New Madrid in Missouri, United States is a town that blends historical significance, pivotal location, and connected community. Located on the Mississippi River, one of the largest rivers in North America, it has been a part of agriculture and trade since before the town was even founded. Today, it’s home to 7 different Nutrien facilities in the county, including a nitrogen plant.
New Madrid has some exciting history that really shook things up. It was the site of Eastern North America’s strongest earthquake on record! On December 16 1811, the town was the epicenter of three earthquakes that were 7.2, 8.2 and 7.4 on the Richter scale. To this day these remain the strongest earthquakes on record in North America, East of the Rocky Mountains. Quite a way to go down in the history books!
New Madrid’s history extends further into the past than records exist, as it was inhabited by prehistoric indigenous tribes. These tribes are known as the Mississippian Mound Builders. They built earthen structures in a variety of areas along the Mississippi River Basin. There’s one just outside of the town limits of New Madrid, and artifacts found at the site can be found a short drive away at the New Madrid Historical Museum.
While at the Museum, you’ll also find the story of how the town came to be. The first permanent structures were put up by Native Americans seeking refuge from the battles of the Revolutionary War taking place on the East Coast of the United States. They established a trading post in cooperation with the Spanish, who had staked a claim to territories along the west banks of the Mississippi River. It became a popular destination for trading goods of all types, and soon people of all nationalities had settled in the area. When the US took control of the area through the Louisiana Purchase, it became a center for farming, as well.
Even today, people visiting New Madrid can watch barges full of goods and supplies being floated down the Mississippi River on their way to international markets. The best place to view these is the New Madrid Riverwalk. It’s an easy stroll from downtown to view history in the making, and read about the history and ecology of the area on informative plaques. Pack a picnic and enjoy the beautiful Mississippi River from the banks in New Madrid.
We thank the Nutrien team members of New Madrid for all the hard work they do!