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Tour Series Aims to Highlight Towns Around Callaway County

Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society

Portland, Missouri will be the site for the first-ever “Cruising Callaway” tour hosted by the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society this Sunday. The tour will highlight communities throughout Callaway County.

Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society board member Diane Burre Ludwig hopes that this new tour series will revitalize towns around the county.

“Every smaller community has importance and relevance and has gotten Callaway County to where it is, so we want to take time to reach out and recognize them,” Burre Ludwig said.

She believes these tours will help keep the history of small towns alive in the county.

One stop on the tour is a building that used to house Saint Mark’s School for Boys. Judi and Bob Plummer bought the building in 1996 after spotting it on a river trip through Portland. Plummer said her husband wanted to buy the river, and the building came with it.

Soon after buying it they began hosting tours. The building has authentic furniture from the 1800s, although the couple converted the wood stove to an electric one and hid their television behind an 1890s wardrobe in the living room.

One tour highlight is a large doll collection on the upstairs floor that Plummer said sometimes scares people. She has over 600 dolls and toys dating from the 1920s up until the 1980s. Plummer said she inherited the dolls from her mother and couldn’t bear to throw them away.

Along with the historic building tour, Plummer’s husband also specializes in history from the Lewis and Clark Era.

The tour will also feature a murder trial reenactment and stops at various historical sites around Portland.

The first tour will take place this Sunday, September 25 from 2 to 5 p.m. Tickets are available for the tour at the Historical Society in Fulton.