Pam Myers, the Historic Site Administrator at the Battle of Carthage park, attended Thursday's Vespers Service to mark the anniversary of the Battle of Carthage for the last time as administrator of the Carthage site.
Myers, who also administers the Harry S. Truman Birthplace in Lamar and the Osage Village Historic Site in Vernon County, is retiring next month after more than 30 years with the state parks service.
Myers has been involved in administering the Battle of Carthage site since it was created in 1988. She took over as administrator in 2000.
On Thursday she brought along her possible successor, Beth Bazal, Interpretive Resource Specialist at the Harry S. Truman Site in Lamar.
Myers remembered the work of Marvin VanGilder, the late Carthage Press editor and area historian who spearheaded the effort to create the Battle of Carthage State Historic Site in the 1980s.
“I really looked up to Marvin VanGilder and Irene,” she said on Thursday. “They took me under my wing and he was very beneficial when I was working on programs and working on history and interpretation for some of our signs and things. He just knew not only this history but he knew Barton County history, he knew Vernon County history.”
She also recalled the efforts to use the Battle of Carthage site to educate the public about this battle that is mostly unknown outside this area.
“We do the history, the interpretation,” Myers said. “When I first came on board, there were no school programs of any kinds or anything like that, so over the years we devised different programs and then we started doing the trunk programs where we bring out different types of things that the kids can actually touch and talk about the different things that happened on Civil War ground or any of the other sites too.”
Bazal's elevation to administrator must still be confirmed by higher authority in the Missouri State Parks System, but she said she's not a newcomer to the Battle of Carthage or the efforts to educate people about the conflict.
She's been an interpretive resource specialist in Lamar since 2000 and has been involved in the creation of the programs available in Carthage.
“I hope to see more here and keep everything going like we have done and try to get more things going on here to get local people involved in the park here,” Bazal said. “We get a lot of out-of-state visitors through here and would like to get a lot more local people to see what we have here. Being one of the first encounters of the Civil War, it's great to have this site in our park system.”