Sedalia in the Ragtime Era
Sedalia’s Ragtime Era is scheduled for installation in April 2016 and will be located in Sedalia’s Welcome Center as a part of the Historic Katy Depot Exhibit Gallery and is being designed as a feature exhibit. The overarching interpretive message is as follows:
SCOTT JOPLIN’S SEDALIA IN THE 1890’S
It was born on the open prairie, bursting with all the
vitality and optimism of the new nation itself.
It had already been a rail head for the first great cattle trail’s end
and by the 1890’s two railroads brought booming commerce and economic development
to fight off an impending national depression.
This vibrant community endowed schools for its growing population
with emphasis, in those segregated days, on higher education for its minority citizens.
Like the country it imitated, this extraordinary place attracted and blended a human medley of races, ethnicities and cultures.
And into it a young musical genius was enticed by its fertile environment.
Here Scott Joplin created Classic Ragtime music
and on August 10, 1899 he signed an innovative royalty contract
with local businessman, John Stark, to publish
The Maple Leaf Rag
in Sedalia, Missouri where
ragtime became America’s music!
Requests for funding exhibit
design and installation were approved as a Destination Marketing Project by the
Sedalia Area Tourism Commission and as a Heritage Interpretation Project by the
Missouri Humanities Council.