THE DECATURVILLE DOME

Now here's a story that goes way back.

The Decaturville Dome is like no other landform in the lake area. It straddles the Laclede-Camden County line just west of Highway 5 and is described as a ring of low hills about three and a half miles wide. The shattered rocks within the ring exhibit numerous fault lines and other deformations. The rocks at the mile-wide core resemble granite.

So what caused it? A geologic study undertaken in 1979 concluded that the Decaturville Dome was the site of a meteor or comet impact. The age of the impact dates from the Cretaceous Period of the Mesozoic Era--that's about 160 million years ago last Tuesday.

The village of Decaturville is nowadays merely a few buildings at the junction of Highway 5 and P, about 9 miles south of Camdenton. The place was first settled in 1838, and got its first business--a general store--in 1854. By 1874 the population of greater Decaturville had swollen to about 50. The downtown area boasted two stores, a wagon shop, and a school. The schoolhouse did double duty as a church. Later additions included a drug store, a blacksmith shop, and a farm implements store.

Nothing quite that cosmopolitan exists there now. Obviously the comet and meteor threat has held down the growth of Decaturville and has deprived it of its place as the metropolis of the Ozarks. Wink, wink.


© 1999-2000 by Michael Gillespie. All rights reserved.