Ozark National Scenic Riverways Quarter | Alley Springs

New Ozark National Riverways Quarter

Source: Ozark National Scenic Riverways Quarter | U.S. Mint Representing the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Alley Spring and Mill will be featured on a new quarter from the U.S. Mint.  What a wonderful way to commemorate a great piece of Missouri history.  I was aware Alley Springs was one of the possible choices, but the actual coin looks just great! One of my favorite places in Missouri, Alley Springs has been a destination 44 times since 1937 for annual The Brown Family Reunion.  Alley Spring & Mill  will always be a special place for many of my family members to Continue Reading →

Ha Ha Tonka – The Castle in the Ozarks

ha ha tonka

Where do you start when you talk about Ha Ha Tonka State Park? This park presents a real contrast, a man-made wonder like no other in Missouri, and a plethora of geological wonders. This area is probably the best example of karst topography (caves, sinkholes, etc.) in the state. The idea of building Ha Ha Tonka mansion was conceived in 1903 by Robert M. Snyder on a visit to the Ha Ha Tonka area.  He fell in love with the spectacular scenery and by 1905, he had purchased 3,500 acres of the surrounding area and began to hire stone Continue Reading →

Thomas Brown Cabin PIT Project – Part 4

The new logs were notched and ready. The old sill logs had been carted off and reused for other parts of the project. One crew had been out all day collecting rocks large enough to act as foundations. It was time to put everything back together. After the new sill logs were in place it was time to move the foundation rocks under them. With the sills in place it was time to move the log floor joists back into place. And finally….the last log! After all the logs were in place, the floor and porch went back rather Continue Reading →

Thomas Brown Cabin PIT Project – Part 3

The weather was perfect, the volunteers were motivated, and the setting was beautiful, everything was perfect. Everything except a certain Forest Service chainsaw that was assigned to our project (we’ll call him Husqvarna…although I have no idea if he was Swedish or not.) This particular chainsaw hated me and would go out of it’s way to make me look stupid by starting when I didn’t need it and then refusing to when everyone was waiting on me. I tried to have Husqvarna replaced. I heard of this guy named Stihl who was a great worker and I figured the Continue Reading →

Thomas Brown Cabin PIT Project – Part 2

The 25 foot U-Haul truck on a dirt road in the middle of the Mark Twain National Forest looked really out of place. But it was the three extra feet of huge pine logs sticking out the back that really caught my attention. The driver of the truck turned out to be Doug Stephens, a Director for Recreation Solutions, a historical restoration company from Colorado that works with the U. S. Forest Service. Doug had been brought in to coordinate this PIT project and explained that he had to drive the logs in from Colorado due to the difficulty Continue Reading →

Thomas Brown Cabin PIT Project – Part 1

After a two and a half hour drive, and one wrong turn (thanks Google Maps), here I was at the Winona Ranger Station looking for the “bunkhouse” that I would be staying in for the next week of my historic preservation adventure in the Mark Twain National Forest. What I didn’t know at that moment, was how much the next week would affect me personally.  I would meet some really great people that quietly take care of the historical places we all love.  I would also get to learn a lot about my own family history.  And as so often Continue Reading →

Grandma & Falling Springs Mill

A large part of my knowledge and interest in Ozarks history started with my Grandmother. She was a wonderful oil painter and especially loved to paint the many mills scattered around the Ozarks. One of the things I cherished most after her passing was a set of mills that she painted from Ozark County. I have Rockbridge, Zanoni, Hammond and Hodgson (We were not able to get the Dawt painting). After getting home, I was pleased to find a small mill painting that I had initially overlooked. My pleasure soon turned to surprise though when I turned the painting over Continue Reading →