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Perry County Courthouse

The greatest need of Perry County, when it was created from the Ste. Genevieve District in 1821 was a courthouse. Although there were a few small areas where groups of people lived, there were no towns in the county where a courthouse could be built.

Bernard Layton gave the county 51 acres of his 640-acre Spanish Land Grant for that purpose. The land was to be laid out in lots and sold to raise money to build the first Perry County Courthouse. 

In the meantime, the Perry County Court met four times a year in the home of Bede Moore, a two-story log building about one and a half miles north of Perryville to conduct county business. 

In 1825, a contract was made for the first courthouse. Funding for the $1,486.25 project came from the sale of 55 lots from the property deeded to the county by Layton.

It was 1826 before the first courthouse was ready to use on the square. No pictures or sketches of the white two-storied frame building with green shutters and a Spanish brown roof with cupola sitting on top have survived. Thomas Hayden contracted to build this courthouse on the northeast corner of the square and completed it in 1826.

By 1859 the first courthouse had been outgrown and, in that year, the second Courthouse was built just west of the first one. This building was in the center of the north side of the square and was a two-storied Federal style brick building built for $8,000. John R. Layton superintended the construction and it was completed in 1861. This building continued in use until after the turn of the century when grand jury reports indicated the condition of the building was beyond repair.

In 1903 county residents presented a petition calling for an election and supported a proposition for a $30,000 bond issue to finance a new courthouse. From several plans submitted the Court selected a proposal from J.W. Gaddis of Vincennes, Indiana.

Caldwell and Drake from Columbus, Indiana contracted for construction in January 1904 and work began in February. The laying of the cornerstone ceremony was on June 4, 1904. The celebration included a parade, speeches, music and the largest crowd, ever assembled in Perry County  to watch as a huge block of stone was place in its bed of mortar where it has remained for generations. With elements of Federal, Romanesque, Gothic and Classical styles the courthouse was completed on November 17, 1904 when Gaddis officially handed over the keys to the governing body. Total cost of the red brick, 65-by-92-foot building was $32,762.98.

A deep well was sunk for water on the property and other modern amenities were included such as a boiler system for heat and a tile sewer for plumbing.

In February of 1905 wrecking and removing the old courthouse began along with the sale of old furniture. 

In 2015 the courthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and the citizens of Perry County voted to support a tax for its upkeep. In 2017 the courthouse underwent a major renovation to repair and preserve its original beauty and significance to the history of Perry County. 

Over the last one hundred years the present-day courthouse has conducted the county and state business dealing with land records, birth and death records, court proceedings, laws, elections, county maintenance and many other daily activities. It has been modernized with many new inventions such as telephones, electric, indoor plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems and an elevator. 

Over the years the Perry County Health Department, Perry County's 911 Department, Probation Office, Coroner, Prosecuting Attorney, Sheriff, County Commission, County Clerk, County Treasurer, County Collector, Circuit Clerk, Circuit Court, Recorder of Deeds and County Assessor have held office within its walls. Over the last one hundred years we too have grown and expanded our county offices. Today only the Circuit Clerk, Circuit Court, Recorder of Deeds, Juvenile Office and County Administrator are housed there. 

Group tours of the Perry County Courthouse are available by appointment. Please contact Trish Erzfeld, Director of the Perry County Heritage Tourism. 

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Concordia Lutheran Church of Frohna, Missouri built the Little School in 1898. It was a day school where the children of the parish were taught "reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic" as well as religion. For the most part, children in the primary grades were taught in this building. 

Prior to the construction of this school, a number of other buildings were used by the congregation. One of these was the log cabin dwelling on the Bergt farm which is now a part of the Saxon Lutheran Memorial located just a short distance north and east of the Little School on Saxon Memorial Drive. The Rev. Christian H. Loeber taught school in this log cabin in 1850 and 1851. This building is one of the oldest existing buildings used as a parish day school in the Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod.

