The first area settlers came in 1818 and settled along the river. By 1853, Edmund Ward Bishop, the founder of Rolla, came here to build the "Frisco Branch of the Southwest Railroad." Phelps County was created in 1857 from portions of Pulaski, Maries and Crawford counties. In 1858 Rolla was officially surveyed, laid out and named.
After rejecting the names of Phelps Center and Hardscrabble, George Coppedge, a settler and originally from North Carolina, favored "Raleigh" after his hometown. The others agreed on condition that it was spelled 'Rolla.
By 1860 the railroad ran its first train through Rolla. The Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy was founded in 1870 and is now known as one of the finest engineering schools in the world.
Rolla and Phelps County enjoy a 4-season climate. January is normally the coldest month with an average temperature of 31 degrees. July is the warmest with an average of 78 degrees. The average yearly rainfall is 37.4 inches with an average yearly snowfall of 11.7 inches. The wettest month is usually May.
Our public school system is an A+ rated, Blue Ribbon School and is nationally recognized for excellence. The Missouri University of Science & Technology is one of the leading universities in the world in engineering and technology. It is also known as a leader in solar car racing and development. Amoung the many items you will find on campus is a Stonehenge replica, an experimental mine and even a nuclear reactor.
Phelps Health is the area's leader in surgery, oncology, radiology, orthopedics, internal medicine and emergency medicine. It is the regional referral center for south central Missouri. Rolla is served by more than 50 health and human service agencies.
Among many area attractions you can tour the Ozark Highland Winemakers and taste fine Missouri wines or visit Mark Twain National Forest, Meramec Spring Park, Maramec Spring Fish Hatchery, Meramec river River and Onyx Mountain Caverns. The Missouri S&T Campus Performing Arts brings world-renowned theatre, ballet and symphony programs to the culturally minded.
The Remmers Lecturer and Artist Series features such notable speakers as Margaret Thatcher, Gerald Ford and Colin Powell. The Regional Opera Company and Ozark Actors Theatre productions also keep our community well entertained with a variety of productions.
Rivers, hills and springs are all part of the natural appeal of Missouri's Ozark Heritage Region. The Ozark National Scenic Riverways is the heart of the region with 134 miles of the Current and Jacks Fork rivers.
It's all here: canoeing, rafting, fishing, trout streams, hunting, hiking and horseback riding. We are truly the "Gateway to the Ozarks" with some of the finest recreational areas in America from the Ozark rivers to the lights in Branson to the excitement of the St Louis metro area.
Tour Ozark Highland Winemakers for an introduction to the finest Missouri wines. Visit Maramec Spring Park (averages 96 million gallons of water a day) and Onyx Mountain Caverns, just to name a few places you can easily access from Rolla.
This is a great area to pursue the American dream. We're a small town with all the big city conveniences. Come and see for yourself. Let us make your real estate dreams come true.
Surrounding County Information
Montauk State Park - Premier trout fishing on the blue ribbon stretch of the Current river
Current River offer amazing floating/kayaking/fishing
Indian Trail Conservation Area is 13,503 acres of hunting, fishing, camping, and a shooting range. The trail of tears travels through this land
Ozark National Scenic Riverways encompases 80,000 acres and runs through 4 counties/2 rivers
Mark Twain National Forest
The floating Capitol of Missouri (Steelville MO)
Meramec River, Huzzah Creek and Courtois Creek - prime fishing/floating/camping
Trail of Tears National historic Trail
Meramec State Park beautiful camping - banks of the meramec river
Onondaga State Park (amazing cave system) camping etc
Mural City (Cuba, MO)
Mark Twain National Forest Approximately 50,048 acres
Steelville Mountain Bike Collective
Clifty Creek Conservation Area
Paydown Conservation Area/Gasconade River Access
Rinquelin Trail Lake