Take a backroads trip to Weston, Missouri and you will find history, charm and small town hospitality! Walking the streets of Weston is a treat! The 22-block historic district was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.
The Lewis and Clark Expedition stopped at what is now the site of the City Hall of Weston, Missouri. Weston was the oldest settlement in the Platte Purchase of 1836 and was the farthest western settlement that year (that is one theory of how the town got its name-“West Town”). 1836 was the year the U.S. government increased the size of Missouri by purchasing the northwest corner of the state from the Sac, Fox, Sioux, and Algonquin tribes for $7,500.
The first people to settle in Weston were actually two soldiers from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in 1837. Taking a canoe up the Missouri River, they discovered a natural bay at what would become the Main Street of Weston.
William “Buffalo Bill” Cody was a citizen of Weston, and the town was a major “jumping off” point for the Santa Fe Trail, the Oregon Trail and the California Gold Rush.
The town was once the second largest port on the Missouri River and was a bigger port than both Kansas City and St. Joseph, Missouri. According to historians, over 265 steamboats a year docked at the Port of Weston in 1850! Steamboats carried delivered supplies for Weston and Fort Leavenworth across the river. Since there was no wharf, gangplanks were placed between the boat and the shore for loading and unloading supplies.
In the winter, the river froze so settlers could take wagons, ride horses or walk from Missouri across the river to the Kansas. Ferryboats made the area a main crossing for immigration. An 1854 Leavenworth, Kansas newspaper stated…
To Kansas immigrants. Steam Ferryboat. The undersigned with pleasure announce to all persons immigrating to Kansas, California, Oregon and Salt Lake City that they have purchased a new, safe and commodious steam ferryboat, to ply between Weston and Fort Leavenworth.
The boat sank at the landing south of Weston in 1858.
Be sure to visit the Laurel Hill Cemetery and take a walk. The city cemetery was chartered in 1838 and descendants of Daniel Boone as well as Buffalo Bill’s Aunt Louisa Cody are buried here. The McCormick Distillery is a fascinating stop and is on the National Registry of Historic Places. It is the oldest distillery west of the Mississippi River operating on the original site.
The New Deal Tobacco Warehouse on U.S. Highway 45 can still be seen. We found the Farmer’s House Market a very special business! Their motto is:
A Place Where Exceptional Farmers Live, Work, Play and Grow!
The Farmer’s House is a non-profit organization supporting the lives of youth and adults with developmental disabilities. Sales from the markets, cafe’, catering, gardens and “maker space” create opportunities for these “Farmers” to develop job skills, social networks and increase independence. Do not miss this place, folks!
Downtown Weston Market & Cafe’
415 Main Street, Weston, Missouri 64098