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The Rock That Gave Birth to Kansas City

Dr. Richard Gentile will share the story of how Kansas City developed around a special rock bluff along the Missouri River near what is today’s River Market District.


A lithograph showing the Kansas City riverfront in 1853.

Time and Place

Wednesday, August 14, 2013
7:00 pm

Hickok's Grill
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Presentation by Richard J. Gentile, Ph.D, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Geosciences, University of Missouri- Kansas City

Wednesday, August 14, 2013
6 p.m. Social Hour
7 p.m. Presentation
at Hickok’s Grill
528 Walnut St. – Kansas City, MO (in the River Market District)

Click here to download flier (pdf)

A ledge of rock along the south bank of the Missouri River at Kansas City served as an all weather landing (or wharf) for thousands of paddle-wheeled steamboats over an interval of 75 years. Although the bluff that the original town of Kansas was perched on has since mostly been removed, a chunk of natural limestone still remains, poking through the rock rip-rap that lines the bank below the Main Street pier.

Just poking through the riprap below the River Market District of Kansas City is the last remaining chunk of the Mooring Rock that marked the original steamboat landing of Kansas City.

This rock landing speeded up the development of Kansas City by 2 or 3 decades and is testimony to the benefit that geology has contributed to the building of a city.

Join Dr. Gentile for a glimpse back in time to the beginning of our river city all through the lens of a piece of history we still have.


From Kansas City, Kansas:

  • Take I-70 into Missouri.
  • Take exit 2D towards Main St.
  • Merge onto W. 6th St.
  • Turn left onto Walnut St. Hickok’s Grill will be on your left.

From the East:

  • Take I-70 into downtown Kansas City.
  • Take exit 2F toward Grand St./Walnut St./Oak St.
  • Keep left at the fork and merge onto E Independence Ave.
  • Turn right onto Walnut StHickok’s Grill will be on your left.

The Big Muddy Speakers Series in Kansas City

is hosted by Friends of Lakeside Nature Center, Little Blue River Watershed Coalition, Missouri River Relief Friends of Big Muddy and Healthy Rivers Partnership with the following list of partners. All speakers are presenting for free. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with all of us!

Click here for a list of upcoming presentations»

The Big Muddy Speaker Series is also held monthly in Rocheport and St. Charles.