Take a step back in time to a place that has remained virtually
unchanged since the 1800s.
Thomas Flanders traveled to Caledonia in preparation for its
listing in the National Register of Historic Places, he wrote
"The houses, streetscapes, and landscapes they constructed
remain, in great measure unchanged, from the nineteenth century."
village of Caledonia (population in 2000 was 158) is located
in the Bellevue Valley in nearby Washington County. The village
was founded in 1819 by young Alexander Craighead, who opened
a frontier store on Goose Creek and platted the town
of Caledonia around it. Craighead, possessed of impeccable
high Scotch-Irish family credentials, named the town after
the Roman Empire's Latin name for Scotland. The builders of
Caledonia's houses "cleaved to that chaste style of the
early nineteenth century that Thomas Jefferson defined as
proper for the Republic. The families must have been not only
conservative in taste, but singularly devoted to a classical
tradition in keeping with their Latin name, Caledonia (a rare
place name for the United States)." When strolling through
Caledonia, you will see the influence of Greek Revival Style
architecture. Almost every house has a Greek Revival Style
front door entryway.
In 1992, Mr. Flanders continued "Caledonia is different.
It looks different. Most obvious to the visitor perhaps is
that it remains 'unspoiled'. Not only is it free of modern
franchise glitz and roadside 'conveniences', but it retains
in its streets, lots, dwellings and public buildings, its
barns, gardens, fences, walls, yards, and walks, the imprint
of its history. Still evident in its landscape is the intention
of its founders that it be spacious, rational, enlightened,
and Protestant Christian."
Many of these old homes have been lovingly restored and now
serve as antique shops or restaurants.
in Caledonia, visit the Bellevue Presbyterian Cemetery and
the church, the oldest protestant cemetery and church in continuous
use west of the Mississippi River.
Caledonia is located on Hwy. 21, 10 miles north of Elephant
Rocks State Park, at the junction of Hwy. 32.
The Kith and Kin of Caledonia, by Thomas Flanders, Ozarks
Watch, Vol. V, No. 4, Spring 1992