Turn-of-the-Century Boutique Hotel on Missouri River
Decorated with maps of Boonville, Missouri, from as far back as the 1890s, Hotel Frederick's lobby exudes a vintage elegance. Here, art-deco-style chandeliers hang over black-and-white-checkered marble floors. Built in 1905 by Charles Sombart, the town miller and banker, this massive Romanesque Revival building along the banks of the Missouri River has served as a bus depot and a retirement home. A recent multimillion-dollar restoration preserved much of Hotel Frederick's turn-of-the-century class while adding artistic modern decor.
Hardwood floors and period furnishings fill each of Hotel Frederick’s 24 guest rooms. The bathroom is the centerpiece of room 14, as it's surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass walls with hand-etched floral accents. Room 9 overlooks downtown Boonville, with a claw-foot tub and an old-fashioned trunk creating a rustic atmosphere.
Hotel Frederick also takes part in several eco-friendly initiatives, such as being outfitted with solar panels. Gabbeh rugs that have been hand woven by Iranian refugees cover the floors. At the hotel's Fred Restaurant and Lounge, chefs craft upscale entrees including corn-crusted catfish and pan-roasted duck with fig jus.
Boonville, Missouri: Quaint Riverside Town with Railroad History
Boonville’s location on the Missouri River drew in pioneers and traders, especially after railroads expanded into the American west during the 1800s. Nowadays, you can walk or bike along Katy Trail State Park, thought to be America’s longest "rails-to-trail" project. The trail follows the 250-mile path of the now defunct Missouri-Kansas-Texas railroad, passing the famous Katy bridge and parts of Lewis and Clark's legendary paddleboat route.
Nearly 500 sites throughout Boonville have been recognized by the National Register of Historic Places, including the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad Depot, built in 1912. On walking tours of downtown Boonville, you can see several 19th-century buildings, from Old Cooper County Jail to Thespian Hall, a stately Greek Revival building that still hosts performances and music festivals.
When driving in or around Boonville, take note of the old farmhouses and barns, some of which have been spruced up with colorful "barn quilts" made of plywood squares decorated by local children. This small-town spirit is still evident during farmers' markets and at the town's old-fashioned ice-cream parlors and diners.