Dunklin County

Dunklin County is located along the west side of the Bootheel and is considered the "soul" of the area with a long and successful history of trekking from the past to the future. The northern part of the County is bisected by the famous Crowley's Ridge, formed 15,000 years ago as the bank of the Mississippi River. Fertile land lay under swamps with mighty water cypress trees dominating the plains. There is little evidence left of the the pristine swamps except at beautiful Pierce's Landing Lake access at Hornersville.

Earliest man trekked down this ancient pathway thousands of years ago, evidenced by many 8,000 year old artifacts found on the ridge. The ridge was used as a military road in the Civil War by both sides, culminating in the Battle of Chalk Bluff in 1863 with 5,000 men engaged in battle at Four Mile. In 1832, one of the oldest settlements was named after major Henry E. Clark who established Clarkton. The finest watermelon and cantaloupe are produced and sold around the Holcomb area.

Dunklin County's seat of Government and largest town is Kennett which is centrally located and was founded in 1846. Kennett honors its heritage in the Dunklin County Museum located in the old city hall which is on the National Register. Early farm equipment and replicas of early country kitchens are a few of the 1,000 items on exhibit. The new Little River Drainage Conservation Area and Jerry P. Combs Lake are combined in a 1,150 acre recreation facility which hosts fishing and boating, while conserving the wetlands. Kennett also has a semi-private 18-hole golf course. Near the town of Senath, outdoor enthusiasts also will enjoy the Ben Cash Conservation Area which is an ideal spot for fishermen and bird watchers. Heading south, visitors to Hornersville will be able to see the burial site of the nationally known Major William Ray (better known as the first Buster Brown) and his wife, Jeannine.

North of Kennett, visitors to Campbell, the peach Capital of Missouri, will see bright pink peach blossoms cover the rolling hills of Crowley's Ridge in early spring. Visitors may also take the opportunity to shop in the Campbell downtown district which is on the National Register. The County's northernmost city, Malden, is both preserving its past and stepping into the 21st Century. The Malden Historical Museum is noted for the model portrayal of the largest engineering feat in the world at the time-drainage of the swamplands of Southeast Missouri by the Little River Drainage District. Also on display at the museum is the Dennis Collection of Egyptian antiquities dating back to 2000 B.C. Representative of the present, the Malden Industrial Park hosts an extensive recreation area which includes two golf courses and the Heartland Motor Speedway.

Malden's "pathway to the future" includes the Bootheel Youth Museum (BYM), Southeast Missouri's family-oriented discovery museum. The BYM is designed to encourage curiosity and learning through hands-on exhibits that are fun. Adjacent to the BYM is the Bootheel Education Center which sponsors cultural, art and historic exhibits from state and national archives.

Visit the Dunklin County festivals during the Fourth of July in Malden, the Peach Fair in Campbell the third week of August, the Purple Hull Pea Festival in Clarkton the fourth week in August and the Delta Fair in Kennett the third week of September. For further information, contact Kennett Chamber of Commerce at 573-888-5828 or the Malden Chamber of Commerce at 573-276-4519. Ya'll come! 

Craft Fair to Benefit Library
Tourist Sites
Malden Historical Museum
201 N. Beckwith
Malden, MO 63863
(573) 276-4287 
Hours: 1:30-4 Wed. and Sat., and by appt. (Highlights of the museum's collection include the history of the Little River Drainage District and the Dennis Collection of Egyptian antiques. Free admission.)

Malden Historical Museum 

Bootheel Youth Museum
700A N. Douglas
Malden, MO 63863
(573) 276-3600 
Hours: 10-4 Mon.-Sat., 1-4 Sun. Birthday parties by appt. (Hands on discovery museum featuring exhibits on science, arts and natural resources. Admission charged.)

Bootheel Youth Museum 

Bootheel Education Center
700 N. Douglas
Malden, MO 63863
(573) 276-4577 
Hours: 8-9 Mon.-Fri. except Thurs. 8-4. (Special cultural and historic programs throughout the year. Call for schedule and ticket prices.)

Bootheel Education Center 

Dunklin County Museum
122 College Avenue
Kennett, MO 63857
(573) 888-6620 
Hours: 1-4 Wed. and by appt.(Permanent collection of Indian artifacts, wildlife displays and history of Dunklin County. Free admission.

Dunklin County Museum 

Bootheel Regional Planning Commision

105 E. North Main, Dexter, MO 63841 
Phone: (573) 614-5178 Fax: (573) 614-5182 
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