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Six Generations of Williamsons in the McBaine River Bottom: Home of the Bur Oak

Presentation by John Sam Williamson

John takes us on a journey through six generations of his family who have lived in the McBaine River Bottom for almost 200 years. He will share his knowledge of the area as well as the historic Bur Oak tree.

Painting by accomplished mid-Missouri plein air artist Brian Mahieu of the McBaine Bur Oak Tree.

Time and Place

Tuesday, June 13, 2023
7:00 pm

Les Bourgeois Vineyards Bistro
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Presentation by John Sam Williamson

Tuesday, June 13th, 2023

The Bistro Restaurant is closed on Tuesdays, but the bar will be open. You ARE welcome to come early, bring some food and gather with friends before the presentation. Speaker Series attendees are welcome after 6:00 p.m.

Hosted by Missouri River Relief 

John Sam Williamson will be joining us to share the history of his family in the McBaine River Bottom along with their connection to the famous Bur Oak. The Williamson family have served as stewards to “The Big Tree” for generations. During this talk, John will take the audience back through six generations of Williamsons who have called the McBaine River Bottom home since 1827. The stories he shares will be varied and colorful, many of which take place beneath the branches of the 390-year-old oak.

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John Sam Williamson is a farmer, husband, father, grandfather and local community leader. He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Missouri College of Agriculture. Following this, he became a commissioned Officer in the United States Air Force based out of Charleston, SC. He is the founder of the McBaine Levee District and has served as President since its beginning in 1993. Formerly, he has served as the President of Boone County Farm Bureau for two terms and has spent 30 years on the board. He is also a part of the Boone County University of Missouri Extension Council. Currently, he is the Chairman for the Boone County Fire Protection District.




  • 14020 W. Hwy BB, Rocheport, MO
  • Take I-70 to the Rocheport, MO, exit (Exit #115). It’s the first exit east of the Missouri River.
  • Head north toward Rocheport.
  • After about a mile, turn left at the sign for Les Bourgeois Bistro. Follow the signs to the Bistro. You will probably need to park in the lot above the Bistro and walk the trail down.
  • The presentations are held in upstairs in the restaurant. The restaurant is no longer open on Tuesdays but the bar is! You are welcome to bring your own food or snacks.

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The Big Muddy Speaker Series in Rocheport

is hosted by these wonderful partners.

Click here for a list of upcoming presentations»

Special thanks to Les Bourgeois Vineyards for giving us the opportunity to use their beautiful space overlooking the Missouri River. All speakers are presenting for free! Thank you all for sharing your knowledge with us!

The Big Muddy Speaker Series also takes place in St. Charles.

The views and opinions expressed by our presenters do not necessarily reflect the view or policies of Missouri River Relief, 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.