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|— Village —|
|Nickname(s): Z-Town, Zalma Town, The Capital of the World|
|• Total||0.19 sq mi (0.49 km2)|
|• Land||0.18 sq mi (0.47 km2)|
|• Water||0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)|
|Elevation||371 ft (113 m)|
|• Estimate (2011)||122|
|• Density||677.8/sq mi (261.7/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||0729220|
Zalma, once known as Bollinger's Mill, is a town on the banks of the winding Castor River at a point where the river makes a horseshoe bend in southern Bollinger County in southeast Missouri. When the railroad moved to town, the name Bollinger's Mill was changed to Zalma, after railroad worker Zalma Block. As of the 2010 census, Zalma has a population of 122.
Zalma is home to a number of state parks that feature a number of activities such as deer hunting, fishing, bird watching, horseback riding, and hiking.
Blue Pond, the deepest natural pond in the state of Missouri, is located outside of Zalma.
In 1800, an Urban Asherbranner (or Asherbramer or Asherbrauner) settled on the upper portion of the Castor River, just where the river empties its waters into Mingo Bottom, and where the village of Zalma is now situated, built a log and brush dam and erected a water mill to grind corn. Philip Bollinger settled nearby.
In A History of Missouri (1908), Louis Houck states that the head rights to this mill were owned by Asherbranner himself, but were held instead by Philip Bollinger, a relative of Asherbranner’s wife, Barbara. Philip Bollinger was a relative of Major George Frederick Bollinger, who settled on Whitewater and founded Burfordville in Cape Girardeau County.
The mill was later transferred to the Davault Bollinger line. Davault’s third son, Daniel, succeeded his father as miller. Daniel is thought to have come to Zalma about mid-century (1850) to assume operation of the mill. His sister, Catherine (Kate), came with him. They repaired the log and brush dam and operated the mill until the Civil War. Daniel died about this time and his wife, Eleanora, operated the mill with hired help. This mill burned sometime between 1863 and 1873 perhaps by Southern sympathizers, but actual cause of the fire cannot be authenticated.
Zalma received its first post office in November 1876.
W.A. acquired the property and built a new mill house and a new dam. He put in machinery to grind wheat and corn, as well as a carding mill to card and wash wool.
According to the Marble Hill Press (Oct. 28, 1897), the McMinn Mill burned in 1897. The dam remained intact for several years after the mill burned, before it suffered the same fate.
On Dec. 21, 1880, Louis Houck completed a railroad between Cape Girardeau and Delta. A spur line eventually connected Zalma to the railroad. Sometime in the early 1930s the railroad was abandoned and removed.
The town's economy remained sluggish until the timber industry moved in. The Brown Cooperage Company bought thousands of acres of timber, mostly white oak, for $1 per acre. In 1884, the Bell Messler Company placed a factory at Zalma to cut veneer and box laths. The Zalma factory was located just upstream from the mill dam. This factory provided work for women who stacked the box laths in long rows in the sun for drying. A second box factory was located on the north side of Green Street near the Railroad Street intersection, a short distance west of the present Highway 51.
Historical Communities Near Zalma
Zalma is bounded in all directions by a number of smaller, unincorporated communities that still retain historical significance.
• Arab, located at the intersection of State Highway 51, Route C and Route P, lies about four miles (6 km) south of Zalma. The tiny village has a population of 7, all members of the same family.
• April Hills is located approximately four miles on Bollinger County Road 710 that begins in the heart of Zalma by the new baseball field. The area is reminiscent of a Cajun community with houses surrounded by trees and marshland.
• Buchanan, located on Route Y south of State Highway 51, lies about four miles (6 km) northwest of Zalma near Castor River. It was named after U.S. President James Buchanan, the first person for whom Postmaster Washington A. McMinn voted.
• Burg is located somewhere between Zalma and Gipsy on Supplemental Route E. It is said that the Pioneer Cooperage Company operated a lumber mill here from about 1906 to 1911, after which the company moved to Coldwater in Wayne County when the timber played out. The town died soon after.
• Castor Bridge is located on Castor River near the end of Bollinger County Road 615 southeast of Zalma. It is said that the historical area was where the Castor River crossed the Zalma Branch Railroad between Zalma and Greenbrier.
• Dongola, located on State Highway 51 just west of the State Highway 91 intersection, lies about seven miles (11 km) east of Zalma. Although the unincorporated community of Dongola was destroyed by a tornado on May 30, 1917 and never recovered, there are a few houses in and around Dongola today.
• Gipsy, the tiny hamlet almost hidden among the hills, is located west of Zalma about three miles (5 km) on Supplemental Route E. A post office still exists and operates in Gipsy, with its own ZIP code of 63751. Old Gipsy Bridge is also historically known to the locals.
• Greenbrier, located at the end of Route W northeast of Arab, is a little unincorporated town that once had a station on the Zalma Branch Railroad.
• Hahn, previously known as North Zalma, is a small community located on Route H just south of the Route FF intersection about halfway between Zalma and Marble Hill. It was founded in 1875 by Jacob Hahn and Harmon Gray.
