Friday, July 31, 2015

September 1998 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace

Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
September 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 September of 1998.

At a public meeting held at the Oak Springs Public Library on Wednesday, September 25, Ronnie Cox shared more details of the plans for the McDonald Conservancy Visitor Center now under construction at the northeast corner of State Highway 37 and Mill Road in the east valley. The Visitor Center is being funded as part of Phase One of the $800,000 grant received last month from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MoDNR). Cox shared the architectural drawings for the Visitor Center for Phase One. The main building will contain an exhibit area, a conference room, and offices for staff and volunteer activities. A hallway leading off the exhibit area divides the office. In Phase Five, an addition will be added, at the end of the hall, to accommodate expected expansion needs by that time.

Cox pointed out that our report last week was in error in suggesting that the only trailhead would be located at the Visitor Center. The Visitor Center would be the first trailhead constructed, but would be one of several as the trail system is developed over the years. A Public Restroom facility will be constructed between the Visitor Center and the Trailhead for the convenience of visitors. A maintenance garage for vehicles will be constructed behind the Visitor Center. It will also be built so as to provide the opportunity for later expansion as the need arises. The drawings also demonstrated possible landscaping elements for the entire site.

About twenty persons attended the meeting where drawings were also shared that showed the general areas were the trail system would be built. Cox pointed out that final placement would depend on further studies of the land itself and plans for adjoining developments still in the early planning phases. When asked about the projected westward trail, Cox responded that they were in early discussions with the State Department of Transportation regarding passage across State Highway 37. That portion of the trail, he added, would not be completed in the coming year, but later in the development process. The safety and convenience of the trail users were high priorities along with costs as planning moved forward he added.


Ozarks Communications, Inc. was advertising an array of regional and national football games available on the local cable television network. Special deals coupling football with movies seemed to be the best available options.

Friday night football at the Oak Springs High School dominated the Oak Springs Enterprise Sports Section. The local Tigers were 2-2 in the young season.

A photo of a combine in a cornfield graced the front page of the Oak Springs Enterprise to signal that the fall corn harvest was underway.

Social Notes:

Brian and Jennifer Kirk were the parents of a daughter, Ashley Diane, born on the first day of September 1998. Grandparents were Bart and Diane Bevins and Don and Linda Kirk.

Richard, Melanie and Kim Stone visited over the Labor Weekend in the parental Don and Linda Kirk home. Additional dinner guests on Sunday, September 6, were Brian, Jennifer and Ashley Kirk along with Christopher, Nicole and C.P. Ogden. They all enjoyed getting to see the brand new addition to the family.

Reverend Clarice McCauley baptized Ashley Kirk at the United Methodist Church on Sunday, September 27. Her parents, both grandparents, along with many other relatives and friends were in attendance. Bart and Diane Bevins hosted a family dinner at their home following services honoring their new granddaughter.

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

Dr. Bill  ;-)


  1. Hi Bill, I see things are still moving forward in Oak Springs. In one of your recent posts you asked about favorite characters in the series. My two are Karen Winslow and Bart Bevins, to me they seemed to be what I call the "Steady Eddies" of the family. Just thought I'd throw in my two cents. Thanks

    1. Thank you, so much, Sam. Yes, Karen is a steady one, and Bart has become one, as well. He was a bit of a 'hot-head' in his younger years, but has matured very nicely! What fun!! ;-)