While the River City Music Festival is the big draw this weekend, those of us cheapskates who prefer free events will also have plenty to do this weekend. Five historic sites in Cape -- the Red House Interpretive Center, Old St. Vincents Church, Cape River Heritage Museum, Fort D, and the Glenn House -- are hosting free activities as part of Heritage Days.
As a bonus, the Red House is holding a Kid's Fair on Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm with fun activities, crafts, games, music, and exhibits.
Meanwhile, at the River Campus, a free event Saturday called History My Passion is raising money for the Glenn House as part of an Eagle scout project. Keynote speakers will be Lt. Gov Peter Kinder and Dr. Frank Nickell.
Here are some other news items to clear off my desk:
Route 66 State Park open house
This state park outside of St. Louis near Eureka commemorates the doomed town of Times Beach as well as the history of America's most famous highway, Route 66. Unfortunately, the centerpiece of the park -- a steel bridge over the Meramec River that carried Route 66 -- has failed inspections and is now closed to all traffic, including pedestrians.
The Missouri Department of Transportation intends to demolish the bridge, permanently severing the park in two, unless somebody can find a way to raise money to rehabilitate the bridge.
On Saturday, Oct. 16, the park will host an open house featuring a presentation by a MoDOT historian about the bridge. Saving this bridge should be a high priority for Missouri historic preservation, but it's going to take a near miracle.
Kincaid Mounds State Historic Site field day
This was a surprise: a press release about a State Historic Site in Southern Illinois that I didn't know existed. Kincaid Mounds State Historic Site near Brookport preserves nine Indian mounds from the Mississippian culture.
The site will host a free "field day" on Saturday, Oct. 23, with displays, information, and presentations from archaeologists and historians.
These driving directions are given in the press release: "From Interstate 24, take the Metropolis/Brookport Exit, travel east on U.S. 45 towards Brookport and before entering Brookport, turn left on Unionville Road, go 6.25 miles through Unionville to New Cut Road. At New Cut Road turn right, south, and travel 3.6 miles to Kincaid Mounds Road. Turn left, east, on Kincaid Mounds Road for .6 miles to the observation platform."
Morgan Oak viaduct demolished
As I mentioned several months ago, Cape Girardeau's most obscure historic landmark, the concrete arch overpass on Morgan Oak Street, was demolished in September to make way for the Fountain Street extension and roundabout.