|Photo courtesy of Branson/Lakes Area CVB|
Branson is located in the Missouri Ozarks Mountain region of the country ... if you've never been to the Ozarks, you are in for a TREAT !!! It's beautiful, clean, and attracts people from all over for it's natural beauty! There are lots of outdoor activities, including camping, fishing, boating, hiking... and Table Rock Lake is home to the bass capital of the US !
Branson was named for the first postmaster, Reuben S. Branson, who opened a general store and post office in 1882. The City was incorporated on April 1, 1912, and later that year, most all of downtown was destroyed in a fire. The city had no fire department at the time, but Ozarks people are strong, and rebuilt the city.
Harold Bell Wright, who wrote Shepherd of the Hills, based the novel on some folks he stayed with in the Ozarks. Published in 1907, the book told the story of the self-reliant and stoic hill people he encountered in the area and of the wooded valleys, the mountain “balds” and the incredible cave he had seen. The book was a huge success. Millions of copies were sold in several languages, and four movies were filmed, including a 1941 version starring John Wayne, in his first technicolor film. Wright’s novel is the fourth most widely read book in publishing history. I LOVE the movie, and with Betty Field playing that little barefoot hillbilly, she cracked me up running up and down those Ozarks hills barefooted in all those scenes! Made it very real for me!
The show "Beverly Hillbillies" was based on a Boy Scout camping trip to the Branson area by TV director Paul Henning as a child. The TV show was a great success, and Henning brought the Clampetts "home" to the Ozarks in 1967, filming five episodes on location at Silver Dollar City. He later donated 1,534 acres just outside Branson that became the Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area. He also donated the Beverly Hillbillies' 1921 Oldsmobile truck to the College of the Ozarks where it is on display in the Ralph Foster Museum.
There is rich history and tradition in the Ozarks from people who have made it thru some rough times but still prevailed. For more Branson history, check out these web pages ~~
100 years of Branson history
Pictures of Branson thru the years
There will be more of Branson's rich history to come !