Chadwick Flyer Trail In Ozark, MO & The Pedestrian Passageway at the OC. Ozark Community Center Update

Update Tuesday, September 6, 2022

The Pedestrian Passageway at the OC. Ozark Community Center

Chadwick Flyer -- https://www.ozarkmissouri.com/523/Chadwick-Flyer

The City of Ozark was awarded a grant through the Ozark Transportation Organization to construct approximately 3,300’ feet / 0.625 mile of The Chadwick Flyer Trail stretching from the O.C. to Clay St. The Chadwick Flyer Trail is part of an ongoing project in partnership with Ozark Greenways that will provide a multimodal trail to connect Ozark to its surrounding communities. This trail follows along the old Chadwick Flyer Railroad bed from Ozark to Springfield through a safe pedestrian trail experience.

View the Chadwick Flyer Trail on the Ozark, MO Community Development Map by clicking here.


The Chadwick Line

Frisco Steam engineThe closing of the Chadwick railroad line brings back memories of the first encounters between the railroad and Ozark citizens.

Many Reminisce on Old Line
First Train Brought Terror to Ozarkians

Springfield Press, April 2, 1933, page 7. 

"The passing of the old Chadwick line has stirred memories in the minds of many 'old-timers' along the route, who recall their first train. One reminiscence comes from W. Thad Tunnell of Ozark who tells how he and a number of others 'Took to the tall brush' when the train first came in, in terror lest the snorting iron monster should blow up and deal terrible death to them all. He tells how all of the countryside’s population was gathered to see the first train come in at Ozark, making an all day picnic affair of it; how cries of 'Here she comes,' echoed down the line and in the meadows as the townsfolk first saw the steaming monster.

So there I was on Thursday in Ozark, investigating an Answer Man question from Richard Parnell, of Ozark, when two guys nearby chatting asked me what I was doing.

The men were Ozark Mayor Rick Gardner and Tim Ritter, an author and historian with expertise in the former Chadwick Flyer railroad spur.

I was there looking at the small picture: What is the history and former purpose of a small, old nondescript building just off West Jackson Street. Decades ago, it would have faced the former railway line.

They, on the other hand, were discussing the big picture — the city's efforts to work with Ozark Greenways and 17 property owners to transform a segment of the old railway into a recreational trail that would link with the Greenways network of trails.

This rails-to-trails project clearly excites them. Before I knew it, Mayor Gardner had called the city's city administrator, Steve Childress, and the city's public works director, Jeremy Parsons.

Poof! They appeared, ready to answer my every question.

Columnist Steve Pokin was trying to find out the history of an old building when he just happened to run into historian Tim Ritter, left, and Ozark Mayor Rick Gardner.

The plan started in 2016. The goal is to extend the Galloway Creek Trail 7½ miles from where it currently ends at the Fallen Heroes paved trail at the Missouri Veterans Cemetery. The cemetery is along the James River.

The extension would take it to the Ozark Community Center off West Jackson Street.

The preferred route would be along the same line as the Chadwick Flyer, which was a daily run from Springfield to Chadwick, a small unincorporated area surrounded by the Mark Twain National Forest in Christian County. 

The run from Ozark to Chadwick was shut down by the Frisco Railway on March 14, 1933.



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