Arrow Rock

store fronts in arrow rock, missouri
Store fronts in Arrow Rock, Missouri

Photo courtesy of the Missouri State Archives

Quick Facts

Location:
Arrow Rock, MO
Significance:
Stop for Corps before heading West
Designation:
National Historic Landmark
OPEN TO PUBLIC:
Yes

Arrow Rock was notable in the journeys that opened the West, beginning with the Lewis and Clark Expedition on June 9, 1804. Clark noted Arrow Rock Bluff and the party's experience in his journal:

 

“. . . we got fast on a Snag Soon after we Set out which detained us a Short time passed the upper Point of the Island, Several Small Chanels running out of the River below a Bluff & Prairie (Called the Prairie of Arrows) where the river is confined within the width of 300 yds. opposit the Lower point of the 2d Island on the S. S. we had like to have Stove our boat, in going round a Snag her Stern Strucj a log under water & She Swung round on the snag, with her broad Side to the Current expd. to the Drifting timber, by the active exertions of our party we got her off in a fiew Mints. without engerey (injury) and Crossed to the Island where we Campd. Seeing them and the banks too uncertain to Send her over . .”

 

Clark passed by Arrow Rock again in 1807 with his Dragoons on the way to build Fort Osage. He commented that the area was an excellent location for a fort and a town. George Sibley established a trading post at Arrow Rock and waited there during the War of 1812 when Fort Osage became too dangerous. A permanent ferry was established in 1817, and the town of Arrow Rock was later founded in 1829.