Population 91 and the Travel Small concept were both inspired by Zalma, Missouri, on the banks of the Castor River in Bollinger County. Although a sleepy and scenic village today, the town roared with industry at the turn of the 20th century. The timber industry clothed and fed many residents at the height of operation. Trees were harvested, timber felled, and railroad ties were ax-hewn around Zalma. Tie rafts were floated down the Castor into town where they were inspected, defects were culled, and quality ties were purchased by merchants and railroad agents. The volume of railroad ties at Zalma created a demand for a spur railroad line that connected the town across the swamp to Cape Girardeau.
The buildings that survive at Zalma all have multitudes of interesting stories with historical significance to tell.
Missouri, the Ozarks, and the midwest United States are dotted with small towns and rural spaces that were once bustling hubs of activity. Population 91 scouts these locations and delivers an in-depth look at each community’s unique history to bring their vibrant past alive. We tell the stories of why these places matter- and why you should visit, explore, and photograph these off the beaten path destinations during your adventures.
We document forgotten histories, unique architecture, one of a kind Mom & Pop’s, abandoned highways and historic bridges, small town museums, fun festivals and more to inspire your next road trip!
Know of a location that Population 91 should visit? Email your tips to email@example.com!