Heritage Festival; a reminder of history


Morgan Berk

Part of the Heritage Festival is arranged as though it were a village in the western frontier. It’s like taking a step back in time, where everything is simple.

Every year, for as long as I can remember, I’ve gone to the Heritage Festival at Nifong Park with my mom or my sister. There are so many beautiful and intriguing things there that make for amazing photographs. It’s nice to be reminded of where we came from and what Missouri used to be.

I got the opportunity to catch the end of this performance, where members of the Haskell Indian Nation Dancers shared a few of the traditional dances of their tribe with us. Here, dressed in full tribal regalia, they performed a round dance along with members of the audience.

When I got to the Heritage Festival, this was the first thing I went to go see, because I haven’t gotten to watch the tribal dancers since I was a little kid. Each of the members shared with us their stories of what the colors and pieces of their regalia represent to them. It was fascinating to hear and comforting to know that the history is still present in what they do today.

A member of the Haskell Indian Nation Dancers performs a dance known as the “Northern Traditional Dance.”
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This Coca-Cola mural on the side of the Easley Country Store was left with its original paint, even when the rest of the building was resurfaced.

The Easley Country Store served as a general supply store, a post office and a stockyard from the 1890’s until the early 2000’s. It sat on the banks of the Missouri River until it was moved to Nifong Park in 2006. It was remodeled to look like it would have in the 1920’s and 1930’s.

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My mom told me that she had stopped by the Easley Store with her best friend a few times in her teen years to grab a soda or some candy. It was very much a fixture in people’s every day lives, and it’s good to see it remembered as it was so long ago.
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These are some local period bricks located in front of the McQuitty Shotgun House at Nifong Park. I made this photo sepia because I feel that the sepia conveys better the focus of the image.

The McQuitty Shotgun House is known as such because of the “shotgun” style of architecture frequently used in the Deep South. Shotgun houses were long and narrow with doors connecting one room to the next and no hallway. It was said that a shot fired from a shotgun at the front door could reach the back door without ever touching a wall.