DescriptionVirtually destroyed during the Civil War, Carthage was subsequently rebuilt largely with marble quarried from the surrounding area. The city's historic square contains several Victorian houses built with the local stone, which also was used in the construction of the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City.
Another marble building is the castle-like Jasper County Courthouse, 302 S. Main St., which bristles with turrets and a tall clock spire. Inside, the mural “Forged in Fire” by Lowell Davis depicts the history of Carthage from the time of its first settlers, the Osage Indians, through the Civil War to the present.
Myra Belle Shirley—later to become Belle Starr, infamous Confederate spy and outlaw—was in her teens when the war forced her family to move from the area. Other residents were Annie Baxter, the first woman in the United States to hold elected office; ragtime musician and composer James Scott; and zoologist and lecturer Marlin Perkins, who is honored with a bronze statue in Central Park.
During the Civil War the Battle of Carthage was fought July 5, 1861. Different stages of the battle are shown by markers that begin on Civil War Road, at the baseline 8 miles north of town, and extend to Carter Park on River Street in Carthage. The Battle of Carthage State Historic Site on Chestnut Street provides an interpretive shelter that depicts the history of the battle. For further information about the battle markers contact the convention and visitors bureau.
The Powers Museum at 1617 W. Oak St. recounts the history of Carthage and the surrounding region during the late 19th and early 20th centuries; phone (417) 237-0456. ArtCentral at 1110 E. 13th St. displays the works of local artists; phone (417) 358-4404.
InfoOfficeCarthage Convention and Visitors Bureau 402 S. Garrison Ave. CARTHAGE, MO 64836. Phone:(417)359-8181 or (866)357-8687
Self-guiding toursA historical drive about 4 miles long is defined by green street markers posted throughout the business and residential districts, both of which are distinguished by Victorian architecture.
Attraction PlaceHoldersPrecious Moments Chapel and Gardens