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Rocheport City

Rocheport City Hall is located at 703 1st Street, Rocheport, MO 65279; phone: 573-698-3245.

Rocheport, laid out in 1825 on lands of Lemon Parker, Abraham Barnes, John Ward and William Gaw, by William Shields surveyor. The name of the place was first intended to be Rock Port, but it was changed to Rocheport at the instance, it is said, of a French missionary who was in the neighborhood. The name signifies 'rocky port,' or 'port of rocks.] [1]

Beginnings [2]

Rocheport is an early 19th-century river town which has retained a concentration of representative examples of its early residences and commercial buildings. Situated on the Boonslick Trail, an old westward route, Rocheport figured in river, railroad and road trade. The town early produced milled lumber, bricks, leather, tobacco and ceramics. Rocheport hosted the 1840 state Whig convention and suffered at the hands of Civil War guerrillas.

The first recorded history of the site was on June 7, 1804, in the journals of the Lewis and Clark expedition. The site was included in a New Madrid grant patented to David Gray on November 13, 1822, by the U.S. Government. Lots were advertised for sale in 1825 and additional lots were sold in 1828 and 1832. Rocheport, reputedly named by a French missionary, was incorporated in 1836.

With a fine natural harbor, Rocheport grew rapidly as a boat landing and ferry crossing site in the Boonslick Country, an area that derived its name from the salt lick in Howard County, where Nathan Boone and Daniel Morgan Boone, sons of Daniel Boone, manufactured salt.

  1. David W. Eaton, How Missouri Counties, Towns and Streams Were Named, The State Historical Society of Missouri, reprinted from The Missouri Historical Review, Vol 10, No. 3, April, 1916, Columbia, MO, 1916.
  2. Mrs. Dorothy J. Caldwell, Friends of Rocheport, Rocheport Historic District, Rocheport, MO, nomination document, 1975, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
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