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story.lead_photo.caption Lights at the historic Colonel Lewis Bolton home burn bright as the historic Wardsville, Mo., house glows against the early evening sky in this September 2012 photo. Photo by Kris Wilson

The Cole County Historical Society is sponsoring an event Aug. 22 to celebrate the history of Wardsville, a farming and bedroom community in Cole County.

The event — held at the Bolton House, 9125 Winkleman Platz, off Route W — starts with an open house 6-7 p.m. A formal program will start at 7 p.m.

"For several years, the society has tried to do as many as three community events each year," said Darrel Strope who works with the society and whose mother grew up in Wardsville. "These are chances for residents to learn the history of their community."

With next year being the 200th anniversary of Cole County, Strope said, the group is going to as many communities as possible.

"We find local residents to speak on the history of the community because they often have better access to materials than we do," Strope said.

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Some of that Wardsville history is tied to the Bolton House, which was built by Col. Lewis Bolten and has since been restored. Along with talks about the colonel, other Wardsville-related topics to be discussed include Junius Ward, the namesake of Wardsville, the history of St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, and some of the stories related to World War II veterans from Wardsville as well as businesses that served the town over the years.

"It's pretty well been a farming and bedroom community throughout its existence," Strope said.

Strope also said people who are coming to the event are encouraged to bring old photos, memorabilia and family histories to share.

"A lot of times, people forget what they have, and events like this give them a chance to share and jog memories," Strope said.

The community events have had a good response in the past, he said.

"We're working on a program in September for Marion and one for the southern part of the county, between the former community of Decatur and Enon, which is actually in Miller County," Strope said.

For more information, call the historical society at 573-635-1850 or email [email protected]

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