OSS Current News

Following are topical news items about the Old Stagecoach Stop Foundation's activities.

Foundation Board of Directors Organized

That headline is not meant to imply that the Board of Directors was ever disorganized. The Board elected officers for the coming year. The stalwart officers from last year agreed to serve another term in their positions. They were all reeelected on the first ballot. The officers for 2023 are: President - Jeanie Porter; Vice President - Jan Primas; Treasurer - Pam Barnabee; and Secretary - Kelly Howley.

President Jeanie Porter has, with help from Treasurer Pam Barnabee and Board Member Mark Zurbrick, produced the 2022 Annual Report which highlights the activities of the past year. It is published elsewhere on this web site and is available here.

Revelry on the Square

After a Covid-induced hiatus, the Foundation renewed its seasonal hospitality on December 1st for the 25th Waynesville Christmas on the Square. It was a warm evening and the square was crowded with vendors and revelers. We now have a more accurate way of counting visitors than counting cups used — a doorman with a mechanical counter. He registered a record 794 people through the door. The next day, the water and heat were shut off for the duration of winter. We will resume tours on Saturday, April 1, 2023 (no fooling).

 

Aaron Grimes, Service Technician for Sho-Me Pest, fills a backpack sprayer (left) and applies pest control chemical (right) to the porch. Pest control and termite treatment of the OSS and the McNeese Building was completed this August. Darrell and Vicki Thomas, owners of Sho-Me Pest, value the local landmark and have been providing this service gratis for the past decade.

 

Local  Home Improvement Business Acknowledged For Help In Preserving Historic Building

The Old Stagecoach Stop, the oldest public accessible building in Pulaski County, has been standing on the square in Waynesville for more than 160 years. 

Like many other buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, this wooden two-story structure requires a great amount of maintenance and upkeep. The Old Stagecoach Stop Foundation’s volunteers have spent a lot of time and effort over the past 35 years keeping the general ravages of time at bay. Be it peeling paint, leaking roof, sagging floors, or new displays, the list of needed repairs, renovations, and additions is always long.

In the summer of 2021, Lowe’s, the home improvement center in St. Robert, approached the board of directors of the not-for-profit foundation asking if they could help insure that the museum remain in the community for future generations to enjoy. In the fall of the same year, Lowe’s Associates, in cooperation with the youth of local Scout Troop 202, completed a number of projects, including the creation of a new meeting room, new display cabinets, and a foundation drainage system. 

Recently, Old Stagecoach Stop Foundation President Jeanie Porter and board member Mark Zurbrick, who facilitated the project, presented Lowe’s Manager Jacinda Whitbey with an engraved plaque and framed photo acknowledging the store’s generous contribution to the museum. Also present for the presentation were Lowes Associates Charles Fraley, Jesse Garza, and Edmond Payton.

 

2022 Old Settlers Day
The 42nd Old Settlers Day is now part of the local history. For our part, the Old Stagecoach was open and the venue for Dr. David Chuber's presentation about Civil War medicine and practices. David spoke to a day-long succession of SRO groups in the Tavern. Although no formal tours were given, visitors walked through the other rooms in the building with volunteers available to answer any questions.

 

UNWELCOME GUEST
We generally welcome guests to the Old Stagecoach Stop. However, the groundhog on the left made himself at home during the winter and into the spring. Apparently, the HVAC duct work was in his way. Removing and replacing the flexible duct work under the building, which distributes conditioned air to the first floor, is a tough and dirty job, as shown by the clothes and demeanor of the AireServ workers. It was also expensive.
The groundhog also tunneled under a concrete block joist support in the cellar under the Archaeology Room at left. We hope the new ducts, center, are more substantial. Better yet, no more critters. Battling the effects of age and the elements is challenge enough. An installed new section is seen at right.

