Society trying to place signage at historic site
The Monticello Community Historical Society is attempting to work with a local contractor to see that a western Shawnee historical site is in some way preserved. The society has been in contact with Don Julian Builders to place an interpretative sign on the historic Chouteau Station site located on the northern edge of Monticello Township, near 45th Terrace and what was formerly Theden Road.
This site is located in the northern portion of property that will be developed as the Riverview Subdivision.
Cheryn Swanson, society president, said the society had previously understood that the site would be just outside the land developed for the neighborhood. This would maximize the potential preservation of this Euro-Indian site dating from the 1800’s, which is the only such site remaining in the area.
“There is a foundation there that we are hoping to preserve, but we’re not sure what’s going to happen at this point,” Swanson said.
However, Swanson said that in recent meetings with developers, that area is under consideration to be included in the development. She said the Monticello Community Historical Society has sent letters to the developer but has not yet reached an agreement on the future of the site.
The society hopes to restore this narrow strip of land to the time of the Chouteau Station with native trees and plants. The interpretative sign placed at the site would explain its rich history, dating to 1828 when Frederick Chouteau established a trading post on the south bank of the Kaw River with a ferryboat crossing.
When the 1844 flood washed away the trading post, Chouteau moved to higher ground and rebuilt on the site being preserved with a historic marker. The same site would later become the Chouteau Station and post office on the railroad.
Swanson said the society appreciates the developer’s recognition of the site’s importance, since developers have moved forward with some grading in the area and installation of streets.
“We don’t want to see anything destroyed until a decision is made,” she said.