Rural Missouri Magazine

See the world . . . in Missouri!

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by Kyle Spradley

Cairo, Mo. - The scorching sun rises over the humid landscape of Cairo. The silhouettes of three structures on the horizon might appear to be the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. You wont find camels here, though, unless you head south to the Lolli Brothers Livestock Market in Macon for an exotic animal auction. Instead it is trucks and combines moving grain from these storage silos in this north-central Missouri town.

Since starting at Rural Missouri magazine back in March, I have had the good fortune of traveling across most of the state working on stories for our valued readers. I have traveled to places I never thought I would ever go to and have seen things few others have.

While on the road, my map book is my trusty sidekick. Looking through the lists of cities, towns and places in the Show-Me State, it’s hard not to chuckle at some of the names, but what strikes me more is the number of towns named after other places.

We have towns with the same names as European countries and cities, African cities and even other famous American cities.

Like most recent college grads, I want to travel the world and live free, but with all these grown-up bills I have to pay now, I’m not likely to visit Switzerland anytime soon. So I decided to visit Missouri and see the world. We have places like Mexico, Paris, Cairo and Sweden all right here. Lucky me! I get to see the world without even leaving Missouri.

This photo essay is what I have to show for all my travels. It was quite the project to work my creative juices to try and find something from another country in small rural towns.

Although I didn’t fly anywhere, I think I traveled enough miles in my car searching for something that represents the town’s more famous namesake to have traveled to Old Mexico.

Hope you enjoy and greetings from Columbia where I live (the town that is . . . not the country).


Mexico, Mo. - The brick trim and stucco exterior remind the viewer of a scene in Old Mexico, but it is actually the north side of the Casa del Sol Mexican Restaurant in the Missouri city of Mexico. If you visit, don’t forget to try the fajita nachos! iBueno!
Amsterdam, Mo. - Near the Kansas border I found just a little Dutch influence. The small farming town north of Butler has two wooden windmills near the community center just off Highway Y. The town got its name from a railroad company with ties to Holland that once owned the lines that ran through the area. I wonder if they plant tulips here in the spring?
Troy, Mo. - An armor-clad Trojan stands poised for combat on the battlefields of Troy. The only conflicts on this turf though are on Friday nights when the Trojans of Troy-Buchanan High School take to the field in gridiron battles. Imagine a state championship between Troy and Sparta.
Sweden, Mo. - A perfect blue sky and a spotless white-painted building would be a common site in the tidy and picturesque country of Sweden. However, this church is off Highway 14, southeast of Springfield. I can almost hear Swedish band ABBA’s “Dancing Queen.”
Cuba, Mo. - Cigars are something Cuba is known for worldwide. But these stogies are fresh from a humidor in the The Warehouse, a liquor store in the Show-Me State’s Cuba off of historic Route 66.
Paris, Mo. - Behold the Eiffel Tower, the symbol of Paris. Far from the Champs-Élysées, you will find this famous icon on Main Street in Paris, Mo.
Rural Missouri | June 2020 Issue

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