We travel to Nevada (NevAYda), Missouri once a month. It’s about 3 hours from where we live. About halfway between my home and Nevada sits a town by the name of Weaubleau.
Weaubleau got its name from the Osage Indians, who named it “Wabelo” the Indian name for ‘crooked stream’.
This is the coolest town. It sits in an impact crater. Yes. A 340 million-year-old impact crater. More on that later.
If you blink, you’ll miss Weaubleau, but you don’t want to miss it if you’re into history and oddities like me. Trust me.
It sits along Missouri 54, and except for one modern gas station, it’s like you traveled back in time – or maybe to a future post-apocalyptic world depending on how you look at it.
That isn’t an insult by any means. Some may find the decayed and abandoned buildings unpleasing to the eye, but I find them strangely beautiful. They represent a time we will never know or understand. I love to imagine what they were like in their prime; full of life, light, love, and laughter. Probably some drama too.
One day the world we live in now will be traveled by future generations and probably look to them like places like Weaubleau look to us. Let that sink in.
The last time we went through we had some trouble with our vehicle. It’s always something with that stupid thing. I love it, but it’s really starting to piss me off. We stopped in Weaubleau, and one of their lovely residents helped us out.
The people there are super friendly. You know, the kind of friendly where you aren’t sure if they’re going to hug you, or kill you and feed you to their pigs…
I’ve called weaubleau home for a little over 20 years. I thought I might share a few facts. Weaubleau was once a booming little town on the kcc&s railroad (Kansas city Clinton & Springfield). The old feed mill in your photos sits on the west side of the rail line. The old depot and a caboose were moved to the city park but burned down by vandals several years back. Unfortunately a fire took most of the buildings on the north side of 54 in 1985. Back in the turn of the century we even boasted a college. It has since been turned into a church. City hall sells a neat little history book with several photos of the early days. – Joe Melvin, Weaubleau resident
While my husband and this gentleman (I didn’t get his name) were trying to figure out the vehicle issue I explored the immediate area. Within eyeshot was an abandoned bus, several buildings that were easily pre-1950s, two churches that were at least 100 years old and a cemetery. Oh yay!
Here are some photos (blog continues after):
I love old churches and cemeteries.
When we got back on the road, I convinced my husband to swing around so I could get photos of the churches (I couldn’t get into the locked cemetery). He wasn’t happy about it because we were already an hour behind schedule, but he loves me, so he did it anyway.
They were both absolutely beautiful in person. One is all brick with beautiful architecture, and the other is a basic chapel with white clapboard siding and a long-abandoned bell tower.
The brick church is the Weaubleau Congregational Christian Church, sometimes known as “The Brick” or “Whitaker Church”. It was built in 1862 as a religious and educational center. It was razed in 1906 and rebuilt with most of the original brick.
It was operational from 1862 to 1960. I am not sure what purpose it serves now if any. If I find out I will update this blog. You can read a more detailed history and see a pre-1906 photo of the old structure here.
The white church is the remnants of the Weaubleau Methodist Church built in 1904. I couldn’t find much else about it, but you can see an old photo in this article.
When I got home, I did some research on Weaubleau and its history. The crater I referenced above is called the Weaubleau (or Weaubleau-Osceola) structure. It dates back 340 million years. Allegedly you can find “Weaubleau Eggs” here – round rock formations created upon impact. I will have to look into this crater more when I go back through in a few weeks. I will let you know what I find!
You can find more information on the crater here.
I came up empty on some of the other buildings I photographed. This building was across the street from the gas station we stopped at when the car was acting up. I couldn’t find anything on this specific building (I will ask next time), but I did see that a historic building that was attached burned down almost 5 years ago causing the peeling paint you can see in the photo:
If you’re ever traveling through western Missouri on Highway 54, I recommend looking out for Weaubleau. Stop in, give them your money (small towns need it!) and say hello! I’m sure they’ll be happy to have you.
I hope you enjoyed my first adventure blog. I have many more to come! Please comment and follow if you’d like!