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Trip Planner USA  /  Missouri  /  Rolla
(2.3/5 based on 70+ reviews for 1 attraction)
Things to do: beaches
Rolla is a city and county seat of Phelps County, Missouri, United States. The population in the 2010 United States Census was 19,559. Rolla is located approximately midway between St. Louis and Springfield along I-44.It is the home of the Missouri University of Science and Technology, well known for its many engineering departments and computer science department.The headquarters of the Mark Twain National Forest is located in Rolla. In addition, this is part of the Ozark Highlands American Viticultural Area, with vineyards established first by Italian immigrants to the area.HistoryThe first European-American settlers in Phelps County arrived in the early 19th century, working as farmers and iron workers along the local rivers, such as the Meramec, the Gasconade, and the Little Piney. In 1844, John Webber built the first house in what became the City of Rolla. Nine years later, railroad contractor Edmund Ward Bishop, considered to be the founder of Rolla, settled in the area. The state officially established Rolla as a town in 1858.Two stories account for how Rolla was named. One story, widely regarded as a folk legend, and acknowledged as such by the Phelps County Historical Society, arises from the competition between Rolla and neighboring Dillon, Missouri, to be designated the county seat. When Rolla was made the county seat in 1861, the residents of Dillon, having lost a round, were allowed to choose the name of the new city and named it Rolla, after a good-for-nothing hunting dog.
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