Harvesting the River
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  Beardstown to Bluff Springs in Cass County Plank Road

In 1855, Beardstown's first improved road was a plank road over sandy ridges and marshes toward Bluff Springs. Farmers wanted to carry heavier wagonloads than was possible over the sand. A toll was charged and collected at the Zinn home on 15th street in Beardstown. Because the road was built mostly of cottonwood, the edges curled in the hot sun, making a very rough ride. The townspeople wanted the road to extend as far as Virginia, but state and county funds were being used to build the railroad and funding was denied.

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