From 1851-1854 the parsonage was used for school purposes. This home occupied the site where the "Wukasch Teacherage" was built at a later date. Records indicate that the old log church located on the present cemetery was used after 1854. The old rock church (near the old log church) became the school when the present church building was constructed in 1874. Enrollment had increased to 90 pupils. To accommodate such a large enrollment, the old log church was repaired and both buildings were now used for school purposes. It was at this time that Matthias Wukasch and Henry Welp were the teachers. It is interesting to note that both of these teachers served the congregation for 50 years. Also worthy of note is the date of 1883 when the English language was added as a subject in the curriculum. 

In time the log church became too small and so the Big School (Die Grosse Schule) was erected in 1889 and was dedicated in July of 1890. About a decade later the old rock church showed signs of deterioration. The Little School was built to replace it in 1898. By now the enrollment had reached a record high of 133 pupils. 

The Big School was razed in 1969 to make room for parking space. At this time the present school building was also constructed. It was dedicated on 24 August 1969. After the new modern school was built, many people felt that the Little School should be torn down since it was no longer being used. About ten families were convinced that the school should be preserved as memorial to Christian Education. These families formed the Concordia Historical Society in Frohna after which the petitioned the congregation for permission to renovate the building and assume the responsibility for its upkeep. Permission was granted and the Little School was dedicated as a museum on 7 August 1977. Since that time the society has engaged in further restoration of the building to its original décor. 

The Little School is open for tours by appointment. Contact Trish Erzfeld, Director of the Perry County Heritage Tourism.

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Maybe this Christmas add a little family nostalgia to the menu by fixing a special holiday dish of Grandma's or of your heritage with perhaps a German or French themed dish. Lay out the old family album for family members to thumb through after the meal. Hang up live mistletoe to see who will go through special efforts to avoid it. Decorate your tree with old ornaments, tinsel, hand cut sugar cookies or stringed popcorn and cranberries.

Or maybe suggest a traditional outing. The Christmas Country Church Tour is a wonderful self-guided tour of thirty-two uniquely beautiful country churches in Bollinger county, northern Cape Girardeau county and Perry county. In its 13th holiday season the Christmas Country Church Tour has grown beyond the county lines of Perry County, Missouri. From little one-room white clad buildings to brick and mortar masterpieces see these century old structures each of them adorned in the spirit of Christmas. From German Lutherans, Scotch-Irish Presbyterians to German Catholic, Baptist and Methodist. Hear the choirs, listen to the music, learn the history of how these churches started generations ago with nothing more than the determination and faith of the people who immigrated here and built them. Slow down from the holiday hustle and bustle, get back to the real meaning of the season, sample one or all of the homemade cookies and enjoy the down home hospitality of those you will meet along the way as you travel from one community and country church to the other. Describe by some as a holiday treasure hunt consider making it your next tradition.

Christmas Country Church Tour December 14 & 15, 20107 2pm-9pm    

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Recently, several Perry County Historical Society members have been asking about Friedenberg Cemetery in Perry County, Missouri which inspired the director of our Genealogical Research Library and Archive Center, to pursue reprinting Chapter 11 - Peace Lutheran Cemetery - cemetery plat and lists from an out of print Friedenberg book.  The Perry County Historical Society has been granted copyright permission from Rev. Dr. Daniel Harmelink, Executive Director of Concordia Historical Institute, to reproduce portions of the book "Friedenberg Remembrances:  A Story of Peace, Faith and Life" by Friedenberg Lutheran Historical Society Book Committee, Copyright 1998 by Martin P. Oswald.

