My Missouri 2021 Photo Project is just one of the efforts to commemorate our upcoming two hundredth birthday in 2021. Both professional and amateur photographers across the state contributed images. Michael Sweeney, bicentennial coordinator for the State Historical Society of Missouri, says, “We wanted to capture Missouri at this moment, near the time of the bicentennial, so people could look back in another one hundred years and see what we were like.” The result is an exhibit of two hundred photographs that will eventually travel around the state and then be part of the historical society’s permanent collection. Almost one thousand photos were contributed, and you can see submissions from your own or other counties at Missouri2021.org.

Here is a small selection that showcases a glimpse of the diversity, as well as what we share, in Missouri’s regions, communities, and culture.

An extraordinary number of our 114 counties have magnificent courthouses. The glowing Shelby County Courthouse in Shelbyville was photographed by Okey Stoneburner.
Quiet country roads crisscross our state. Karen Dodson photographed this one near Taberville in St. Clair County. Missouri has about 100,000 farms covering approximately two-thirds of the total land in the state. Sherry Schulte captured the tractor below at sunset in Nodaway County.
Mandie Dawson captured the Lawrence County Courthouse in Mount Vernon following a spring storm. The Lady of Justice tops the Romanesque Revival-style building made from native limestone quarried just north of the town.
Two trees mark the spot at one of the many lakes at the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area in Saint Charles County. The 3,000-acre property is open to the public. Sara Mauer photographed the beauty at sunrise over Lake 33.
Hal Moran faced east at sunrise to photograph the Eads Bridge in St. Louis. The bridge is a National Historic Landmark and the world’s first steel-truss bridge. It was built by James Buchanan Eads, a self-educated engineer who had never built a bridge before.
Cotton is still king in the Bootheel, and Missouri produced more than a million bales in 2019, ranking seventh among states. Larry Braun photographed these bales in New Madrid County. Missouri is also a top producer of rice.
Missourians across the state remember veterans and loved ones with ceremonies and by decorating graves on Memorial Day weekend. At the DeKalb County Courthouse, a Boy Scout places roses on markers honoring veterans. Tommy Thornton took the picture.
More than one million Missourians enjoy this popular pastime, according to a Missouri Department of Conservation spokesperson. Terri Kelly took this photograph of her two sons at sunset at the Lake Paho Conservation Area at Princeton in Mercer County. The area is rich in Native American history, and the gently rolling uplands feature native prairie plants.
Mike Langille caught AMTRAK’s Missouri River Runner coming in cold to Hermann in Gasconade County, with the courthouse in the background. Hermann has preserved much of its German heritage. The River Runner travels between our two big cities twice a day.
Fairs, festivals, and celebrations take over main streets in small towns all over the state. Dean Langner photographed the Lathrop Friendship Festival in Clinton County. Lathrop has a population of about 2,000.
Liv Paggiarino spotted the lightning in the stormy summer sky above the eerily lit columns on the Francis Quadrangle at the University of Missouri campus in Columbia in Boone County.
St. Columban Catholic Church at Chillicothe in Livingston County reveals a stunning sanctuary and altarpiece. Butch Shaffer took the photograph. St. Columban was named for the great Irish missionary monk who established monasteries all over Europe.