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Spring begins today (March 20). What better way to celebrate it than to get out and take a drive on the famous roads and highways of our great country. One such highway of course is Route 66. One namesake town very close to Route 66 is Vienna, Missouri, so it is the subject of this installment of the For Namesake" Blog  Vienna, Missouri (32.18692, -91.94904) http://mapjam.com/vienna-missouri Vienna, Missouri is a village of 610 located in Maries County at the Intersection of US Route 63 and Missouri State Route 42. It is the county seat of Maries County and lies 20 miles northwest of Rolla. The nearest university is Missouri University of Science and Technology, formally the University of Missouri-Rolla in Rolla. Famous Route 66 passes by south of Vienna, through the communities of Rolla and St. James. Maries County was organized in March of 1855 and named for the Big and Little Maries Rivers. Vienna was selected as the county seat. It is said that Dr. V.G. Lethem, who was the presiding county judge, had a young women in his family named Vie Anna who had passed away. He desired that the village be given that name to honor her. Commissioner McCord, thinking this unwise, chose instead to name the community after the Austrian Capital, Vienna, a name so similar that even the good Dr. would approve. The post office here dates from 1867 forward, so we can take that as the date of the founding of the village, although it most likely had its beginning earlier.  In Vienna you may visit the Maries County Courthouse and the Maries County Historical Society Museum. Dixon has the Blue Jay Farm, Boling Springs Canoe Rentals and the Rocky Edge Bluff Farm. The Capital city of Jefferson City has many attractions including The Art Bazaar, Carnahan Memorial Gardens, Cole County Historical Society Museum, Jefferson Landing State Historical Site, La Maison Conference Center, Lewis & Clark Trailhead Monument, Missouri Governors Mansion, Missouri Highway Patrol Safety Education Center & Museum, Missouri State Capitol, Missouri State Museum, Missouri Veterinary Medical Foundation Museum, Museum of Missouri Military History Rudge Nature Center and Summit Lake Winery. Rolla has a Visitors Center at 1311 Kings Highway. There you may learn about The Centre, Leach Theater, Ozark Actors Theater, Splash Zone, University of Science & Technology Experimental Mine, University of Science & Technology Mineral Museum and other Rolla area attractions. In St. James you may visit the St. James Winery. The Mark Twain National Forest is just southwest of Rolla. Vienna is located close to several conservation areas including Canaan Conservation Area, Painted Rock Conservation Area, Spring Creek Conservation Area, and Woods Memorial Conservation Area. Nearby Lakes include Lake Ozark and Peaceful Valley Lake. State Parks in the region include Ha Ha Tonka State Park, Katy Trail State Park, Lake of the Ozarks State Park and Onondaga Cave State Park. Notes: 1. http://www.amzn.com/B00CBM6JFK 2. http://thelibrary.org/lochist/moser/mariesco.html Picture Credit: Maries County Courthouse at Vienna, Missouri (Americasroof at en.wikipedia CC-BY-SA)