May 12, Perry MO and Perry, IL

Our favorite part of this trip has been in person interactions with people who call these small towns home. This started in back in Perry, GA at the wonderful Perfect Pear, where we met Megan Brent.

Today we had the pleasure of spending about 45 minutes in the company of a gentleman named Ronald Leake, at the Ralls County, Missouri Historical Society office on Main Street in Perry, MO. I had contacted him to tell him we wanted to make a donation to his organization, and when I called today he invited us to come over and see their collection. Right after we parked the R.V. we heard a loud siren, and I thought to myself- is that a tornado alarm? And maybe it does double as that, but for the past 76 years every day, at 7 a.m., noon and 7 p.m. the siren goes off downtown in Downtown Perry, MO. It was loud enough that I covered my ears, and a local chuckled to me later, asking if I was scared! Maybe a little.

Anyway, back to the visit with Mr. Leake. The collection curated by the historical society is impressive. Perry, MO is part of the greater Hannibal, MO area. Who came from Hannibal, MO? Samuel Clemens you say? Yes, Mark Twain was born nearby so there were quite a few knick knacks depicting Twain, including this mural on the wall:

Mr. Ron Leake, president of the Ralls County Historical Society in Perry, MO.

I wish we had this as our solid waste company:

Found this bench and it called me to take a picture.

We found out that this Perry was not named for Commander Oliver Hazard Perry as so many others were, but for one of the first residents, named William Perry Crostwaite. The town was established in 1866, and has had a post office operating there since that year!

I noticed some caps in the Historical Society that said “Perry 150 year anniversary”, and inquired if we could buy one. We were pleased to hear that one could be purchased for $10. I ran out to the r.v. and grabbed a hat and t-shirt for Mr. Leake, and when we returned he said he had another cap for us, with the Perry Carousel on it! And since we had made a donation we got it for free! And then he scooped up some pins that said “Perry” on them and gave us those too!

Thank you, Ron Leake! The carousel is being restored and they are raising money for that project.

I did not have any contacts on the ground in Perry, IL so we walked around a little and went into the post office, and found some blank postcards. We were able to get them postmarked Perry, IL.  And again I elicited a chuckle when I told our story. I guess that will be the standard response to two Californians traveling small town America in search of Perry.

The outskirts of Perry, IL had this beautiful house with nice ornamentation.

We saw this beautiful house with lovely wooden ornamentation as we entered Perry, IL.

The ubiquitous photo as we approached Perry, IL:

A nice welcome to Perry, IL.

And a nearby town named Griggsville had this mural tribute to purple martins, a swallow who prodigiously eats mosquitos.

Griggsville, near Perry, IL has this large mural depicting the purple martin, a member of the swallow family.

They also erected many birdhouses in town, including this tower of martin houses:

This tower is full of birdhouses, to house Purple Martins which were endangered in the 1960’s due to use of DDT. A local man proposed making birdhouses and now the town of Griggsville proclaims itself the Purple Martin Capital of the nation.

No Perry towns tomorrow, as we move into Iowa, and head north toward Wisconsin.

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8 thoughts on “May 12, Perry MO and Perry, IL

  1. I love the house snd bird houses. And I love that you guys donate along the way..

  2. Someday I will have to stop by for a ride on the restored Perry Carousel!!!
    Maybe there is a town somewhere called Jay with a Jay Carousel???
    Great to see you enjoying the simple pleasures of life!!! 😊🎠😊🎠

      1. We are so happy to see your adventures. If we did a Leonie trip, I’m afraid we would have to build our own Leonie Carousel. 🎠

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