Friday, July 24, 2015

August 1998 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace

Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
August 1998

This series of posts on each Friday during 2015 continues the stories of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga, historical fiction families in the area of Oak Springs following the novel “Christmas at the Homeplace,” which ended as 1997 began. Here is a peek at ‘Life in Oak Springs,’ and the surrounding valley, in August of 1998.


The 119th Annual Oak Creek Fair was held successfully on Thursday, August 6, through Sunday, August 9. Township residents displayed their animals, crops and projects on the fairgrounds in the southwest corner of Oak Springs. Highly ranked entries would likely also be seen later at the County Fair in Eminence and possibly later at the State Fair.

Six bands and musical groups performed on the two stages set up at each end of the fairgrounds this year and were a favorite of many people. As usual, the carnival was set up in the middle of the fairgrounds, and was well attended.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MoDNR) announced that the grant from a special fund for which the McDonald Conservancy had made application last November had been approved. The grant awarded a total of $800,000 in 5 phases for projects to be carried out over the next three years. A department spokesperson said it was one of the most complex grants ever processed by the department, to date, but all of the required criteria had been met. McDonald Conservancy Executive Director Ronnie Cox spoke for the group: “We want to thank all of the persons and agencies that were involved in making the awarding of this grant to the Conservancy possible. Right now, the feeling here is simply one gigantic sigh of relief. Just about everything else we have been working on, and looking forward to, was contingent in some way on some part of this grant being approved. With the approval and primary funding of all 5 phases, actual work can move forward and really begin to appear in tangible ways. Each phase also has supplementary funding sources that now have to be confirmed and processed, as well. We look forward to hitting the ground running in a matter of days.”

Grading equipment was seen at work at the northeast corner of State Highway 37 and Mill Road preparing the land for the construction of the McDonald Conservancy Visitor Center. The Visitor Center construction is the first noticeable project now underway since the receipt of the MoDNR grant earlier in the month. The Visitor Center site will serve as the one trailhead for the several miles of trails to be constructed along Oak Creek in the coming months and years.

Social Notes:

Karen, Lori, Matt and Susan Winslow, recently returned from nearly a week in Tucson, Arizona, where they attended the wedding of their son and brother, Kevin Winslow and his finance, Carmen Martinez, who visited their family in the Oak Creek valley last month. Her family has roots in Arizona dating to many years before Arizona became part of the United States. The Wedding Ceremony and many related events celebrated that deep heritage as well as completing the actual nuptials.

Tyler and Emily Winslow, children of Matt and Susan Winslow, stayed in the Peter, Sheila and Jeremy Bevins home while their parents were in Arizona recently.

Harry and Sarah Flanders hosted a 6th Birthday Party for their grandson, Thomas Howell, Sunday afternoon, August 23, at their home. Thomas is the son of their daughter, Lisa Flanders-Howell and her husband, City Manager Jacob Howell.

"May everyone have a homeplace, if only in your mind."

Dr. Bill  ;-)


  1. Hi Bill, Nice to see you back with the updates on Oak Springs, I do enjoy following the events, as you do a great job of keeping Oak Springs alive :)

  2. Thank you, Sam. Nice to have the stories rolling along, again! ;-)

  3. It's too late now, but I wish we lived in a small town. We have our own little paradise on our property, but I do miss small town life. Maybe that's why I enjoy your series so much. :)

    1. Each place has its positives and negatives, of course, Bill. I enjoy writing about the small town life, because I so many interesting interactions. I'm happy a growing number of people seem to like to read them. Thanks for your comment!! ;-)