Programs Offered By Gary Gene Fuenfhausen


1. “Little Cabins: Slave Dwelling Architecture in Missouri’s Little Dixie”- Architectural and cultural historian Gary Fuenfhausen presents “Little Cabins: Slave Dwelling Architecture in Missouri’s Little Dixie.” This presentation will include images of Missouri’s Little Dixie plantations and “big houses,” as well as the four distinct slave dwelling styles of the era and how they compare with the slave quarters found across the American South. Program length 50 minutes.

"In 1860, 52 percent of Missouri’s 114,931 slaves lived in a seventeen county area known historically as “Little Dixie.” (Audrain, Boone, Callaway, Carroll, Clay, Chariton, Cooper, Howard, Lafayette, Jackson, Monroe, Pike, Platte, Ralls, Randolph, Ray, and Saline). In most of these local Missouri counties and townships, blossoming slave populations varied between 20 to 45 percent. Mirroring the slave entrenched regions of the upper South, it was in this area that Missouri’s hemp, tobacco, and cotton cultures were centered. “Little Dixie” also maintained the highest concentration of the largest farms and plantations in Missouri, frequently encompassing 500 to several thousand acres and worked over by 15 to 30 or more slaves. Today, the area still retains the largest inventory of Missouri’s slave quarters."

2. Cotton in Missouri’s Little Dixie - A discussion on the Little Dixie cotton culture (THE HISTORY OF THE COTTON CULTURE) and/or growing cotton and demonstrations of replica Whitney cotton gin (Little Dixie Cotton).  

As a part of my business, I developed an interpretive program for cotton growing and ginning.  My program is used to discuss the once thriving cotton culture that once was present in Missouri’s central counties.  I have also collected 3 historic cotton gins, dating from 1840s to c. 1920s, and  developed a program using my research on Missouri’s historic Little Dixie’s cotton culture.



Biography And Other Professional References

Gary Fuenfhausen is an Architectural and Cultural Historian who specializes in Missouri Southern history and architecture. He lives in historic Arrow Rock, Saline County, Missouri, where he and his partner are restoring the historic property “Thompson Villa.” Gary is also concluding his research on the house, which was built in the late 1850s by John C. Thompson.

Gary Fuenfhausen has worked in the field of Historic Preservation for nearly 2 decades, holding such positions as: Architectural and Museum Consultant to the celebrated African American museum King-Tisdell Cottage Foundation in Savannah, Georgia; Curator at the Andrew County Historical Society, Savannah, Missouri; Executive Director of the Historic Kansas City Foundation, Kansas City, Missouri; and an Assistant Director with Shoal Creek Missouri, Kansas City, Missouri.

In addition, Fuenfhausen has also served as a Historical Consultant to various independent and public film productions, such as the recent PBS documentary “Bad Blood.” His academic accomplishments include a book, “A Guide To Historic Clay County, Missouri: Architectural Resources and Other Historic Sites of the Civil War,“ and several articles on Little Dixie’s Cotton Culture, architecture, and travel, which have all appeared in professional journals and magazines.

Fuenfhausen has also received nominations and awards for his work, such as the Graduate Council of Excellence in Research Award and the Annual Southeast Missouri State University Student Research Conference‘s award. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in Business and History from William Jewell College and is a candidate for his Masters degree from Southeast Missouri State University.



Top honor and award for Graduate paper, Sixth Annual Student Research Conference, Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, April 1998 

 Paper nominated for 1997 Graduate Council of Excellence in Research Award, Southeast Missouri State University, February 1998

 Awarded the Certificate of Academic Distinction, Graduate School, Spring 1997

Awarded 1st Place, Fall 1996, Architecture Group Research Project



 “Cotton Culture of Missouri's Little Dixie, The, 1810-1865 and Growing Upland Cotton in Central Missouri,” Midwest OpenAir Museums Magazine, Summer 2001, V.22, #1

 “Kansas City History,” a bi-weekly column for the weekly magazine CN Magazine, published by Graphic Designs, Kansas City, Missouri, 2001, (readership estimated at 85,000)

 A Guide to Historic Clay County, Missouri: Architectural Resources and Other Historic Sites of the Civil War, also Exploits of John C. Calhoun "Coon" Thornton, A Clay County Confederate Officer, Kansas City: Little Dixie Publications, 1996. 

 The Ante-bellum and Civil War Almanac of Clay County, Missouri, in manuscript  

 "Missouri's Little Dixie," script for segment of independent film production, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, 1997

 "Little Dixie's Economic Link To The Deep South, New Orleans, Louisiana: Missouri's Important Planter Culture," presentation of paper, Southeast Missouri State University Student Research Conference, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, April 1998 



 Museum Consultant, The King-Tisdell Cottage Foundation, Savannah, Georgia, June 2002 to July 2003

- Architectural and museum operations advisor

- Project Director

- administrator of “SPLOSTS,” a $1.25 million city grant, duties include: accounting; reports;  application; and dispersements   

- acting curator

- museum interpretation program development, and publicity and public relations


Site Interpreter, Bollinger Mill State Historic Site, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Burfordville, MO., Sept. 1996 to April 1997

Staff interpreter of a gristmill, almost 200 years old, and covered bridge completed in 1867.  The Bollinger family arrived in Southeast Missouri in the late 1700's with family and slaves from North Carolina.  The family contributed to the settlement and latter formation of the region and epitomized the struggle of Southerners, and their influences, on that region of Missouri. 


Curator/Director, Andrew County Historical Society and Museum, Savannah, Missouri, June 1993 to September 1994

Curator/Director of a new 10,000 square foot museum complex and grounds.


 Executive Director, Historic Kansas City Foundation, Kansas City, Missouri, January 1992 to May 1993

Director over all phases of daily organization administration.


 Historic Site Interpreter, Shoal Creek, Missouri, Kansas City Parks and Recreation, Kansas City, Missouri, May 1991 to January 1992

Shoal Creek is an open air museum that is a collection of historic buildings from Clay County and other Western Missouri Counties.  The site chronicles the history and settlement of Clay County by Southerners from the Upper South. 

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