Weston, My Second Home

I’ve been going to Weston, Missouri, since I was a little girl. Summers with my aunt are some of the best memories I have–shopping, Ocean’s of Fun, concerts in Bonner Springs, day trips to Lawrence to stroll through campus and get new KU gear, and introducing me to wonderful people along the way. It didn’t take long for me to adopt Weston as my second home.

In 2004, I moved to Iowa to start college and a whole new life took over. It was never my intention to abandon my second home. I just simply kept letting time pass me by with the unspoken promise to myself that I’d get back there soon. This Labor Day weekend was my first trip back in nearly ten years. I spent the week prior meticulously planning my road trip from here to there. When I started to plan my route, I knew that I wanted it to be a road trip; I didn’t want to take the interstate. I wanted to cruise the back roads; be able to pull over and take photos whenever something interesting caught my eye. What I didn’t realize was that I was picking the most remote back roads through Iowa and Missouri that I could possibly find. They were hilly, curvy, and, in some places, even lacked center lines. But they were all interesting. Fields of freshly baled hay, a trail of wildflowers, and a couple of eye-catching barns were just a few favorites.

barn and flower field

hay fields

cattle co barn

In just a few short hours, I was driving into Historic Weston, Missouri. And, it looked almost exactly how I left it. For those of you not familiar, Weston is a town rich with history, calling itself the “Town that Time Forgot.” Established in 1837, Weston’s history depicts a time of the Louisiana purchase, Lewis & Clark, German & French settlers, and an ever growing tobacco crop. Between 1837 and 1860 it was know as the farthest “West Town” in the U.S. and was the last place wagon trains could restock before trekking across the Missouri River and a place for steamboats to unload supplies for Ft. Leavenworth and reload with tobacco products and other goods, such as lumber and whiskey. Weston has seen damning fires that nearly destroyed it’s business district, a cholera outbreak that killed hundreds, and a flood that nearly ended the town’s steamboat trade. This Civil-War era town is home to numerous Victorian and antebellum homes (some of which have been converted into charming bed and breakfast’s) and has over 100 buildings listed on the National Historic Register. The town also has ties to President Abraham Lincoln, with Pleasant Ridge Cemetery being the resting place of “Lincoln’s other Mary,” Mary Owen’s Vineyard.

Weston home & B&B

Weston B&Bs

Pleasant Ridge collage

With the exception of Monday’s, when most of the shops are closed, Weston is a tourist hotspot. With all of it’s unique shops and antique stores to browse, there is a little something for everyone to revel in. When I got to town I did some downtown browsing of my own. McCormick’s distillery, the Main Street Galleria, the Farmers House Market, and Buffalo Ranch Home Furnishings were just a few of the shops I poked around in.

Weston filtered

mccormick bottles

faded weston painted mural

Among the town’s other unique and iconic spots are the Weston Brewing Company, the Weston Burley House, O’Malley’s Pub, and the Bunkhouse.

weston brewing

Weston Burley House

O'Malley's Pub Sign

Bunkhouse

I also stopped outside the old jail (also on the historic register) to capture this hilarious mural.

mural on old jail

Although mother nature insisted on it being in the upper 90s while I was there, I did do a small amount of hiking at Weston Bend State Park. Expansive views of the Missouri River and a glimpse of Kansas are well worth the short walk to the scenic outlook.

weston bend state park 1

weston bend state park 2

My trip to Weston, however, would not have been complete without capturing some of the area’s towering tobacco barns and surrounding fields. (Note: I edited these two ways–basic, minimal touch-ups and the use of a “heartland” filter that I thought really brought an old-time feel to the photos, reminiscent of Weston’s historic side. I decided to include both below because I simply couldn’t help myself.)

flag barn

tobacco barn, hanging tobacco
tobacco fields

tobacco leaf details

tobacco barn, heartland filter

tobacco, heartland filter 2

tobacco, heartland fliter

A Friday night high school football game, watching my not-so-baby cousin march in her high school band and day spent in Lawrence, Kansas, walking like a Jayhawk rounded out this reminiscent trip. Unfotunately, the famous fieldhouse was under construction and closed to the public, so I’ll have to browse by the trophy cases and the original rules of basketball on another trip.

Phog Allen Statue

Phog Allen Plaque

KU montage

Strong Hall

KU Campanile x3

If you’ve never experience Weston, I urge you to do so. Weston is small town USA; neatly preserved for all to enjoy. It’s a town seeped in history with someone waiting to tell you a great story about the very spot you’re standing in. And it’ll forever be my second home.

2 thoughts on “Weston, My Second Home

  1. steve says:

    hey there… Im a local KC photographer and I took some engagement photos at that same tobacco barn outside of Weston MO with the huge American flag on it about 3-4 yrs ago. I found your pictures via Google Images and I’m searching for the exact location of that barn again! I was interested in going back but I cannot seem to pinpoint the exact location. Do you know what road its on or can you point me in the general direction? Weston MO is about 75 mins from where I live so I can’t really just shoot up there to look around 🙂 Im searching Google Maps and can’t see it in satellite view.

    Here’s the engagement session i shot there!! http://www.stevenmichaelphoto.com/2014/04/05/kansas-city-wedding-photographer-kendrick-ashley/

    Like

    • tcphototography says:

      Hi Steve! Thanks for checking out my photos. Your engagement session you shot in Weston is beautiful! I love Weston; it’s such a charming town with so much history. I don’t live in the area, but I have family that does. I’m working on getting you some directions and possibly a contact for the landowner. I’ll e-mail you when I know more. 🙂

      Like

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