Southwest Missouri Civil War site works toward federal recognition in hopes to push development forward

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Supporters of a Jasper County Civil War site are hoping to get some federal attention — and the funding that comes with it.

“It tells the history of our area,” explained Bob Harrington with Rader Farm.

And now, local supporters are working to get the Sherwood Rader Farm added to the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area. It covers 41 counties in the Midwest, focusing on history like settling the frontier and the Civil War.

“They’re getting ready to go before Congress again in 2021 to get the whole thing reauthorized and add new areas,” Harrington added.

If Jasper County and the Rader Farm are added, it could mean a boost to the historic site.

“They have grants available, they have a lot of advertising that they put out in regards to the different areas — they even have a busing program where they’ll give grants to schools to bus students to some of these areas to see them,” said Harrington.

And federal support could lead to more features on the Rader Farm itself.

“Our long term goal is we’d like to build a representation of the Rader Farm as it existed at time and a facility we can basically do living history out there,” Harrington continued.

Jasper County commissioners voted to support the project, saying it’s an important part of the county’s past.

“This is the only park system the county owns, so to perpetuate that, it’s a big, big deal and an opportunity for us,” said Jasper County Commissioner Darieus Adams.

The Sherwood Rader Farm sits just north of Joplin and was the site of a skirmish between Union and Confederate forces in May of 1863.

There have been a few improvements at the site — you can view more by clicking here.

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