• Richardson, located at the end of Bollinger County Road 644 along the Diversion Channel, is a tiny historical area that lies just east of Greenbrier. There used to be a station here on the Zalma Branch Railroad between Greenbrier and Brownwood in Stoddard.
• Sank is located on Bollinger County Road 528 just north of State Highway 51 about four miles (6 km) east of Zalma.
• Schlatitz is located on State Highway 51 about five miles (8 km) east of Zalma, conveniently located just east of Sank and west of Dongola between the two communities.
• Sturdivant, located on Route V near the Stoddard County line, is a tiny unincorporated community that lies about 10 miles (16 km) southwest of Zalma. It is said that there used to be a station here on the Cape Girardeau Southwestern Railroad Line between Brownwood and Kinder in Stoddard County. The community was possibly named for Colonel Robert Sturdivant, a prominent businessman and banker in Cape Girardeau.
• Trowel is a historical unincorporated area located somewhere north of Schlatitz, probably out in the woods.
• Zephyr is another historical unincorporated area located somewhere west of Hahn.
The Zalma R-V School District runs throughout much of southern Bollinger County. With an average yearly enrollment of 250 students in K-12, the school is one of the smallest public schools in Southeast Missouri. The school's mascot is the bulldog, and its colors are green and gold. The alma mater/school fighting song is still sung at ballgames:
"When those green daggers lead our yells today, and the team will stand in full array, for the dear ole school we love so well, for the green and gold we'll yell and yell and yell and yes we'll win, win, win, yes we will win, and when it's over we will all begin to join the mighty cheering for our team, for ZHS hey!"
Activities at the school consist of FCCLA (Family, Career & Community Leaders of America), formerly known as FHA (Future Homemakers of America); Student Council; Junior and Senior Beta Club; Pep Club; Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA); Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA); Speech Team; Smokebusters; and the ZHS Concert Choir. Athletics at ZHS consist of boys' basketball, girls' volleyball, boys' baseball, girls' softball, and co-ed cheerleading.
In 2002, the school built a regulation-size baseball field to be able to host home games. Construction of the baseball field, which required two gravel roads to be cut out, caused quite a controversy amongst some of the townspeople. It was ultimately decided to restructure the gravel roads around the new ball field.
The Zalma Bulldogs varsity basketball team won the Class 1A State Basketball Championship in 1939-1940, but since then has not won a state title in the sport. The early 1990s, however, were good years for the Zalma Lady Bulldogs varsity volleyball team as they won the Class 1A MSHSAA State Volleyball Championship in 1990-1991, defeating Osceola for the title. They advanced to the state tournament again in 1991-1992 and 1992-1993 but lost in the championship match each year to New Haven. Volleyball still remains the most popular sport at Zalma High School.
For adults aged 25 and older in Zalma, 72.9% possess a high school diploma as their highest educational attainment, 22.8% have less than high school and 4.3% possess a bachelor's degree or higher educational degree. None of the population possesses a post-graduate or professional degree.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 0.19 square miles (0.49 km2), of which, 0.18 square miles (0.47 km2) of it is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.
|Climate data for Zalma|
|Average high °F (°C)||40
|Average low °F (°C)||19.4
|Precipitation inches (mm)||3.4
|Source: Weatherbase |
Average temperatures in Zalma range from 22 °F (−6 °C) in January to 89 °F (32 °C) in July. According to Weather.com, some weather facts about Zalma include the following:
- On average, the warmest month in Zalma is July.
- The highest recorded temperature in Zalma was 108 °F (42 °C) in 1954.
- January is the average coolest month in Zalma.
- The lowest recorded temperature in Zalma was −27 °F (−33 °C) in 1951.
- The maximum average precipitation in Zalma occurs in March (4.91 inches).
The average annual humidity in Zalma is highest in the mornings in mid-August, averaging near 90 percent. The average annual humidity in Zalma is lowest in the afternoons in April and October, averaging near 55 percent.
The average wind speed in Zalma is highest in March, averaging a little over 10 mph (16 km/h). The average wind speed in Zalma is lowest in August, averaging 6 mph (9.7 km/h) which is below the national average of 6.5 mph (10.5 km/h).
The average snowfall in Zalma is generally lower than the national average annually in the United States. Snowfall in Zalma is highest in January with an average of just below four inches (102 mm), which is lower than the national average of just above five inches (127 mm) .
The average sunshine in Zalma is highest in mid-July, averaging around 75 percent sunshine. The average sunshine in Zalma is lowest during the winter months of December to January, averaging just above 40 percent sunshine.
Historical tornado activity in the Zalma area is near the Missouri state average but is 91 percent greater than the national average.
• On April 24, 2002, an F4 tornado (with maximum wind speeds of 207-260 mph) located 29.4 miles (47.3 km) away from the Zalma village center injured 16 people and caused $45 million in damages.
• On April 27, 2002, an F3 tornado (with maximum wind speeds of 158-206 mph) located 5.2 miles (8.4 km) away from the Zalma village center killed one person and injured 16 people and caused $4 million in damages.
As of the census of 2010, there were 122 people, 54 households, and 32 families residing in the village. The population density was 677.8 inhabitants per square mile (261.7 /km2). There were 70 housing units at an average density of 388.9 per square mile (150.2 /km2). The racial makeup of the village was 100.0% White. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.8% of the population.
