called Tyson Valley Park.
  • 1951-1963: During the Korean War, the government used the land to store agricultural grain.
  • 1877-1927: There was a limestone quarry in the Minck Hollow area on the land that is now Tyson.
  • 1890-1910: Many of Missouri’s forests were clear cut for oak and pine timber.
  • 1963-present: Washington University obtained Tyson and has been using it as a research area ever since.
Forest Park
Other Parks


Geological History
  • 4.5 billion years ago: Earth formed.
  • 1.5-1.2 billion years ago: The igneous rocks of the St. Francois Mountains formed (Seeger 2008).
  • 520 million years ago: Tectonic plate movement lowered the Ozark Region below sea level. Sedimentary rocks built up, sea levels dropped, rose again, and the process repeated. (Seeger 2008). 
  • 200 million years ago: The supercontinent Pangea split up.
  • 100 million years ago: The North Pole was pretty warm, almost tropical. Missouri was underwater.
  • 65 million years ago: An asteroid hit Earth, causing it to start cooling and catalysing a migration of plants from the South Pole to the North Pole.
  • 2.6 million years to 12,000 years ago: The last major glaciation on Earth occurred. The northern area of what is now the US and Canada was covered in ice. Missouri had a boreal-type forest, as pictured below.
General History of Missouri
  • 12,000 years ago: Paleoamerican settlements began forming in Missouri.
  • 1673: Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet were the first Europeans to discover what is now Missouri.
  • April 9, 1682: The Louisiana Territory (which included the land that would become Missouri) was placed under French possession by the explorer, Robert Cavalier, Sieur de La Salle.
  • November 13, 1762: Under the Treaty of Fontainebleau, Spain took control of the Louisiana Territory.
  • February 15, 1764: Pierre Laclede Liguest founded the city of St. Louis.
  • July 4, 1776: The United States of America was founded.
  • October 1, 1800: Under the Third Treaty of San Ildefsonso, France regained control of the Louisana Territory.
  • April 30, 1803: The United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from the French in the Louisiana Purchase Treaty.
  • May 14, 1804: Lewis and Clark began their expedition, leaving from St. Louis.
  • Fall 1806: The Lewis and Clark Expedition ended and they made their way back to Washington, D.C.
  • June 4, 1812: The Territory of Missouri was established out of the Louisiana Territory.
  • 1815: Mining of high quality iron started in Shepherd Mountain, part of the St. Francois Mountains (Seeger 2008).
  • January 8, 1818: The first petition was made for Missouri to become a state.
  • 1820: Missouri was allowed to enter the Union as a slave state under the “Missouri Compromise,” which also brought Maine in as a free state. Missouri’s statehood was a national issue at this time because of slavery. After the compromise, the area north of the 36’30” line from the Louisiana Purchase was to be free of slavery forever.
  • August 10, 1821: Missouri became the 24th state under President James Monroe.
  • March 28, 1837: The Platte Purchase area was acquired by Missouri, defining the state’s northwestern border.
  • April 14, 1841: The University of Missouri became the first state university west of the Mississippi River.
  • July 4, 1841: Construction began on the Pacific Railroad, which was to go from St. Louis to Jefferson City and then to some point west.
  • 1849: As the Gold Rush began in California, many emigrants started their trips westward in St. Louis, Independence, Westport, and St. Joseph, making Missouri the “Gateway to the West.”
  • February 22, 1853: Washington University was established in St. Louis, Missouri.
  • 1858: The St. Louis and Iron Mountain railroad was completed to ship iron from mines to the Mississippi River and cities nearby. Eventually, this railroad became the Missouri Pacific Railroad (Seeger 2008).
  • April 3, 1860: The Pony Express began its first trip from St. Joseph to Sacramento, CA.
  • January 11, 1865: Slavery was abolished in Missouri. Missouri became the first slave state to emancipate slaves before the 13th Amendment was adopted.
  • August 11, 1866: The Missouri Historical Society was created in St. Louis.
  • July 4, 1874: The Eads Bridge, which spans the Mississippi River, opened in St. Louis.
  • April 30, 1904: The World’s Fair opened in St. Louis.
  • July 2, 1919: Missouri ratified the Nineteenth Amendment and became the eleventh state to give women the right to vote.
  • May 21, 1927: Charles Lindbergh landed the “Spirit of St. Louis” in Paris.
  • April 24, 1931: The Missouri State Highway Patrol was created.
  • 1931: Bagnell Dam construction ended, and the Lake of the Ozarks was formed from the dam. It is one of the largest artificial lakes in the world.
  • July 1, 1937: The first Missouri Conservation Commission was formed.
  • 1965: The Gateway Arch was completed on the original settlement of St. Louis.
  • 1982: High levels of dioxins were discovered in the town of Times Beach, Missouri. The town was evacuated in early 1983. This was the largest dioxin exposure for civilians in the country’s history.
  • 1993: The Great Flood of 1993 brought devastation to many parts of Missouri and the Midwest.
  • 2001: Iron mining in Pea Ridge stopped, which ended the era of underground mining for iron in Missouri. Iron remains in the ground in reserves, and eventually it could be mined again (Seeger 2008).