We might have seen snowflakes this week, but the blooming of daffodils is a unmistakable signal that spring is here.
One particularly good spot to find daffodils is along Bollinger County Road 234 at Sargent's Chapel northeast of Sedgewickville. At some point in the past, flowers were planted for almost a mile along the roadside.
A concrete fence post marks the southern limit of the flowers. Other fence posts with the same style can be seen along the road from here to Sargent's Chapel, suggesting that a single landowner planted the daffodils.
The flowers are the most impressive near the church and cemetery.
Although well off the beaten path -- and almost a mile from a paved road -- Sargent's Chapel Lutheran Church has a long history. The congregation traces it roots to the first settlers in the area: those families that arrived from North Carolina in 1800, led by George Frederick Bollinger.
Many headstones in the cemetery bear the sirnames of the original families from this migration: Crites, Niswonger, Statler, and, of course, Bollinger. Other prominent names in the cemetery include Barks, Hahs, Friese, Hilderbrand, Mayfield, Ruesler, and Seabaugh. With so many Germanic family names, it's no wonder that these pioneers embraced a Lutheran church here.
I haven't been able to track the origin of the name Sargent's Chapel; the usual authority on name origins, the Ramsay Place Names File, somehow overlooked this location. It is known that the current building, a plain yet classic white-sided church with steeple, dates to 1890.
Now that we've reached early spring, a good way to celebrate is by taking a roadtrip to see the explosion of daffodils here.
Sargent's Chapel can be reached from either Route AA out of Daisy, Route WW out of Sedgewickville, or Route KK west of Friedheim. Signs for the church are well posted.
From Cape Girardeau or Jackson, the simplest route is to take Highway 72 west. Just before reaching Millersville, turn right on Route B. Then turn left on Route AA at Daisy. Follow this paved road to the Bollinger County line, where the pavement ends. Continue ahead on County Road 266 as it passes through a farm, and then turn left at the T-junction with CR 234. The cemetery and church are ahead on the left. Keep following this road south to see all of the daffodils.