The White Squirrels Of Missouri
From Suburban Blight
Yes, white squirrels in Missouri do exist. In one particular town, Marionville Missouri.
Founded by James MARION Moore in 1854, the “land of seven springs” first saw settlers as early as the 1830’s. Early settlers established homes due to the abundance of the clear, fresh water provided by the springs in the area. One of the main springs is located just below the entrance of the City Park. Others are throughout the Park and surrounding countryside. A teacher’s college was established in the 1870’s, but closed its doors in 1924. The campus was taken over by the Methodist Church and many of the college buildings were converted into a retirement community which still exists today. In the area that is now the City Park, a creamery was established in 1911. It was ranked second in the state, producing over 38,000 lbs of butter in 1913. Several other businesses called the area home to include the Honey Creek Bottling Works and a tomato-canning factory.
Visitors to Marionville are attracted by the fine, old Victorian architecture and to catch a glimpse of our white squirrels. The totally white creatures roam the streets and yards. They are protected by City Ordinance. The white squirrels have been here, reportedly, since the late 1800’s. Pictures of them have graced magazines, newspapers and even appeared on the 1915 Marionville College Yearbook. They have received national recognitions and have been the subject of several television documentaries. White Squirrel memorabilia: t-shirts, ball caps, etc can be purchased through several local businesses. The official city flag also proudly displays our white squirrel.
First established in 1925 as the Methodist Home for the aged, the Manor complex has grown and evolved into what is today, the Ozarks Methodist Manor.
Located in the heart of the community, the complex is located on the former site of the Marionville Collegiate Institute. The first student graduated in 1879. By 1924, tax-supported high schools were in almost every town and the institution relocated to Carthage.
Today, the Complex maintains 58 cottage units for independent living, a 58 bed healthy care facility, 45 apartments for assisted living, and an administration building. Visitors to Marionville can usually be assured of a glimpse of a white squirrel or two somewhere on the complex.
Among the white squirrels, Marionville also has their annual Applefest.
If you travel through Missouri, I suggest you google a map of the small but growing town and stop in for a spell. If you are lucky, you just might spot a white squirrel.