Gov. Matt Blunt announced today that Missouri's newest state park will be called Current River State Park. The name isn't very original, but it's easier to remember than the previous name, Alton Club/Jerry J. Presley Conservation Education Center.
The park is located northwest of Eminence in Shannon County, not far from Highway 19 and Round Spring. (See Google map and directions from Cape Girardeau)
According to the Missouri State Parks website, "The Alton Club was constructed in the late 1930s and early 1940s as a corporate retreat for the Alton Box Board Co., a manufacturing company located in Alton, Illinois." Many of the remaining buildings and structures were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.
Until last year, the site was owned by the Missouri Department of Conservation as part of the sprawling Sunklands Conservation Area. The land was transferred to the Department of Natural Resources with an eye to developing the complex into a state park.
An open house is planned for this summer. The new park should be mostly completed and open to the public in 2010.