There are many small towns, villages and communities that are in the Ozarks. Exploring these small villages and towns is something that I enjoy.
During my search I believe that I have come across one of the smallest communities in Missouri. That community is called Blairsville, and it’s located in St. Francois County.
Like many small towns that were started in the mid-1800’s, Blairsville followed the growth of a railroad line. The Iron Mountain Railroad ran from St. Louis to Texarkana, Ark., as well as to southeast Missouri. The line was initially established to deliver iron ore from Iron Mountain, Mo., to St. Louis.
The company was frequently referred to as the St. Louis Iron Mountain & Southern (StLIM&S) or shortened to simply the Iron Mountain Railway. Just as a side note this railroad was robbed twice, once by the James-Younger Gang on Jan. 31, 1874, at Gad’s Hill, Mo.
The town of Blairsville is located approximately one mile north of the present town of Bismarck, Mo. If you are driving north on State Highway BB and cross State Highway U, look toward the southwest corner of this intersection and you will see a few houses. Only one of these houses is in the original plat or town.
This was the location of Blairsville. The town plat was recorded on April 14, 1858, and was laid out with six streets. The streets ran north and south, which was parallel to the railroad tracks.
It was the hope of the developers that with a location next to the railroad tracks and a well thought out plat plan of a town with streets, names and lot locations, that it would attract business and residents. This town contained several houses, a train depot and a post office which was opened in 1858 and closed in1869.