If you are of Bavarian German Lutheran descent from Perry County, Missouri, you are likely related to this group that created the Friedenberg Peace Lutheran Church.  Records have been found dating back to 1862-1863 which contain the following list of surnames composing the membership: Amschler, Angermann, Bergmann, Boxdorfer, Dippold, Fassold, Funke, Hallenberger, Hermann, Hoehn, Kleyla, Klobe, Knoll, Kropf, Lang, Lintner, Muench, Ochs, Popp, Rauh, Rothewald, Sandler, Schade, Schaupert, Schrumpf, Schuetz, Springer, Stuebinger, Taeuber, Uebel, Weinrich, Weith and Wirth.

Initially, the families that started arriving in 1838 worshipped most frequently in the home of Ferdinand Bergmann (3 Mar 1803 – 26 Nov 1853) on the north side of Cinque Hommes Creek. This group of Germans pre-dates the Saxon Lutherans who arrived in the Altenburg area around 1839. The congregation of 13 voting members organized as Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church in September 1844 with Reverend E. O. Wolff as resident pastor.  

It soon grew too crowded in the Bergmann home and in 1846, the small group built a log cabin church, also on the north side of Cinque Homme Creek, about one mile North of P Road and just east of present day Highway 61.  As you drive by today, you can see a peaceful valley of crops with a large metal building with a green roof in the distance.  You can just imagine, 170 years ago a log cabin church sitting on the bank of Cinque Hommes Creek somewhere on the far edge of that field.

Soon it was necessary to build a larger log cabin church.  In 1852, they moved to the location of the cemetery under a cedar tree on the south side of Cinque Homme Creek on the Frankenberg Hill.  Across the road, they built a parsonage and a school.  For 33 years, from 1852 to 1885, the congregation worshipped in the log church on the Frankenberg Hill overlooking Cinque Hommes bottom. Peace Lutheran Cemetery is still located at this site near the intersection of Highway 61 and P Road and is maintained by an endowment to Immanuel Lutheran Church of Perryville, Missouri.

Eventually the congregation outgrew this church, and a new site was chosen to the southeast on another hill.  They named their new location Friedenberg (Hill of Peace) and their church Peace Lutheran Church.  A one room school and a parsonage were built first in 1874 across the road from the future church site.  School was taught in this red brick school house for over 70 years until 1946.  After 1946, the school was used for Saturday school where religion was taught, for dart games and Sunday School.  The names and initials of school children can still be seen etched into the soft brick. 

There was a disastrous parsonage fire in 1942 and many valuable records were lost.  The pastor and his children lived in the one room schoolhouse (while school was still in session!) until a new parsonage could be erected.  In 1975, the school and parsonage were sold and still stands today on the property of Dale and Sandy Koenig.  The Peace Lutheran School building is over 140 years old! 

In 1885, the congregation moved from the Frankenberg Hill, to Friedenberg and built the present simple, red-brick worship facility overlooking the quiet Missouri countryside.  The new church was dedicated debt-free on 27 September 1885.  This church served the congregation for the next 95 years! 

As the social and economic climate of the area changed, membership began to decline. In 1980, Peace Congregation voted to disband. The people resolved to preserve their buildings as a reminder of the heritage of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and asked Concordia Historical Institute (CHI) located at 804 Seminary Place in St. Louis to take over the property.  Concordia Historical Institute is the Department of Archives and History of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. The Institute continues to own, operate and support “Hill of Peace” as a "walk-in history book" that vividly demonstrates the change in the life of the rural church that was so important in previous eras.  

The facilities, the people, and the "peace" still live on in Friedenberg through the continued efforts of the Friedenberg Historical Society 501(c)(3).  The small group of members continue to maintain the church and grounds for generations to enjoy for years to come.  Anyone interested in joining the Friedenberg Historical Society or donating time or money for the continued support of the historic “Hill of Peace” and our ancestor’s history, please contact Sandy Koenig at earlybird4848@yahoo.com.

