Rocheport in Boone County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Katy Trail State Park 20th Anniversary
1990 - 2010
From its inception and throughout its 20-year history, Katy Trail State Park has been one of the most successful rails-to-trail conversions projects in the United States. As the longest developed rail-trail in the United States, it has been inducted into the national Rail-Trail Hall of Fame.
The Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (MKT)
Begun in the 1870s, the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, also known as the Katy, ran through much of the Missouri River valley by the 1890s. With the Pacific Railroad running from St. Louis to Jefferson City by 1856 and the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad becoming the first cross-state railroad in 1859, the Katy was a relative late comer to the railroad game. However, it provided a vital link between the agriculture of central Missouri and the quickly developing American southwest. The Katy added to Missouri's prosperity, supporting towns along the corridor and causing several new towns, such as Mokane and Tebbetts, to spring up almost overnight.
The Katy Ceases Operation
In the fall of 1986, the Katy experienced severe flooding that washed out several miles of track. Due to the cost of repair, the fact that railroad use was in decline, and the company was in financial trouble, the company decided to cease operations. On Oct. 4, 1986, trains 101 and 102 became the
The Railroad Amendment
The National Trails System Act Amendments of 1983 provide that railroad corridors no longer needed for active rail service can be banked for future transportation needs and used on an interim basis for recreational trails. When the Katy Railroad ceased operations, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources filed for a certificate of interim trail use for the corridor from Sedalia to Machens and it was granted in April 1987. The department used the opportunity to develop one of the most successful rails-to-trails conversions in the United States.
The Development of Katy Trail State Park
The first section of the trail from Rocheport to McBaine opened in April of 1990. In August of 1990, another section from Augusta to just north of Defiance opened. The rail corridor from St. Charles to just past Sedalia was developed by 1996. Through a donation from the Union Pacific Railroad, the department then extended the trail to Clinton, opening the section between Sedalia and Clinton in September of 1999. Funds from the Missouri Department of Transportation will be used for construction of the final section of Katy Trail from St. Charles to Machens. Future plans include the Rock Island Trail-Katy Connector, which will connect
Pat and Ted Jones
Katy Trail State Park would not have been possible without the support of Ted and Pat Jones. Their initial donation of $2.2 million made it possible to acquire the MKT Railroad corridor and develop it into Katy Trail State Park. Following her husband's death, Pat Jones and the financial-services firm that bears the Jones family name, Edward Jones, continued to support Katy Trail efforts. After the flood of 1993, the firm helped fund trail reconstruction and provided a toll-free number for updates on the trail's progress. After the trail's completion from Sedalia to Clinton, Edward Jones provided funds for the opening ceremony; it has also financed the printing of the trail's full-color brochures. Pat Jones is an active member and a past president of the Missouri Parks Association. Through her continued support of the Katy Trail and state parks in general, Pat has created a legacy for all to enjoy.
Erected by Edward Jones and Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Katy Trail State Park marker series.
Location. 38° 58.65′ N, 92° 33.651′ W. Marker is in Rocheport, Missouri, in Boone County Click for map. Marker kiosk is adjacent to the former railroad passenger depot, along the Katy Trail State Park, and about 300 feet ESE of the intersection of Pike and 1st Streets. Marker is in this post office area: Rocheport MO 65279, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Steamboating on the Missouri (here, next to this marker); Edward D. "Ted" and Pat Jones (here, next to this marker); History of Rocheport (here, next to this marker); Boonville (approx. 8.6 miles away); Hannah Cole's Fort (approx. 9.2 miles away); Battle of Boonville (approx. 9.2 miles away); a different marker also named The Battle of Boonville (approx. 9.2 miles away); Santa Fe Trail (approx. 9.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Rocheport.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
Also see . . . Katy Trail State Park. (Submitted on July 11, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
Categories. • Charity & Public Work • Railroads & Streetcars •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page has been viewed 706 times since then and 121 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.