Honoring the life and times of American agricultural scientist and inventor George Washington Carver, the George Washington Carver National Monument in Missouri is a must-see for RV travelers interested in the history of agriculture. The monument was officially founded in 1943 by President Roosevelt after he dedicated the sum of $30,000 to help with the costs of opening it. The George Washington Carver National Monument also holds a special place in American history as being the first National Monument dedicated to an African American and it was also the first to be created for a non-president.
George Washington Carver was famously known for studying and encouraging alternative crops to cotton that could be grown by poor farmers to increase their quality of life, such as sweet potatoes and peanuts. This was done by developing techniques to improve soils depleted by repeated cotton planting, like restoring nitrogen to the by soil doing systematic crop rotation. The rotations restored the nitrogen, delivered food for the farmer, and resulted in improved cotton yields for the next season. Carver also developed an agricultural extension program for Alabama and widely distributed recipes using the alternative crops so that poor farmers could eat healthier. Along with helping farmers, he was also known for his environmentalism and teaching at the Tuskegee Institute for 47 years.
The George Washington Carver National Monument pays tribute to his remarkable life by preserving his boyhood home, the 1881 Moses Carver house and the Carver cemetery. The 240-acre area also features educational elements, including a museum, interactive exhibit area and film. For those wanting to explore the rolling hills of the monument you can also check out a nature trail that is around three quarters of a mile in length.
There is no RV camping available on the grounds of the monument but you won't have to travel too far to find a place to stay. There's the Joplin KOA Journey in the nearby city of Joplin which is open all year round. George Washington Carver National Monument is open daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.