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Keys to the City
Description: Keys to the City will include several booths, available from 5-7 p.m., with information about City of Columbia programs and services with a particular focus on neighborhood issues. Some council members will be available from 5-7 p.m. to visit with residents and invite feedback on the 2010 city budget. A Neighborhood Congress will be held from 7-8:30 p.m. led by the Planning Department.
Location: ARC, 1701 West Ash
Date: Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Time: 5:00pm-8:30pm CDT
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
Category: Public Events*, Meetings *
It looks like a potentially useful event, and I would encourage anyone interested in the future of our neighborhood and the city generally to attend.
So, keep the evening of May 6th open on your calendar – and plan on attending an event hosted by the city which could be of vast importance to us all. From a letter I received from the city:
I’m writing to invite you to an event I think will be of great interest to you. On Wednesday, May 6 at the ARC, 1701 West Ash, the City of Columbia will hold our second “Keys to the City” event that will have a special focus on neighborhood issues including a Neighborhood Congress.
The schedule (not entirely finalized yet – should be posted to the city’s website sometime after April 20) will include “Office Hours” to meet with City Council Members, an “Information Fair” with city staff there to answer your questions, and then ending the evening with the “Neighborhood Congress”:
A Neighborhood Congress will be led by the city’s Planning Department to discuss neighborhood participation in city planning. This session will include dialogue on a number of issues, including the development process, public improvement projects, traffic management, code enforcement and public safety.
This is the part where I think that simple numbers will have the greatest impact, and hope that we can get the best attendance possible to help guide the city’s thinking in ways which are beneficial to our neighborhood. Furthermore, finding out first-hand what the city council and staff are thinking will help to provide us with advance notice of things we should be paying attention to. If at all possible, please try to attend.
This is the first in an occasional series about the history of our neighborhood. I was encouraged to write and post these by Jim (and several other people), so here is a start.
In about 1880, Dr. A.W. McAlester bought approximately 160 acres of land on the east side of Columbia. This land makes up a large part of what is now the Country Club Estates neighborhood.
Andrew Walker McAlester was born in Rocheport on January 1, 1841. He was the youngest of five children of Brightberry McAlester, who was a lumber merchant and builder, and his wife, Mary Ann. They moved their family to Columbia in about 1846, where Brightberry was principal in a large contracting firm that built the county courthouse, a county jail, and several buildings on the new University of Missouri campus, including the (then) President’s home. The free-standing columns at the courthouse are all that remains of the courthouse he helped build, and the President’s home is now the Chancellor’s Residence on the Red Campus.
Young Andrew – or A.W., as he became known – graduated from the university in literary studies in 1864 and went on to receive a medical degree from St. Louis Medical College in 1866. He also attended medical schools in Chicago, New York, London and Paris, and visited medical schools in Germany.
When the brand new “medical department” at the University of Missouri was begun in 1872, Dr. McAlester was appointed chair of Obstetrics and Surgery. He worked with his friend, Frank Nifong (Maplewood House) to develop the fledgling department into a real medical school. In 1880 he was appointed Medical Dean of the expanded medical department, a position he held until he retired at the age of 68 in 1909. Under his guidance, the medical school became a premiere teaching institution in medicine. He has been called the “Father of the University of Missouri School of Medicine” because of his “intent, interest in founding, establishing and organizing the school and getting it into action.”* In a lecture about medical education, he said: “To become successful doctors of medicine implies not only good soil, but good culture also. All culture and no soil makes Jack a dull boy; all soil and no culture reaches the same undesirable end.”*
About the time he was appointed Medical Dean, he also bought his tract of land on the east side of town, where he proceeded to build his farm. This included his handsome frame house on the hill, built in about 1883, with several barns, a windmill and many fences. His lane came in through a stone-built gateway, part of which can still be seen at the intersection of Country Club Drive and Old 63. He raised thoroughbred horses on his farm and showed them in local shows. As well as being a teacher of medicine, he was a medical doctor and probably had an office in his new home. The northern boundary of his farm laid along a line which is now McAlester street (and it’s imaginary extention); the southern boundary along the fence line south of South Country Club Drive, which divides our neighborhood from the ones to the south.
* both quotes are cited in A History of Medicine in Missouri by E. J. Goodwin, published in 1905
Everyone who uses the Country Club Drive entrance at Old 63 needs to be aware of this:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2009
CONTACT: Public Works Department (573) 874-7250
Waterline relocation on Country Club Drive – The Columbia Public Works Department announces that on Monday, April 6 at 7:00 a.m., N.J. Wilson Construction will be relocating a waterline on Country Club Drive. This work will result in temporary road closure of Country Club Drive, at the intersection of Old Highway 63. The work should be completed and the road fully re-opened by 5 p.m. the same day, weather permitting. Motorists and pedestrians are urged to exercise extreme caution when in the work zone and use an alternate route whenever possible.