The full story and additional photographs are available at the Museum for these landmarks and countless other businesses and properties that play an important role in Raytown's history.
Little Blue, MO
The hamlet of Little Blue, Missouri lies in the basin of the Little Blue River between Noland Road, on the west, and Lee's Summit Road, on the east.
The Little Blue is a tributary of the Missouri River and passes through communities large and small from Grandview to Sibley. Traces of many Indian paths cross the river, dating back hundreds, if not thousands of years. The Lewis and Clark Expedition passed the delta of the Little Blue in 1804.
Please click through the photos to learn some of the Little Blue story.
Log Cabin Beside Ess Road
One of the first settlers was William Moore, one of the dozen American Revolutionary War patriots who made it as far west as Jackson County. Moore and his son built their log cabin beside Ess Road in 1823.
In 1910, Hans Dierks and his family built their country estate just east of Little Blue. The 7,000 sq. ft., 3-story stone house named "Walnut Hill" was situated, out of view, in the hillside looking over the valley.
Dr. William Bell's Red Barn
Almost directly across Little Blue Road from the Walnut Hill estate entrance sits a landmark "Red Barn." It belongs to the Bell family, who has owned much of the farmland in the Little Blue area for decades.
Dr. Bell's Restored Home
Today, the beautifully restored residence is home to the William Bells. They are descendants of the Frey and Bell families. Alongside the home is also a spacious restored stone carriage house.
Little Blue Business District
The Post Office was located in the General Store. In the time of the original storefronts' existence (still seen in Little Blue today), there was a blacksmith shop, a garage, a telegraph office, and an antique store.
Anna Rickey Clark
Little Blue resident, Anna Rickey Clark, stands in front of a stone fence and pillar that formed a gate to her property. The skilled work of the stone setter and care over the years has allowed these markers to remain intact.
The Schwab Family Home
Fred and Mabel Schwab moved to Little Blue in 1923. They rented the stone home from Mr. Adler, who owned much of the land on the south side of Little Blue Road. The Schwabs owned and operated "Broadview Dairy."
Little Blue Baptist Church
Even though most remember the small, white frame building as the Little Blue Baptist Church, perhaps it had been, at least for a time, the location of the first school in Little Blue at Noland and Little Blue Road.
The Benjamin family purchased land in the 87th & Hillcrest Road area in 1910. Dairy cattle were their primary business, but after several decades, they transitioned to renting riding horses. Benjamin Ranch was born. It became a huge draw and remained so for the next forty years.
Please click through the photos to get a glimpse of activities at the Benjamin Ranch.
Bud Benjamin with Charlie O
The mule was stabled at Benjamin Ranch. He was the mascot for Charles Finley's Kansas City Athletics baseball team.
Champions Holding their Prize Buckles
Darryl and his wife Phyllis Benjamin Edwards (shown 2nd & 3rd from the left) were among the winners.
Athletic Ability and Horsemanship
Margie Farmer Benjamin expertly displays her barrel racing skills while her horse defies gravity.
The crowd is entertained by cowboy chariot races with bulls at the Kansas City Rodeo.
Benny Benjamin and Friends
Benny Benjamin and a couple of other cowboys look on as the competition gets more interesting.
An early view of Benjamin Stables, advertising it as the Home of the Kansas City Roundup Rodeo.
Ranch Cafe with Charlie O
The news media was certain to cover Charlie O taking in lunch at the Benjamin Ranch Cafe.
Rodeo Fans Line Up
Cars are parked and fans anxiously line up to wait for the Benjamin Ranch gates to open.