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River sustains vitality in Glasgow

TOWN ON THE MISSOURI FOSTERS ITS NOSTALGIC FEEL

An outlook over the Missouri River faces west, offering residents and visitors to Glasgow a view of both the river and eye-catching sunsets. The walkway is part of a riverside development that includes a bandstand and other amenities located a half-block from the historic buildings of the town’s business district. (Photo by David Knopf/Richmond News.)

An outlook over the Missouri River faces west, offering residents and visitors to Glasgow a view of both the river and eye-catching sunsets. The walkway is part of a riverside development that includes a bandstand and other amenities located a half-block from the historic buildings of the town’s business district. (Photo by David Knopf/Richmond News.)

By David Knopf/News Editor

Unlike Camden, the waterfront town of Glasgow hasn’t been left high and dry by the whims of nature.

Settled by Europeans in 1836 and the Missouri tribe of Native Americans 300 years earlier, Glasgow is as good example of what Camden could’ve been had the Missouri River not forged a new channel 100 years ago.

Like Camden, it boasts steep hills and streets running perpendicular to the river. It was Glasgow’s bluffs that attracted the 13 men who bought land there, sold lots and created a town that still thrives today.

“The land was considered a healthy site, safe from flooding and convenient to river traffic,” an essay on the city Web site notes. “Because of its prime location on the Missouri River, the city of Glasgow was destined to become the next great river port on the Missouri, second only to St. Louis.”

Like Camden, the port town did a healthy steamboat business, at least until railroads grew as dependable means of moving goods and people.

Glasgow is also at the heart of a rich agricultural area – again, as Camden is – and today is home to impressive MFA grain elevators that store and ship corn, soybeans and other commodities, a textile operation and rail lines.

With just under 1,200 people, Glasgow is no booming metropolis, but the town’s main drag and intersecting streets boast an old-timey appeal and a healthy occupancy rate, including four restaurants, a winery, antique stores, a bakery and other businesses, including a corner store that serves as a non-chain Dollar General.

When Mayor Fred Foley moved to Glasgow 10 years ago, the business district was pocked with empty storefronts. But thanks to several factors – Foley’s purchase and renovation of four old buildings, projects undertaken by other businesspeople and ordinances designed to maintain the town’s nostalgic appearance – the area is now healthy.

“We have only two empty storefronts,” Foley said. “I think the community here just wants to stay rustic. We want to keep our appearance.”

The complete story is in the Thursday July 2, 2015 Richmond News.

Click here for our E-edition and read the rest of the story.

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