New exhibit at Fort Davidson: Why this Valley?

Come to the Battle of Pilot Knob State Historic Site and experience its rotating exhibit of themed displays of artifacts relating to the site. Many of these are original artifacts never on public display until now. Each exhibit will be on display for two months.

During March and April, visit the “Why This Valley” display. Long before an important Civil War Battle was fought in the Arcadia Valley, it was an abundant source of natural resources needed as a young nation grew and expanded into new territory. Vast deposits of iron ore and timber attracted miners, loggers and settlers beginning in the early 1800s.

Later, these settlers opened quarries to mine the distinctive red granite to supply St. Louis and other large cities with paving stones and other building materials.

The historic site has in its library numerous interesting artifacts pertaining to this valley’s natural resources and their uses in the 1800s and early 1900s. Site staff will be available to interpret the artifacts on display.

Upcoming displays:

May-June: “Dropped and Found” displays a variety of items that were dropped during the heat of battle and then “found” later.

July-August: “Guess what this is.” Gives visitors a chance to view several unique items pertaining to the battle and the history of the valley and then venture a guess as to what they are and what the items were used for.

September-October: “Before the Fort” highlights Native American life in the valley before European settlement.

November-December: “Remembering the Past” will feature mementos and awards given to veterans of the battle, pictures of past reunions, and artifacts telling the history of early efforts to preserve the site and protect it from modern encroachment, including the first reenactments in the 1960s.

This rotating exhibit event will offer an incentive for visitors to experience all six of the exhibits over the 2019 season. The site will have an event passport card for visitors to obtain staff signatures during each of the exhibits. The first five people to turn in their completed passport will receive a VIP pass to the September 2020 reenactment. The pass will include VIP seating and parking at the event as well as other incentives.