Rural Missouri - May 2018 - 8
Rosebud bucks small-town trends with Magniﬁcent Mile
by Jim McCarty | firstname.lastname@example.org
house we had no intention of staying. We just thought it was a cute house and
we would stay here a year, or whatever. We fell in love with the town and the
losed businesses. Boarded up windows. Vacant houses. It's a sad story people. And we realized you can get a different house but you can't get great
that's played out across rural Missouri. Maybe the town began to die neighbors and a great community. So we added on to the house so the family
when the railroad shut down. Or perhaps its decline
would ﬁt, and there you go. We stayed."
was caused by a new route on the interstate highway.
Both credit the Rosebud Area Enrichment Association with fostering
the sense of community that has helped the town thrive. Including area
Whatever the reason, many small towns have become just bedin the name was intentional. Those who organized the group cast the
room communities with their residents leaving for work or shopping, returning only for a night's sleep.
net wide, hoping to include as many businesses as possible in the
network of movers and shakers. A brochure produced by the group
Somehow tiny Rosebud (population 409) is bucking the trend.
touts Rosebud's "Magniﬁcent Mile" of destinations that actually
Straddling Highway 50 on the eastern edge of Gasconade County,
extends 5 miles up the road to White Mule Winery.
the village's stately red brick buildings are mostly occupied and
"Rosebud Enrichment got people working together and seewell tended. Banners welcome visitors to the town's few streets and
ing the power of this idea," says Shannon. "You see it in some
they come in droves. Most show up on weekends and especially
towns: 'We don't want any more of those because it is competifor the ﬁrst Friday of the month when antique dealers unveil their
latest ﬁnds and shoppers line up early waiting for the doors to open.
tion.' But the rule of thumb is that people will drive so far based
Others wait for events such as the twice a year Treasure Days (May 5 and on how many hours they can spend in that town. So if you only have two
Oct. 6 this year), when outside vendors add to the resident antique dealers, or stores, they aren't going to drive there."
She points out that Rosebud is much more
the annual Gasconade County Old Threshers
than an "antique alley" with shops lining both
Show set for July 20-22.
sides of Highway 50, ticking off the places to
"Rosebud is thriving," says Angie Clancy,
eat in town on her ﬁngers: "We have Clancy's,
president of the Rosebud Area Enrichment
we have Kline's, we have Cuppa Joel, Loeb's
Association, whose son owns Clancy's Irish
Mill. Each one is unique, so you can ﬁnd the
Pub & Grill. "It is getting bigger every year. It's
ﬂavor that suits you at the moment. I think it's
not so much about the population. That doesn't
amazing that a town of 400 has three places to
show who we are. It's a beautiful town to begin
eat, a coffee shop, two churches, a school and
with. It is small-town America. I think that is
a fabulous park that is not owned by the city,
what really draws people here."
mind you. And we have a general store. You
Mayor Shannon Grus agrees. She rememreally could just stay here and walk and get
bers when the antique stores started popping
everything you need."
up in the old store buildings and also when
Situated on the defunct Rock Island Railmany left during tough economic times in the
road, Rosebud was named by railroad workers
Shannon and her husband, Steve, bought
Trisha Schmanke opened a new boutique, one of two in
an historic house in Rosebud, planning to enjoy
the town, in order to offer stylish clothes for women.
it for a few years and move on. "We've been
The shop is located in what was once a bank.
here 25 years," she says. "When we bought the
RURAL MISSOURI | MAY 2018