Silver Dollar Tavern Kaput

Silver Dollar Tavern 12-07-2015_4369A reader sent a message this morning, “Ken, as I drove down 61 this morning, something was missing. I think the Silver Dollar Tavern has been razed.”

I needed to get an oil change and run some other errands, so it was almost dusk when I got up there. Indeed, the Perry county landmark was nothing but a heap of twisted, smoking debris.

I always liked seeing the old silver-clad tavern, but I have to admit that getting rid of it opens up a nice area for a park, something the town is talking about developing. As always, you can click on the photos to make them larger.

Demolition started Saturday

Silver Dollar Tavern 12-07-2015_4360Larry Hull, whose trucking company was tasked with razing the building, said the city was afraid someone would get hurt prowling around inside the old structure or that vandals might torch it, with the danger that the fire could spread to other buildings.

They started tearing it down Saturday after making sure there were no environmental hazards that would create a problem.

Names left behind

Silver Dollar Tavern 12-07-2015_4351I’m not sure if the names painted on the west basement wall are for three guys, Don, Jerry and Wood, or if Wood is a last name. Whoever they are, they were “Van’s Helpers,” probably referring to Van Ferral, who bought the tavern in March, 1965.

Basement will be filled in

Silver Dollar Tavern 12-07-2015_4345Once the debris stops burning, the basement will be filled in and the bank smoothed down. Within a few years, only memories will remain of the old watering hole that had been around since at least 1948.

Earlier Silver Dollar Tavern and Old Appleton stories

Silver Dollar Tavern 12-07-2015_4331

Y’all owe me a pair of shoes

I was being very careful walking around the mud, trying as much as I could to stay on what looked like gravel. That worked great for awhile, but, eventually, I heard a “SLUURPPP” sound as my foot hit a spot that WASN’T gravel and I felt cold, wet mud the consistency of chocolate pudding well up above my ankle. It wasn’t gumbo enough to suck my shoes off, but I don’t think I’ll be wearing them to church any time soon.

That’s a subtle plug to ask you to use that little yellow DONATE button at the top right of the page.

African Methodist Church Cemetery

African Methodist Episcopal Church Cemetery 10-28-2014When I did a post about the huge quarry just south and west of Old Appleton in July, Dennis Mize and Tom Mueller mentioned that there was a small African American cemetery located near the quarry.

On the way south from dropping Wife Lila at the airport in St. Louis, I decided to check it out.

They were right

African Methodist Episcopal Church Cemetery 10-28-2014Dennis and Tom were right. Just west of Hwy 61 on KK was the African American Church Cemetery marked by a sign that listed some of the names and family histories of those interred there.

Alexander Hull died in 1898

African Methodist Episcopal Church Cemetery 10-28-2014Alexander Hull was born in 1892, and died in 1898, before his 5th birthday. His stone was one of the easiest to read. It looked like it had been reattached to its base recently

Graves at quarry edge

African Methodist Episcopal Church Cemetery 10-28-2014When I strolled down the hill into a wooded area, the quarry popped into view. This grave was almost at the edge of a dead (pun not intended) drop-off. I could only wonder how many bones had been crushed along with the limestone over the years.

A huge hole

African Methodist Episcopal Church Cemetery 10-28-2014I’m going to guess the stone walls rising above the water are at least 75 to 100 feet tall. Apple Creek runs between the quarry and the farmland in the background. It must have been a challenge to keep ahead of the water when it was an active quarry.

Didn’t feel like exploring

African Methodist Episcopal Church Cemetery 10-28-2014I didn’t spend much time walking around that area of the graveyard. The ground sloped down toward the quarry and some of the overburden didn’t look stable. I had no desire to end up as a splash or worse.

Nature’s color palette

African Methodist Episcopal Church Cemetery 10-28-2014The late-afternoon sun and fall leaves made it a place of quiet beauty. A quick Google search didn’t turn up much information about the cemetery or the church it served.

Blasting area

Old Appleton Quarry 10-28-2014I’m sure the cemetery is a lot more peaceful since it’s neighbor, the old Appleton Quarry, has ceased blasting.

Quarry from the air

Aerial Old Appleton Quarry 04-17-2011This aerial photo taken in 2011 clearly shows how the quarry left a little plug of land where the cemetery is located. It’s much like how the cement plant quarry has mined around the Natatorium.

Click on the photos to make them larger.




Old Appleton Quarry

Aerial Old Appleton Quarry 04-17-2011You don’t realize how many quarries there are in Southeast Missouri until you fly over the area in a small plane. When Ernie Chiles and I went on a photo mission that took us up to Perry County in 2011, we passed over Old Appleton on the way home.

There is one HUGE pit on the west side of Hwy 61 at the intersection of  State Hway KK just south of Old Appleton. The brown water in the foreground is Apple Creek.

I couldn’t find much information on the quarry. There are still piles of gravel around, so it may still be active.

When I searched for quarries and Old Appleton, the only thing that popped up was a vague reference to Martin Marietta Aggregates, 224 State Hwy KK. A website not affiliated with the company (so far as I could tell) said that it has an estimated annual revenue of $2.5 to $5 million and employees 10 to 19 people.

Quarry photo gallery

Here some views of the quarry from other angles. Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move through the gallery.