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Snelson Brinker House

The Snelson-­Brinker House in Crawford County, Missouri, is a certified site on the
Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. In 2007, the property was listed in the National
Register of Historic Places under Criterion A and D for its association with the
Cherokee Trail of Tears (see Appendix A). The property includes the Snelson-­
Brinker House (originally built in 1834 and extensively remodeled and rebuilt in the
1980s), the Brinker-­Houston Cemetery (established in 1837), a smokehouse/root
cellar (built ca. 1880 and rebuilt ca. 1988), a ca. 1910 cast iron water pump, and a
ca. 1988 privy.1 Although the Snelson-­Brinker House and its associated
outbuildings are listed as noncontributing resources in the National Register
nomination, the Brinker-­Houston Cemetery and fields located east of the house
are listed as contributing features for their role as burial sites and campsites
respectively for the Trail of Tears. Seeing a need to better understand the history
and preservation needs of the Snelson-­Brinker property, NTIR approached the
Center for Historic Preservation (CHP) at Middle Tennessee State University to
complete a Historic Structure Report for the site.

Table of Contents
Introduction (pg 1)
Location (pg 2)
Historical Background and Context (pg 3)
Introduction (pg 3)
Levi Lane Snelson Establishes a Homestead (pg 4)
The Brinker Family & The Trail of Tears (pg 6)
The Snelson-­Brinker House, 1852-­Present (pg 12)
Snelson-­Brinker House Architectural Description (pg 21)
South Elevation (pg 24)
West Elevation (pg 25)
North Elevation (pg 25)
East Elevation (pg 29)
Interior (pg 29)
Preservation Needs Assessment and Recommendations (pg 32)
Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Preservation (pg 32)
Additional 1830s Resources at the Snelson-­Brinker House (pg 51)
Brinker-­Houston Cemetery (pg 51)
Historic Road (pg 63)
Additional Structures at the Snelson-­Brinker House (pg 64)
Smokehouse/Root Cellar (pg 64)
Privy (pg 66)
Water Pump Site (pg 66)
Appendix (pg 67)
A. National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form (pg 67)
B. Crawford County Survey Report No. 135 (pg 79)
C. Mothballing Checklist (pg 81)
D. Maintenance Chart (pg 82)
E. Post-­Fire Condition and Recommendations (pg 83)
Endnotes (pg 89)

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