(Front): (See other side)
Surrounded by the rugged splendor of the highest peaks of the Missouri Ozarks, Arcadia Valley lies in the geologic center of the Ozarks, one of the world's oldest mountain regions. The valley towns are in an area settled in the iron mining boom of the 1840s'-50's, when Pilot Knob here and Iron Mountain in nearby St. Francois County were thought to be of solid iron.
During the Civil War, the area was early occupied by Union forces to protect the Iron Mountain Railroad, completed between here and St. Louis, 1858. General U.S. Grant's first command post after his commission as a general was here, Aug. 8-18, 1861.
Fort Davidson, the earthen redoubt here, was defended by over 1,000 Federals under General Thomas Ewing against some 12,000 Confederates under General Sterling Price, Sept. 27, 1864. As a result of the engagement here at Pilot Knob, Price lost over 1,200 men to Ewing's some 200, and was halted in his drive to St. Louis. The fort, built 1863, named for Gen. J.W. Davidson, is owned by Clark National Forest and is maintained by the U.S. Forest Service.
(Back):(Continued from other side)Ironton was laid out as the seat of Iron County, 1857, and the courthouse was built 1858-60. The first settler in the valley was Ephraim Stout about 1807, and Missouri's first working iron furnace, Asherbran's was built on Stout's Creek about 1815. The town of Arcadia was laid out and the Methodist Episcopal Arcadia High School opened, 1849. Later sold, it reopened as today's Ursuline Academy, 1877. The Home for Aged Baptists was built, 1923. On Fort Hill was Civil War Fort Hovey, also called Curtis.
Before the Iron Mountain R.R. reached here, 1858, and the town of Pilot Knob was founded, iron ore was hauled over the 1843 Ste. Genevieve, Iron Mountain, Pilot Knob Plank Road. Graniteville was founded when the first large quarry opened, 1869.
Here are Taum Sauk, 1,772 feet, highest peak in Missouri; Evangeline Falls; shut-ins on Stout's Creek; Lake Killarney; Tip Top Mountain, 1,500 feet; Royal Gorge; "Elephant Rocks"; and other sites. The name Ozarks is from the French abbreviation, Aux Arcs, for Aux Arkansas, meaning on the river, at the post, or in the country of the Arkansas.