Ozark Highlands

Spotlight on St. James, Missouri

In 1825, while on their way to visit President John Quincy Adams, a band of Shawnee Indians from what is now the St. James area, camped on property in Chillicothe, Ohio, owned by Thomas James. James, a baker and merchant, identified their red peace paint as being hematite, an agent of iron ore. The natives then told James about the beautiful land where they lived and got the paint – what is today Maramec Spring Park. James then sent his business partner, Samual Massey, and his brother-in-law to inspect the property. A favorable report led to the construction of the Maramec Iron Works in 1826. In 1843, Thomas James’ son, William, was sent to manage the Iron Works. Around the business grew a community that led to the purchase of land six miles north of the Maramec Iron Works. The James family propopsed the town be named “Jamestown.” Since that name was already being used, they followed a custom prevalent at the time by prefixing James with “Saint.” In the early days, iron was used for kettles, plows and other utensils that could be hauled by wagons. Bar and pig iron were later floated down the Meramec and Gasconade rivers. The area’s level terrain offered an ideal spot for a railroad, which would increase transportation. The first train arrived in St.James on July 4, 1860. The Town of St. James was incorporated in 1869. Less than a decade later, in 1876, the Maramec Iron Works closed when the furnaces grew cold. Following the death of William James in 1912, Lucy Wortham James, his granddaughter, acquired ownership of Maramec Spring. Upon her death in 1938, she made her estate a part of a trust and authorized the creation of the James Foundation. St. James experienced significant growth in the mid-20th century. Route 66 came through St. James, bringing the population up to about 3,000.Today the population is 3,704. In the 1950’s, a tree planting project began giving the city recognition as the “Forest City of the Ozarks.” As St.James continues to grow and improve, it also continues to celebrate its rich history but apart from that is its significant viticultures spread about the region.

Ozark Highlands Wineries

Bardenheier Wine Cellars
Belmont Vineyards
Buffalo Creek Winery
Heinrichshaus Vineyard & Winery
Meramec Vineyards
Mountain Grove Cellars
Peaceful Bend Vineyard
Red Moose Vineyard
Seven Springs Winery
St. James Winery