While doing some writing research in St. Louis this week I came to realize that flyover country was ‘travel through’ country in the 1800s. It seems that the urge to travel to the west coast was alive and well back then too. Only the Homestead Acts that opened up many areas of the middle part of the country to settlement caused great numbers of people to make their homes in flyover country. Many of our ancestors saw middle- America as a great opportunity, yet they also found it to be a place as wild and different from their European homes as people now would find the moon or a distant planet.
The cobblestone streets and the old waterfront on the Mississippi River in St. Louis reminded me of the Louisiana Purchase and the settling of that great tract of land. In the 1860s and 1870s my own home area of Minnesota was just beginning to be settled and much of the activity here resulted from the push up the Mississippi River from places like St. Louis. It was interesting to visit places that are the roots of our own flyover country.