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Missouri River Communities Network & the Folk History Project

Presentation by Steve Johnson, former director of Missouri River Communities Network

Steve Johnson will share the current projects of the Missouri River Communities Network and focus on the Missouri River Folk History project, a collection of oral histories from Missouri River residents compiled in 2004.


Time and Place

Wednesday, March 13, 2019
7:00 pm

Big A's on the Riverfront
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Presentation by Steve Johnson, former director of Missouri River Communities Network

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

6. p.m. Social Hour at Big A’s on the Riverfront
7:00 p.m. Presentation

At Big A’s on the Riverfront (in the back room)
308 N Main St. –  St Charles, MO
(directions below)

Presentation is FREE and open to the public! 

Hosted by Greenway Network

Steve H. Johnson, former director of the Missouri River Communities Network (MRCN) of Columbia, Missouri will provide a brief history of this non-profit organization and the projects the organization is working on currently. The organization, which began by connecting people to the Missouri River and Missouri River communities to each other, has evolved into an organizer of community and learning gardens across the state of Missouri.

Steve will provide a discussion and video clips from the “Missouri River Folk History Project”, a project MRCN completed in 2005 that interviewed and filmed 40 individuals who grew up or spent their lives living or working on the Missouri River. The 70 hours of video-taped interviews are housed in the Western Historical Manuscript Collection at the State Historical Society of Missouri on the campus of the University of Missouri-Columbia.

These oral histories, which were conducted by Meredith Ludwig, include Royal Tate, a retired Missouri River boat captain; poet and musician Bob Dyer; Fred Oerly whose family owned and operated the Overton General Store; Lucy Coleman, who as a child grew up on a Missouri River island near Boone County; and three Native Americans of the Lower Brule Lakota Tribe whose reservation is adjacent to the Missouri River in South Dakota.

After the completion of this project, Ludwig wove some of these stories into a musical composed with Cathy Barton called “Gumbo Bottoms”. 


To Big A’s on the Riverfront, our host for the Speaker Series.

To get there from I-70

  • Take I-70 to exit 229B – the 5th St. Exit
  • Merge onto 5th St. headed north toward St. Charles.
  • After about 1 mile, turn right on Monroe St.
  • Turn left onto N. Main St.
  • Big A’s will be on your right (308 N. Main St.) Additional parking is available in the rear.
  • View on Google Maps.

The Big Muddy Speakers Series in St. Charles

is hosted by these wonderful partners:

All speakers are presenting for free and Big A’s is sharing the space for free! Thank you for sharing your knowledge with all of us!

The Big Muddy Speaker Series also takes place monthly in Rocheport and Kansas City.

A special thank you to Greg Poleski  of Greenway Network for making this happen!

The views and opinions expressed by our presenters do not necessarily reflect the view or policies of Greenway Network, the Big Muddy Speaker Series or any of the partners that support this public forum. The Big Muddy Speaker Series believes that hearing diverse perspectives is a crucial building block for an informed public.