Missouri and Ozarks History

Information and comments about historical people and events of Missouri, the Ozarks region, and surrounding area.

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Location: Missouri

I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written sixteen nonfiction books, two historical novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Wicked Women of Missouri, Yanked Into Eternity: Lynchings and Hangings in Missouri, and Show-Me Atrocities: Infamous Incidents in Missouri History.

Monday, October 29, 2012

More Mineral Water Towns

I have written previously about the many towns that sprang up in the Ozarks (and elsewhere) during the mineral water craze that struck America about 1880. Such towns, however, were even more prevalent than I realized when I first started writing about them. As I continue to read about the Ozarks and read about its history, I periodically come across additional mineral water towns that I did not previously know about. For instance, I have long known about Ponce de Leon in northeast Stone County, Missouri, but only recently did I learn about the nearby mineral water towns of Reno and Eau de Vie. Ponce de Leon, of course, still exists and is listed on many maps, but almost nothing remains of the other two to suggest that they ever existed.
Reno was located in neighboring Christian County near where the county lines of Stone, Christian, and Taney meet. It sprang up almost overnight in the 1880s. Two hotels were built to accommodate visitors, and a saloon and a dance hall were also built to entertain them. A number of houses were also constructed, but the place died in the 1890s, almost as fast as it had come into being, as the mineral water craze subsided. The only thing that remains to mark where Reno was is the spring by that name that caused the town to be established in the first place. It is still listed on some maps.
Eau de Vie (French for "Water of Life") was located a little farther east, also in Christian County, near the Taney County line. It, too, sprang up almost overnight, and eighty acres were laid out in lots for the town. Stores and other businesses were built, along with houses, but, like its neighbor, it quickly passed into history. Nothing really remains to mark where it was.


Blogger Victoria - Ozarks Crescent Mural said...

I frequently drive through Ponce on my way from Cape Fair at Table Rock Lake where I currently live when I go up to Springfield. I take Medical Springs Road off of 176 at Abesville where it winds and curves and passes through the heart of Ponce and drops me right there at Hwy V. Beautiful drive! I've often wondered if there weren't springs there because of the rocks and also the name of the road.

October 31, 2012 at 1:58 PM  
Blogger Larry Wood said...

I've been through Abesville on 176 but never been on Medical Springs Road.

November 4, 2012 at 9:55 AM  

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