The original Ladies Aid house, called Friedenberg Hall, was dedicated in September 1935 and burned to the ground in 2012. The current Friedenberg Hall was erected in 2014 and is available for rental across the road from the church.  Whether it is a church retreat, business meeting, wedding reception or anniversary, a baptism or confirmation reception, Friedenberg Hall provides a clean, modern facility within a quiet and historic location.  Friedenberg Hall is perfect for a family reunion or birthday party and provides a full service kitchen/serving area and handicap-accessible bathrooms.  The Hall can accommodate up to 90 people and is only 5 miles from Perryville and less than one and a half miles from Highway 61. To reserve your special day at Friedenberg Hall, please call Sandy at 573-768-1658.  Rental Fee—$100/day.  Refundable Deposit—$50.

Three annual Church Services are held each year at Friedenberg Peace Lutheran Church typically at 3:00 pm on the 2nd Sunday in March, October and December to celebrate and serve as a reunion of descendants.  Please consider attending the Fall Service at 3:00pm on Sunday, October 9, 2016 at Friedenberg Peace Lutheran Church at 510 PCR 304 Perryville, MO  63775. 

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Tips for Totality

With less than two months to go before the Great American Eclipse comes streaming across our blue Missouri sky the excitement is building beyond anything we could have anticipated. This eclipse will be the most viewed and most highly publicized eclipse ever in history. And with that I am here to tell you that on eclipse day you may or may not have adequate cell service. This is the first total solar eclipse traveling across the United States in such a way that thousands can reach the totality path. And with every excited eclipse enthusiasts comes the ability to document their once-in-a-lifetime experience and the desire to share it with their family a far or friends back home. So, with thousands of additional phone calls, face timing, Facebooking, Tweeting, Instagram posts, Snap Chatting and live streaming, etc. it would be naive of any of us to assume our local cell towers will be able to meet the demand of usage.

Also, consider planning for the eclipse much as you would during a forecasted winter snow storm. That might be a really ‘cool’ thought to have in August when we will probably be in the 90-degree range! So, think ahead. Go get your groceries early in the week. Make sure you get sunscreen, drinks and your eclipse glasses. You may have extra family or friends traveling to come stay with you please don’t forget to get them glasses as well. You cannot view the entire eclipse without solar eclipse glasses only the totality phase! Stop by the gas station and fill up your vehicle to avoid the crowds in the upcoming weekend and run any necessary errands you need to. Consider scheduling routine appointments either before or after eclipse weekend and when you do venture out to enjoy one or more of our many fun-filled events planned for the weekend just allow yourself a little extra driving time.

For those experiencing the eclipse from your home you will be all set to go. Maybe you want to invite family or friends over to enjoy it with you. Experts will tell you that it is highly recommended and an amazing show to experience among others. For those who will be venturing out within the Perry County path, let it be known that we do expect heavy traffic. Especially, on Interstate 55 both north and south bound lanes, the Perryville Blvd. by-pass which travels by the Seminary Picnic Grove and Bank of Missouri Soccer Complex viewing sites, Highway 61 south through Brewer and coming up from the north in the vicinity of the Perryville City Park. Highway 51 from Perryville northeast to the Chester bridge will also have a high volume of traffic using it. In all areas, possible the Missouri Department of Transportation will have flashing caution signs slowing traffic down for the safety of all our eclipse viewers. Please be aware of pedestrian traffic and your surroundings at all times.

This is going to be an amazing experience. Just like the landing of the moon in 1969 was a momentous occasion for the baby boomers’ generation…the Great American Eclipse will be just as memorable for this generation.

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There is no doubt that The Great American Eclipse is an undeniable educational opportunity for our children here in Perry County and it is no surprise that other schools and parents with kids are planning and traveling to our area to experience the eclipse. I have learnt more about astronomy, read more about science and tried to understand more physics in the past two years of planning for this celestial event than I ever thought imaginable.

