Since 1959 the Friends of Arrow Rock has grown from a small group of committed people to a membership of over 550, all in a village with a population of 79! Unsure of their future when they completed their first restoration in 1960, they turned the property over to the Arrow Rock State Park. They soon found there were more buildings to be saved, and they began to work. The Friends now own or lease twelve historic buildings and one modern building.
With this much property, preservation is a never-ending task. The Friends of Arrow Rock own the 1839 Miller-Bradford House (available for a retail business and living space), the Dr. Sappington Medical Museum, (with plans to reopen soon) a c. 1830s Log Cabin, the J.P. Sites Gun Shop (c.1866) and country Victorian Sites House (1875), the Masonic Lodge Hall (1868) and the I.O.O.F. Lodge Hall (Odd Fellows) (1868). We also have long term leases on the Christian Church (1872) and the Lawless House (c. 1903). On the boardwalk you will find the Friends of Arrow Rock Office which houses the Christopher Collection of Early Missouri Firearms as well as a museum shop offering a wide selection of history books, CDs, t-shirts, etc. The Post Office also leases one of our boardwalk buildings. In 1995 the Friends received, as gifts, Brown's Chapel Free Will Baptist Church (1871) and Brown Lodge No. 22 of A.F. & A.M. (1881).
Preserving the historic structures of this 19th century Missouri River town was our first task. Furnishing the buildings was the next.
Currently we have extensive collections in the Gun Shop as well as the 1875 Victorian Sites
House, and we maintain two period rooms in the 1839 Miller-Bradford House. We also house collections in the Odd Fellows Hall and its downstairs Print Shop. The Christopher Collection of Early Missouri Firearms is on permanent display in our Main Street Headquarters. The Friends also house an archeaological collection gathered since 1996 under the direction of archeaologist Tim Baumann.
We seek to tell the story to approximately 2,000 students and adults who annually participate in our educational programs and guided tram tourOccasionally used for weddings, the 1872 Christian Church is complete with its original furnishings. Newly-renovated, and with modern conveniences, Brown's Chapel is available for services, meetings, reunions, or weddings. New exhibits for the Dr. Sappington Medical Museum and the Brown Lodge are in process.
Preserving the buildings and their contents is only half the job. These buildings and collections tell a story, a story connecting our past with the present and providing a basis for our future. We seek to tell the story to approximately 2,000 students and adults who annually participate in our educational programs and guided tram tours. Every other year we host hundreds of students and accompanying adults at the Children's Craft Festival aided by more than 100 volunteers demonstrating over 30 crafts of 19th century daily living. Click to learn more about our programs for children.
Hundreds more visit our office and museum shop on Main Street, read our publications, attend our symposiums, forums or home tours. All these efforts are directed by a volunteer Board of Trustees and coordinated by an Executive Director, Education Director, a part-time Properties Manager and two seasonal employees. Please join us in telling the story.
Join Friends of Arrow RockYour Friends of Arrow Rock Membership provides:
- Two free tour tickets for the village tram tour
- Discount on tickets to tour Prairie Park and Oak Grove
- Subscription to the Friends of Arrow Rock quarterly newsletter, Historic Arrow Rock
- Advance notice of lectures, classes, and special events.
- Discount on rental of Brown's Chapel and the Christian Church
- Satisfaction in knowing you're helping preserve our American heritage