BLYTHEDALE

Harrison Co., Missouri

 

by

Gary B. Speck

 

 

Interstate 35 drops out of Iowa, and arrows a tad over 100 miles across the upper northwest corner of Missouri, stabbing deep into the heart of Metropolitan Kansas City.The Missouri travel gurus call this area the Pony Express Region, and it is here that Ghost Town USA finally paid its first physical visit to the Show-Me State in 1997.

 

Eight miles south of the Iowa border, the tiny map dot called BLYTHEDALE called for a visit, so we obliged.Itís at the junction of County Roads (CR) N & T about two miles east of I-35 at Exit 106.Today, Blythedale is a sleepy agricultural town whose downtown has more gaps than buildings.It is but a memory of the days when brick structures lined the street solidly for a couple blocks.At the time of our visit on May 20, 1997, the last of the old-timey brick buildings was slated for demolition, to be replaced with a modern community center.

 

Just north of the main intersection, a bank and general store still operate in a building built sometime between WW II and yesterday. Off a bit to the west is a church, a white-painted clapboard post office and the huge Cedar Hill Cemetery with hundreds of graves.The old days are remembered by a long, skinny, single-story brick building that once housed a feed store, and later the community center.Peeling plaster and rusty purlin anchors scar the outside of the north and south walls, showing where other buildings once nestled against this crumbling remnant of the past. A block south, past an intersection with a dirt side road, is the roofless concrete shell of Randallís Garage (and gas station), which closed in the 1950s.Greenery erupts from empty window and door openings, and a neatly clipped lawn has overgrown the concrete sidewalk in front.

 

On the northeast corner, diagonally across the intersection and hidden under a pair of huge shade trees, are crumbling concrete curbs and slab sections marking what appears to have been another gas station.I asked a couple ďold-timersĒ in the store if they knew anything about it and neither remembered it.Both men arrived in town in the mid 1950s, and they said whatever was there was torn down prior to that time.

 

A water tower looks over the scores of small white homes and mobile homes that make up the remaining structures.Blythedale isnít a true ghost town...yet...but the spectral wraiths are breathing heavily down its streets and alleys.In 1970, 213 people lived here.In 1980 there were 219, and the 1990 census counted 216.Yet today, only about 130 remain.It appears the ghosts are chasing the good folks of Blythedale away.

 

This was our featured Ghost Town of the Month for December 1998

 

 

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Also visit:

 

Ghost Town USAís Ghost Towns of Missouri

 
Missouri Ghost Town locations with names beginning:

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | PQ | R | S | T | UV | W | XYZ

 

Detailed information on individual locations:

Blythedale | Haran | McLellan Springs | Rivermines

 

Listings of related groups of locations

FERRIES | MILLS | MINES | RURAL POST OFFICES | WAY STATIONS

 

 

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FIRST POSTED: November 01, 1998

LAST UPDATED: December 15, 2007

 

 

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