Preserving History: Monett Students Design 31 Historical Markers

History is often preserved through newspapers or as stories passed on from generation to generation.
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 4:44 AM CDT
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MONETT, Mo. (KY3) - History is often preserved through newspapers or as stories passed on from generation to generation. One high school class decided they wanted to find a way to preserve history and share it with others.

Thirty-one new signs were placed in Monett this week. High school English students and community members came together to create signs marking places of historical significance.

If you drive around town, you will see signs telling all kinds of stories of Monett’s history. Last fall, Amy Sampson, an English teacher at Monett High School, applied for the Celia B. Godsil Fellowship grant to provide funds needed for the project. The grant provided $2,000 for the signs to be designed and put up.

What started as a classroom project quickly grew into a community effort. With the help of local historians Murry Bishoff and Jean Ann Camp, students picked 31 places, events, or items to highlight. Once the signs were written, the class worked with DB graphics on the design. When the signs were ready, the city donated the time and labor to put the signs up. Now others can come and learn more about the town.

“The importance of this is we are preserving history to where I don’t have to go to the internet,” said Sampson. “I don’t have to go to the museum. Those things are important, but I can also go to the place where something happened and say this happened here. This is preserved for generations to read about, and that’s the importance of it to me is the fact that we are leaving an important mark, and we’re sharing something with generations to come.”

It started when Amy Sampson created the first ‘place-based’ education class in Missouri. Students learn about local history and research places and events that are significant to the place they live.

“In about 20 years, some of these people who know everything aren’t going to be around,” said Sampson. “So how are we going to leave things for people to learn about them when people don’t exist? Because people are encyclopedias within themselves and resources within themselves, and what happens when these when that generation passes away? So the goal is to, in the next two to three years, try and get some of these grants and move towards creating some of these similar things in the museum. For more preservation.”

The high school graphics design class created a Google map of the signs’ locations. If you want to check out the signs for yourself, CLICK HERE. A ribbon-cutting ceremony happens on March 30 at 9:30 a.m. at the Jerry D. Hall Pavilion.

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