What we did realize was that as we looked around our community at our businesses and industries, was the need to educate, excite and inspire the next generation to be engaged in the fields of science and math. So, when the Perryville Chamber of Commerce decided that they would host the Perryville Solarfest sponsored by the Perry County Memorial Hospital we knew we wanted there to be the unique opportunity for our businesses, industries and professionals to be able to share the science or math behind their occupation, product or business. From medical to mechanical and from organisms to outer space science surrounds us every day. Some are obvious, some are not and some we just take for granted. If your company is science based or has a key component using science then I would strongly encourage you to consider signing up for a Perryville Solarfest booth and share what cool science or technology is happening here in the Heartland.

Other fun and exciting things will be the chance for you to experience what it is like to take a spin on a zero-gravity chair just like the ones used at Space Camp brought to us by the Republic-Monitor. We all know what a sundial is but with the help of the American Sundial Association we will learn how to read our newly unveiled courthouse sundial commemorating The Great American Eclipse. The Dark Sky Mobile Planetarium will be coming into town thanks to Coldwell Banker & Professional Associates. They will help us locate stars and planets in our summer Missouri sky during a forty-five-minute planetary show and tips on how to find them from your own Heartland backyards.

You will be able create sand sculptures, learn about solar power or pan for gold among many other things in the name of science. There will also be for the first time in Perryville an amazing 573 Chalk Art Festival. Come and watch as chalk artists design and create science inspired pieces of art on our downtown city street transforming it from a busy roadway into multiple magical concrete canvases.

As we continue to plan and prepare for eclipse day you can currently purchase your total solar eclipse glasses for two dollars at the Perryville Area Chamber of Commerce, Perry Park Center or Village Video between now and eclipse day while supplies last so don’t delay.

While the weekend will be buzzing with total solar eclipse conversations, anticipation, and excitement let us take this time and use this weekend to celebrate all thing wonderful, weird and wonderous. Because after all, science makes the world go around...literally.

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As August 21, 2017 and the Great American Eclipse draws closer I would like to reach out to the businesses that I may have not been able to talk to through various Perryville Area Chamber of Commerce eclipse presentations I have done for their membership.

During the eclipse weekend, August 18-21 Perryville will experience not only the Great American Eclipse but also an influx of people wanting to be as close to the center line of totality as possible. With the people will come the need for lodging, gas, food, snacks, groceries and many other items of personal necessities. Use this celestial phenomenon as an economic opportunity and think ahead business wise.

If you are in the hospitality industry plan a special “eclipse” themed dish, appetizer or special cosmic concoction to attract these hungry eclipse chasers. Plan staffing accordingly so that you may deliver the best service and provide the best dining experience possible. Some of our eclipse visitors may not have traveled so far and may be delighted to return and get that down-home Perryville hospitality again with friends in tow.

If you are one of our many convenience markets and/or gas stations then do make sure your shelves are fully stocked for the constant flow that weekend. Ice, drinks, sunscreen along with Missouri and/or eclipse souvenirs will be popular. Special attention may be given to your fueling schedule. If you normally get your tanks replenished on a Monday after the busy weekend I would avoid eclipse Monday due to the heavy traffic we are anticipating.

There are also several hundred-additional rustic and self-contained campsites opportunities available within Perryville and East Perry County. These campers will need groceries and supplies as nobody ever remembers everything!     

Nobody knows your business better than you do. So, take a minute to think of how you can promote your business, your service or your product to the masses that will visit, tour, shop, eat and sleep here during The Great American Eclipse. Moonier’s Florist has flowers named Eclipse and Night Sky. Fandangle has created Perry County eclipse jewelry. Hemman’s Winery will have a special vintage named Eclipse. The Barrens Winery will have their special vintage called Inner Circle and Jackson Street Brewco will be tapping its special eclipse themed brew that weekend. The Perry County Heritage Tourism has Perry County solar eclipse glasses and postcards available at the Perryville Area Chamber of Commerce.

