History & Geography Vol. 1 Contents

Content - Chapters A to D

The narratives in these chapters include a history of Anderson Hollow Bay, now the popular “Party Cove” location at Lake of the Ozarks. Featured sites now inundated by the Lake include Arnhold Cave, Arnhold Mill, Stone Face, Chimney Rock and Chimney Rock Cave. Featured landmark businesses of the Bagnell Dam Strip include Campbell’s Lake House, which is now just a memory, and Dogpatch, which is still one of the Lake’s most popular shopping and entertainment spots.

Towns of special interest include old Aurora Springs, once a mineral spa; old Bagnell, which burned to the ground twice during Bagnell Dam’s construction; and Camdenton, a town that sprang from the ashes of old Linn Creek. Interesting caves and springs in these chapters include Climax Spring that gave birth to one of the first mineral spas in the Ozarks; Coakley Hollow Spring and Ozark Caverns in Lake of the Ozarks State Park; and Bridal Cave, where more underground weddings have been performed than in any cave in the world. These four chapters contain narratives on more than 65 topics.

Chapters E to J

The worst flood in the history of Bagnell Dam is featured in these chapters – the flood of 1943. It took the U.S. Army to save the Dam’s powerhouse from inundation.

Featured town sites now inundated by the Lake include Gladstone, originally the site of an Osage Indian village, and Irontown, the only inundated site with a surviving monument – an old iron smelter built in 1872. Horseshoe Bend, now one of the most highly developed areas of the Lake region, was off limits to development in the early years when its forested acreage was the location of the region’s first scenic Lake drive.

The first Grand Glaize Bridge, built at the same time as Bagnell Dam, was once widely known as the “Upside Down Bridge.” Its construction was finished and the bridge was carrying U. S. Highway 54 traffic across an empty Lake basin before the construction of the Dam was complete. Show caves, resorts, fishing camps, the J Bar H Rodeo and the Governor McClurg Showboat are featured in these six chapters, which contain narratives on more than 50 topics.

Chapters K to O

The most popular activities on Lake of the Ozarks in the 1930s and 40s were fishing and hunting, not recreational boating. Ernest Kellerstrass and his wife were the champions at catching bass.

Musser’s Ozark Resort opened at the junction of highways 54-52 north of Bagnell Dam in the mid 1930s. It quickly became the area’s most popular nightclub, but because of a fatal shooting, the nightclub did not survive long.

Naming Lake of the Ozarks generated political controversy that began before the dam was even built and even the governor of Missouri became embroiled in the issue. Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Chapel, built all of native materials along Highway 54 in Lake Ozark in 1942, became a local landmark but its historic status wasn’t enough to save it from destruction several decades later. Do you know where Drum Rock and Brockman’s Island are located in the Lake region? Do you know when and where the first baptism was performed in the waters of the Lake? These five chapters include narratives on more than 40 topics.

Chapters P to Z

Topics in History & Geography of Lake of the Ozarks come from throughout the entire Lake region, which stretches from Bagnell Dam in Miller County to Warsaw in Benton County, a distance of 90 miles by water. Bagnell Dam impounds the Osage River. Many suspension bridges spanned the river in pre-lake days, bridges that had to be taken down with the coming of the Lake. There is no evidence today that most of these old bridges ever existed, but the bluff-top ruins of the Sagrada Bridge still exist.

Ancient Grotto was the area’s first show cave. It was opened to the public 30 years before Lake of the Ozarks was created, but the cave’s guide was the cave’s main attraction. The Lake region once had two towns with names that began with the letter “Z” – Zebra and Zora. Zebra was the town that eventually became Osage Beach.

After the Lake arrived, the Pla-Port Lighthouse, now just a memory, was built upon the former town’s highest point overlooking the Lake. These eleven chapters include narratives on more than 40 topics.