The purpose of the Bonebrake Center of Nature and History is to maintain and establish an area with paths through natural settings of prairies and forest plantings, and beside ponds and a spring, to provide a place for people of all ages to stroll, learn and observe plants, animals, and birds. Schools are invited to use the area as an outdoor classroom. The historic home is a peaceful setting where people may gather to learn or relax at their leisure in a pleasant, attractive atmosphere. The ultimate objective of the Foundation is to provide the general public, through restoration and maintenance of the residence, development and active management of the land, and various public programs, a living nature and history experience, offerng a broad range of activities, resources and opportunities appealing to all ages and interests.
Located just two blocks from the historic Dent County courthouse, and a block from the Dent County Museum, the 12 acres of Bonebrake-McMurtrey property, including a major spring-fed pond and natural wetland area, and a small stream, are a naturalist's dream and a delight for historians. The spring was important in the location of Salem and has a history all its own--a source of water in dry seasons, the water supply for Salem's first swimming pool, a cooling reservoir for a cheese factory, and a source of pride for the whole community.
Along the meandering stream is a mix of native trees--a setting for birds and bird watchers. There are walking paths, with wooden benches scattered along the trails for resting or contemplating the surroundings. A "pocket prairie" of native warm season grasses has been established and hundreds of trees planted on the gtrounds. The public is welcome to wander around the property.