Books about Sedalia Missouri, Birthplace of Ragtime

The docents at the KATY Depot Visitors Center in Sedalia regularly receive inquiries about the city and its ragtime heritage. Since the folks there are quite busy with local business and traffic, they pass along many of the inquiries to me. I am grateful for the opportunity to meet new ragtime enthusiasts and to have something productive to pass my time. In addition, I am fascinated by the history of a community that briefly nurtured America’s music and has promoted their heritage through the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festivals for the last 47 years. Occasionally there are those who want to thoroughly research the community and I have compiled a bibliography to further that pursuit. Simply email me at my address at the end of this column and I’ll gladly send it along. For a study of Ragtime Era Sedalia, I’ll begin by recommending Dr. Rebecca Carr Imhauser’s self-published volumes on Sedalia history: All Along Ohio and All Around Downtown, covering the downtown addresses east of Ohio Street. She is currently working on the third volume that will cover downtown addresses west of Ohio. Becky is a remarkable researcher and these amazing books on downtown Sedalia are among the most thorough local histories I have ever seen. The books provide lists of occupants for every downtown address from when buildings were originally built to the 1970s, and they are profusely illustrated with ove
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Larry Melton was a founder of the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival in 1974 and the Sedalia Ragtime Archive in 1976. He was a Sedalia Chamber of Commerce manager before moving on to Union, Missouri where he is currently helping to conserve the Ragtime collection of the Sedalia Heritage Foundation. Write him at [email protected].

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