If you feel your business does not fit into the tourism or hospitality industry and would like to be involved in this exciting event then we have some special sponsorship opportunities for the many activities we have planned for Solarfest weekend. Special thanks already to Perry County Memorial Hospital for being our sponsor for Perryville Solarfest, TG Missouri for sponsoring the Perryville 573Mudfest, Coldwell Bankers and Professional Associates for bringing the Dark Sky Mobile Planetarium to our Perry Park Center during Solarfest Saturday and Thrivent’s Tom Frasher for donating Library Telescopes to both of our Perry County Riverside Regional Library branches.  The opportunities are as many as the stars in the Milky Way! Don’t miss yours chance to shine.

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All the preparations, all the excitement and all the planning that is going into this Great American Eclipse event on August 21, 2017 will certainly pay off with an amazing experience. But if you want to see if your special spot or secret location in Perry County is in fact perfect then you want to be there on practice day, April 20, 2017.

When astronomers give the Sun’s position, they use the two celestial coordinates, right ascension and declination. These two values roughly correspond to latitude and longitude on Earth. On August 21st, the Sun’s declination will be approximately, 11 degrees 51’. So, if you want to “practice” observing the Sun where it will be on eclipse day head to your “spot” on April 20th. The Sun’s path through the sky will be the same as it will be on eclipse day.

You will want to be there during the same time as Perry County’s “totality” which will occur at 1:18pm. Maybe you want to set up a filtered telescope, run a test launch or take a few pictures. Maybe you just want to check out a perspective observing site. How far away are any trees? Are you too close to any buildings? Can you see the horizon? The Sun will be high in the sky when the eclipse passes over Perry County so obstacles blocking your view are less likely than someone in Oregon or South Carolina witnessing the eclipse’s sunrise or sunset. That too makes our area highly desirable, no eclipse pun intended. To have trees and obstacles around you will be good as certain phases of the eclipse will show eerie shadows, crisp sharp lines and the leaves on a tree can provide a kaleidoscope of mini eclipses fun to look at just as long as these obstacles do not block your viewing of the Sun and the experience of seeing the Corona.

Anything you want to try on eclipse day you can practice April 20th because it is the closest approximation to what you’ll see on eclipse day. The Sun will rise and set around the same times, and it will cross the meridian (the imaginary north-south line that passes through the overhead point; the Sun crosses it at midday) the same time as on eclipse day.

Here’s something to consider, however. The Sun’s declination doesn’t change all that much from day to day. In fact, if your rehearsal occurs as many as 3 days before or after April 20th you really won’t notice a difference when August 21, 2017 gets here.

My advice, don’t get all caught up in the scientific mumbo jumbo. Just know to scout your location so you have a plan on eclipse day. Whether you’re planning a backyard eclipse party, family viewing destination or public viewing site get you a pair of eclipse glasses go out and look at the sun and prepare to be amazed August 21, 2017.

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It's A Big Deal

It really is a big deal. Totally! On August 21, 2017, the Great American Eclipse will stream across our beautiful Perry County sky casting the moon’s shadow down on us turning our day into night and thousands of people will be looking up at that glorious corona with wonder and amazement. I’m told it is a very emotional experience. Some people will cheer, some will cry and most will be speechless after it has passed not knowing exactly how to describe what they just witnessed.

Eclipses aren’t rare, as a matter of fact most calendar years have at least four eclipses, which is the minimum number of eclipses that must take place in a year. Two of these four eclipses must be solar while the other two will be lunar. It’s easy to get these two types mixed up. An easy way to remember the differences is in the name. The name tells you what gets darker when the eclipse happens. In a solar eclipse, the sun gets darker. In a lunar eclipse, the moon gets darker. And to complicate thing more, there are two different types of solar eclipses, annular and total.

What makes a total solar eclipse seem rare is the ability to get in the shadow’s path to witness the “totality”. In most cases, eclipse chasers find themselves scrambling to find suitable sites for viewing.  Many solar eclipses occur over dense jungles, frozen tundra, unsafe territories or vast miles of ocean. The 2017 Great American Eclipse has a shadow path of approximately 70 miles wide and will start in Oregon and exit out North Carolina making this solar event an eclipse chasers smorgasbord of viewing site options!

