Pemiscot County

Experience true "Southern Hospitality"! Visit Pemiscot County.

"Pemiscot", a Native American word for "liquid mud", describes the early condition of the area. Before the earthquakes of 1811-1812, there were five settlements: La Petite Prairie, Cooter, Pemiscot Bayou, Little River and Portage Bay. After the quake, inhabitants fled, abandoning their homes and possessions. Two families remained.
Caruthersville became the county seat in 1899. Gayoso, the county seat 1851-1899, became imperiled by caving riverbanks. Over the years, the shifting Mississippi eroded Gayoso engulfing the site about 1900. Today, all that remains of Gayoso are maps and county documents.

The river plays an important role in community life, just as it did in earlier times. Towboats and barges have replaced steamboats, but the best place to "watch the river" is the same. Reynolds Park, on the riverfront, is a favorite with locals and visitors. President Harry Truman made his first visit to Caruthersville about 1934. He continued to visit the city throughout the years. Life magazine reported that on his last visit, the President eluded the Secret Service by leaving his room at sunrise on a Sunday morning. Agents found him alone, strolling beside the river, as he had on his previous visits.

Today, the riverboat still bustles with activity! View the S.P. Reynolds Monument, dedicated to the man credited with building the levees and seawall. While in the park, launch your boat, catch a catfish, watch a grain barge being loaded or just relax. You could see the Delta Queen or the Mississippi Queen docked park side.

You will see a steamboat on the river! Board the "City of Caruthersville", the only casino in the Bootheel, an authentic reproduction of a 19th century steamboat. The casino has more than 10,000 square feet of gaming space. The casino hosts many special events, such as horse shows, car shows and name entertainment.

Eastwood Memorial United Methodist Church, houses the Fowlkes Memorial Organ. Acclaimed to be the finest organ in the central United States, the Wicks Signature Organ #1, has 3,940 pipes, harp, chimes, celeste harp and large cymblestern.
The churchyard of Eastwood Memorial Church is the final resting place of the John Walker Family, to whom Pemiscot County owes its Missouri Heritage. When Missouri applied for statehood, the southern boundary was laid out on the 36" 30' parallel, excluding all lands owned by John Walker. An appeal was made by Hardeman, son of John Walker, and the land, now Pemiscot and Dunklin Counties, became part of Missouri, creating the Bootheel.

Pemiscot County is no longer the "Land of Liquid Mud". Levees protect the land and effective drainage systems have turned the swamplands into some of the worlds best farms. Cotton, soybeans, corn and grains are the leading crops. Catfish farming, in recent years, has added an interesting "patchwork" appearance to the landscape.
The history buff will find many interesting sites in Pemiscot County. The "Old Water Tower", the state's largest Indian Mound, and other archaeological sites are listed on the National Register.

Visit our towns: Braggadocio, Bragg City, Caruthersville, Cooter, Cottonwood Point, Deering, Gobler, Hayti, Hayti Heights, Hayward, Holland, Homestown, Pascola and Wardell. All have interesting stories and points of interest. You will be welcome! And, if you meet an old timer, they will gladly tell you the location and history of communities like Dogskin, Cowskin, Shake Rag, Stubtown and Seldom Seen. For more information, call (573) 333-1222. 

Bootheel Regional Planning Commision

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