 

Local Business and Scouts Help Preserve Old Stagecoach Stop For Future Generations


The Old Stagecoach Stop (OSS), standing on the square in downtown Waynesville, has experienced more than 160 autumns in its long and interesting existence. This year, as the leaves began falling from the trees, employees from the St. Robert’s Lowes store and members of local Scout Troop 202 gathered to help insure that this nationally registered historic structure will remain a tangible part of Pulaski County history for decades to come.

This fall gathering had its beginnings earlier in the summer, when the Department Supervisor of the local Lowes, Chad Bone, contacted an OSS board member inquiring whether the home improvement store could help the OSS, via their community betterment program, the Hero’s Project. The not-for-profit organization, with its limited budget, quickly replied “YES” resulting in the OSS board of directors putting together a prioritized list of much-needed repairs and renovations. One item near the top of the list was to establish a border around the OSS to enhance its overall appearance, facilitate easier grounds maintenance, and help prevent future water and mold damage to recently replaced, resealed, and repainted wooden siding.

In less than three hours, this crew of fifteen community-minded youths and adults, removed rocks, dug and leveled the ground, rolled out a weed control fabric, placed more than a one-and-a-half tons of flagstones, and spread another three tons of river rock!

Some people are probably not aware that the Old Stagecoach Stop Foundation (OSSF) owns not only the white two-story building with green shutters fronting the east side of the Waynesville square, but also a red brick one-story building in the back of the property adjacent to our long-time friends at Security Bank of Pulaski County.

A.S. and Lulu McNeese built the brick building in 1943 as rental housing for the influx of people associated with the establishment of Fort Leonard Wood. The building’s two apartments housed families for the next couple of decades, but eventually stood vacant and unused until it was sold to the OSSF in 2003.

On a cold rainy Saturday morning in mid-October, Chad Bone, Department Supervisor of the St. Roberts Lowes, along with Thomas Maes of M and M Home Solutions, and Thomas Hood of Lookout Pointe LLC, arrived at the McNeese building. Not only did these community-spirited volunteers bring tools in hand, they also came with an abundance of construction and remodeling expertise. When the last board was cut, cracks sealed, and paint brushes cleaned, the west room had a new beadboard ceiling, LED lights, ceiling fan, built-in shelving and storage containers, fold-down stairwell into the attic, and a fresh coat of paint.

The materials needed to create this bright and welcoming multipurpose activities room had a retail value of nearly $1,500; all of which were donated by Lowe’s, as part of their Hero’s community betterment program! In addition, the volunteered labor was worth, at a minimum, another $800.

 

Building Border Project Volunteers: Scouts and Lowes
Employees from the St. Robert’s Lowes store and members of local Scout Troop 202 worked together to realize a project originated by Patrick Pollman for his Eagle Scout candidacy. The work force of fifteen removed rocks, dug and leveled the ground, rolled out a weed control fabric, placed more than one-and-a-half tons of flagstones, and spread another three tons of river rock. The border they created around three sides of the building not only improved the appearance but facilitates easier grounds maintenance and helps prevent water and mold damage to recently replaced and painted wooden siding.

 

Much work is afoot on this web site but it is mostly "under the hood." We have updated the underlying code but the look remains largely the same. We have kept the same Home Page layout that we designed in 2002 when we launched the web site. It had a modern look then. We still like the simple design, though now it has a "retro" look. The big change is to the "Old Settlers Gazette Archive" section. It is now responsive, meaning it will show all pages on all of your devices: desktop computer, tablet, and phone. Click on an issue or an article title in the Alphetical Index and multi-page features will appear in a new window.

New Features

This web site has two new features. In the green navigation frame on the left side of the home page is a link called "Podcasts." Click on this link and it will take you to a page with audio files that are sure to entertain and enrich your understanding of local history. The first selections tell of a Fourth of July picnic in Waynesville around 1910, a personal view of the building of Fort Leonard Wood, and moonshining. There are more to come. There is also a Virtual Tour of the building if you cannot visit in person.