But for Perry County this is an extremely rare event. The last total solar eclipse to touch United States soil was in August 1979. Although, many visitors traveled to the Pacific Northwest corner since it would be the last chance to view an eclipse in the United States for almost four decades, it was not directly observable due to the overcast skies.

The last eclipse to cross the United States like this summer’s eclipse, was on June 8, 1918. This solar eclipse swept below Missouri through Arkansas and exited out Florida. Little is mentioned on this solar event as much of our attention was focused on WWI and our troops abroad. In fact, the last time Perry County has ever been shadowed by the moon during a total solar eclipse was in 1442!

With our technology, highways, social media and viewing destination access the Great American Eclipse is poised to be the most viewed total solar eclipse event in astronomy history and Missouri is slated to be the most viewed state along its path by sheer population alone.

It’s said on average, the same spot on Earth only gets to see a solar eclipse for a few minutes about every 375 years. Eclipse events, rare or not, quite possibly could be more about the location. Perry County will get to experience a total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 and then again on April 8, 2024 and that my astronomical friends, rare or not, is a really big deal!

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On August 21, 2017 at 1:18pm Perry County will experience a total solar eclipse giving locals some of the greatest viewing time across the United States at two minutes forty seconds of totality.

In anticipation of the Great American Eclipse of 2017 the City of Perryville has officially begun the daunting but extremely exciting task of planning for the astronomical event. Unlike many small rural communities in Missouri, Perryville has a unique front row seat to possibly the greatest solar eclipse the United States has or ever will see. But with that amazing view comes many decisions to make concerning the great influx of people that will also want to witness this spectacular natural event. With a city population of 8,225 and a county population totaling 18,971, Perryville will be ready to greet their astronomy fans and solar eclipse chasers possibly doubling their county’s population in one day.

Perryville’s Municipal Airport’s located near the banks of the mighty Mississippi River is directly aligned with the eclipse’s center path of totality giving lookers the maximum time of two minutes and 40 seconds! Boasting a 7,000ft. X 100ft. runway it is sure to attract many astronomers and eclipse enthusiasts from around the nation.

Perry County’s Eclipse Taskforce was assembled in November 2015 and has been strategizing on the best possible viewing locations, parking areas, shuttle routes, camping sites and various weekend entertainment leading up to the main eclipse event. This unique taskforce is made up of City and County officials, Economic Development Authorities, 911 Director, Park & Recreation Dept., Bois Brule Levee District, police, sheriff and fire departments, hospital, school district, health department, MoDot, Missouri Highway Patrol, Missouri Department of Conservation, regional and state authorities. These are the people, experts in their fields that will help us locate and organize great viewing sites, map the safest travel routes, provide community awareness, education and create an overall extraordinary experience for our local-residents and our solar eclipse hunters.

Starting back in August 2016 National Eclipse Taskforce member and Director of Astronomy for the University of Missouri, Angela Speck spoke during the back to school conference so that all our children could benefit the most out of this extraordinary educational experience.  We figured that by reaching and informing 500+ educators they will be better able to help as many as 3,500+ students ranging K-12 experience the Eclipse that day creating a moment in their lives they will never forget. We will also be keeping our area residents informed of our plans and events through the Perryville Chamber of Commerce website and our local radio station KSGM 980AM’s noon Focus program. This will be a series of radio interviews leading up to the eclipse event. And for our not-so-local solar eclipse visitors a Perry County Eclipse Facebook page and twitter account has been created so that they will be as informed as our residents about weekend events, happenings and eclipse specials.

As our taskforce continues to works diligently in the up-coming months developing the best possible eclipse experience for everyone know that as a singular event of national scale and with a global audience, this event will rival the moon landing of 1969 as a landmark event for a new generation! You’re not going to want to miss this!

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