Platte County’s Anniversary Celebration comes to successful conclusion

How many counties band together like this one to put on a year’s worth of events to acknowledge its unique and diverse history?I’d guess not many, which is why I’ve found Platte County’s 175th Anniversary Celebration so fascinating. It concluded Sunday with a display and concert at the Wilson Center for Performing Arts inside Platte County High School.

Hundreds showed up to take a look back at other events and enjoy a selection of music, including the “world premiere” of Platte City native Michael E. Anderson’s commissioned piece written specifically for this occasion.

Certainly, individuals involved, specifically chairman Pat Medill, have set a standard for those in the future.

Obviously, more anniversaries will occur, and attendance and attention for this year’s celebration warrant consideration of similar events when Platte County turns 200, 250 or even 500. A sort of grassroots movement from citizens intent on sharing stories from the past led to a unique selection of guest speakers, music and fun.

And history can be boring, so I praise the organizers for doing what they could to make events fun.

I came in on this celebration somewhere about the middle.

It started with a commemorative ceremony on New Year’s Eve of 2013. It grew to include a historical homes tour, a ceremony dedicated to a Confederate Civil War monument in Camden Point and a series of presentations to honor Platte County’s Native American history. There was plenty more, and all were well attended.

There were books and artwork. The county adopted an official tree (the Paw Paw) and bird (the Great Blue Heron). There’s even an official migratory bird, the ruby-throated hummingbird.

Making your region unique and drawing attention to it can only be beneficial. Many have taken notice of Platte County’s efforts, and they could serve to inspire other counties to consider a similar project.

Hopefully, some from the younger generation have been inspired, as well.

I don’t expect any immediate results, but it’s never too early to think about what comes next and what other stories of Platte County’s history can be told in the future.

What could we possibly be discussing in 2039 as we look back on 200 years of history? What events from the 1940s to the present will deserve a little added attention as time ticks away on those days?

Interesting questions to consider.

A quick notation to fix an oversight from last week.

We ran a photo of citizens working on a mural in downtown Weston, Mo. Nan Taylor and Mary Jo Heidrick were shown and credited for their work, but I left out Susan Grinlinton, who also has spent time helping decorate the city’s former jail building with artwork that helps depict its history.

The building now serves as a restroom for a downtown park. The artwork shows a lawman guarding the former jail and adds faux barred windows with prisoners depicted “inside.”

All three certainly deserve credit for a neat project.

Another quick update involves the upcoming open forum Platte County R-3 officials will host on Oct. 30 regarding the district’s growth management plan. The location has been moved to the forum room inside Platte City Middle School, located at 900 Pirate Dr. in Platte City.

The event will still begin at 6 p.m.

Citizens are encouraged to show up and submit questions. District officials will then answer them in an organized manner. This has the ability to be very productive and interesting at the same time. This will be the first of many public discussions regarding a difficult issue for voters.

Ross Martin is publisher of The Citizen. He may be reached via email at Follow him on Twitter: @Citizen_Ross.