Celebrating a rich past, group commemorates Harlem with new monument

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Neighbors in one Kansas City neighborhood say they're the center of metro history. That's why one historical preservation group has placed a new monument in Harlem; celebrating a history that dates into the early 1800's.

Dignitaries and history buffs gathered Friday morning as a new historical marker was unveiled. The neighborhood sits on the city's north end, neighboring the Missouri River as well as the Downtown Airport.

The marker calls attention to Harlem's rich past, which says riverboats stopped at that neighborhood's riverfront port. Seventy-five-year old Charlie Broomfield grew up in Harlem, and says if it weren't for the port, Kansas City might never have been settled.

“We have records dating back to 1822, when a trail came from Saint Louis through Booneville to Harlem,” he said.

The new marker was placed by the Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas City. It's the 50th commemorative marker that non-profit group has sponsored at historical sites in the metro.