History in the Ozarks
The southwestern part of Missouri is as Southern as any area of the South! This is the Ozarks region, where mountain ways and cultures still survive as do some of the most beautiful scenic vistas in America.
This was the mountain home country of television’s imaginary Beverly Hillbillies and you can still touch some of the places from your favorite classic show throughout the region. Silver Dollar City in Branson is mentioned in the show and you can even see the original Beverly Hillbillies truck at the Ralph Foster Museum at the College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout (2 miles south of Branson).
The Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area on the outskirts of Branson preserves 1,534 acres of stunning Ozarks country. Paul Henning is remembered today as the creator of the Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres and Petticoat Junction. He and Ruth donated much of the land for the park, which uniquely preserves many of the scenes from the book that made Branson famous.
Harold Bell Wright’s Shepherd of the Hills tells a remarkable story of live in the hills around Branson and was one of the first great best-selling books of the 20th century. The Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area preserves many noteworthy spots that are mentioned in the book, among them Dewey Bald, Boulder Bald, the “trail that is nobody knows how old,” Sammy Lane’s Lookout, the Signal Tree and Little Pete’s Cave.
Elsewhere in Southwest Missouri you will find Civil War battlefields, mountains, lakes, caves and much more.