Natural Features

at Battle of Island Mound State Historic Site

view of wooden fence and prairie landscapeIn the 1860s, much of Bates County and southwest Missouri was covered in vast tallgrass prairie. Small homesteads, such as the Toothman Farm, dotted the landscapes, taking advantage of the prairie soil. Periodic fires burned across the rolling prairies, maintaining the landscape by removing old vegetation and bringing new life to the prairie. Today, the prairie landscape is being restored to once again showcase the native grasses and wildflowers that flourished here in the 1860s.