There were 54 households out of which 22.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.3% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.7% were non-families. 37.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.97.
The median age in the village was 48.3 years. 21.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 4.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 18.9% were from 25 to 44; 41.1% were from 45 to 64; and 14.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the village was 52.5% male and 47.5% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 93 people, 38 households, and 27 families residing in the village. The population density was 645.6 people per square mile (256.5/km²). There were 54 housing units at an average density of 374.9 per square mile (148.9/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 93.55% White, 2.15% Native American, and 4.30% from two or more races. The major ancestry groups in Zalma were 27% Irish, 22% German, 14% French Canadian, 8% Norwegian, 2% Cherokee, and 2% specified Native American tribes.
There were 38 households out of which 36.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.1% were married couples living together, 26.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.9% were non-families. 26.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.85.
In the village the population was spread out with 28.0% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 21.5% from 25 to 44, 32.3% from 45 to 64, and 9.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 66.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 67.5 males.
At the time of the 2000 U.S. Census, the median income for a household in the village was $21,250, and the median income for a family was $21,500. Estimates after 2007, however, showed the median income for a household in the village to be $26,907 and the median income for a family to be $26,146. Males had a median income of $27,917 versus $16,250 for females. The per capita income for the village was $10,842. There were 32.4% of families and 35.7% of the population living below the poverty line, including 53.3% of under eighteens and 18.2% of those over 64.
The total crime risk in Zalma is significantly lower (18) than the Missouri state average (107) and lower than the national average (100). According to the Bollinger County Sheriff’s Department’s Web site, there are four registered sex offenders living in Zalma. The ratio of number of residents in Zalma to the number of sex offenders is 24:1. And although recreational drug use is low in Zalma, a growing concern in the village (and in many rural areas in general) is the production and usage of methamphetamine and underage drinking.
Entertainment & Recreation
The Castor River, which flows through Zalma, is a popular attraction for locals as well as visitors from all walks of life. The Mill Dam is a popular swimming hole in Zalma with a conveniently placed tree and rope for swinging and jumping in. Some people choose to fish here, too. Maple Flats, owned by the Missouri Department of Conservation, is located less than a mile right outside of Zalma on State Highway 51 and is a popular fishing spot. Another popular fishing and hunting place is Sweetgum, located north of Zalma on Route H then about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) west on Bollinger County Road 708, which contains 56 acres (230,000 m2) of forest and woodlands for avid hunters. Some of the most prevalent species of fish at Maple Flats and Sweetgum include spotted and largemouth bass, channel and flathead catfish, and sunfish. Some locals say that there have been 30- to 40-pound catfish caught in the Castor River. Zalma is surrounded by forests which make for ideal hunting expeditions, especially deer. Castor River Campground, Inc. is a private campground located in the heart of Zalma on Green Street near the old Glasener house. Some residents in Zalma choose to camp along the Castor River at Arrowhead Campgrounds, Castor River Park and/or Twin Bridges Park, three public campgrounds located near the junction of State Highway 34 and Route Y close to Grassy.
The Rustic Lodge (or simply known as The Rustic to the locals), located right outside the city limits of Zalma on State Highway 51 right before the Castor River Bridge, is a popular bar not only to residents of Zalma but people from all over the area have been known to frequent it. It is owned by Vicky Slaughter, a native of Zalma. Like many other bars, there are pool tables and dartboards available at The Rustic Lodge. Local bands like the John D. Hale Band of Cape Girardeau occasionally have concerts at The Rustic Lodge and this generally tends to draw large crowds. It was said that nearly 1,000 people attended one of their concerts. Under normal circumstances, bargoers must be 18 years old to enter The Rustic and 21 to drink, but during concerts or other special events like mud racing, exceptions are made to the 18-to-enter rule.
Horseback riding is another popular activity amongst some of the residents of Zalma, where the scenic gravel roads that run through Zalma are ideal for this activity. Cruising the town at night used to be a popular trend among teenagers during the 1990s, but due to the ever-rising gas prices it has become a rare activity among teenagers in Zalma nowadays.
State Highway 51 runs directly through Zalma. Residents also utilize Missouri Highways C, H, P, 34 and 91 in the area, just to name a few. The closest four-lane highway is 40 miles (64 km) east in Cape Girardeau as is Interstate 55. The nearest airport is Twin City Airpark in Marble Hill.
There are two Protestant churches in Zalma—the Zalma General Baptist Church and the Zalma Missionary Baptist Church—serving the community’s spiritual needs, although there are several more churches on the outskirts. Zalma is a predominantly Protestant village, although there are a few Roman Catholics. Because there are no banks in Zalma, many residents choose to do their banking at nearby institutions such as the Bank of Advance in Advance, Peoples Community Bank, U.S. Bank, Bank of Missouri and Security Trust & Fund all in Marble Hill, although these are not limited. Surrounding Zalma there are four public parks—two in Marble Hill, one in Advance and one in Puxico.
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Zalma, Missouri". Weatherbase. 2011. Retrieved on November 24, 2011.