Viburnum, MO

 

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Ok, its only fair that since I have put the largest city I have ever been to (Buenos Aires, Argentina), I put up the smallest city I have been to.

Viburnum, Missouri.  While a general web search gives a population size that varies from 10,726 to 815, I can tell you that the actual population of the town is much close to 815 (or smaller).  Its the sort of town you don't just stumble across.  You had to want to get here.  Ok, I know this is going to offend the 815 people who live there, but hey, facts are facts. 

I spent the longest 2 weeks of my life in this little town in 2004.  We were there studying he potential for mapping oak mortality in the local national forest,  local because the town is directly in the center of the Mark Twain National Forest, or more precisely, in the middle of nowhere.

It is a very "nice" little town.  And I mean little.  Its a mining town, apparently there because of the Doe Run Company.  Apparently the Viburnum Trend, which consists of six or seven mines mines, is the largest developed lead ore reserve in the United States, supplying more than 70 percent of the country's primary lead supply. Viburnum is 118 miles southwest of St. Louis in Iron County.

The people are very friendly, and I believe we met just about everyone.  Heck, we were the attraction.  The terrain is extremely interesting, and the scenic views are, well, scenic.  The forest is a very nice walking forest, which is opposite of the very nice "crawling and hacking with a machete" forest we have here in Louisiana.  However, after 2 weeks of working in the forest, the lack of wildlife was "spooky" at the very least.   No deer, no rabbits, no squirrels, and an amazing lack of birds.   Hmmmm...something to do with 41 years of lead mining in your backyard?

The only real complaint I have is that the nearest "frozen" type drink (in this case a slush from Sonic) is located an hour away down some incredibly winding roads (something out of a grand am commercial), and the nearest "civilization" (a Walmart) is about 1.5 hours away (depending on what you are driving on the above mentioned winding roads) in a couple directions.

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This site was last updated 07/07/04