Jefferson Landing rich with history

Monday, August 2, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 9:13 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

The area now known as Jefferson Landing State Historic Site was a hub for activity in mid-1800s Jefferson City.

The city that sprung up along the waterway only had about 30 houses when it was chosen as the capital of the state. At the heart of this early city were the Lohman building and the Union Hotel building, which now make up the historic landing. Hotels and restaurants near the dock and train station flourished during a time when all visitors and goods arriving to the city came in by rail or boat.

John Cunning of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources said the landing was the center of the business district starting in 1826.

The Lohman building was constructed in 1839 by James A. Crump for use as a store, tavern, hotel and warehouse. It was named for Charles Lohman, who bought a section of the building and opened a store with his partner, Charles Maus. In 1856, Maus left the partnership to build the Union Hotel. Cunning said that era led both men to be successful. Their success continued until the mid-1870s.

An area that was once bustling with travelers now serves as an art gallery, transportation museum and a waiting area for Amtrak passengers.

Visitors to the area should pair a walk around the historic landing with a tour of the Governor’s Mansion, the Missouri State Capitol or the Runge Nature Center, Cunning said.

Charles and Penny Anderson, who were visiting from Wyoming, said they enjoyed walking around the landing area.

“It’s where my ancestors are from,” Penny said.

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