- Published on Friday, July 19 2013 2:10 PM
Written by Neil Sawford
Posted by Mark Ruda
Over 100 Years of Branson History
Described by the American news program 60 Minutes as the “Live Music Capital of the Entire Universe,” Branson has been a popular spot for tourists from Missouri as well as its neighboring areas, primarily due to its collection of entertainment theaters. For over a hundred years, Branson has established its name and its fame.
Branson was officially incorporated in 1912, named after Reuben Branson, who opened a post office and a general store in the area in 1882. By 1884, Marble Cave was established and attracted local tourists. But it was not until 1907, when Harold Wright published “The Shepherd of the Hills”, which featured the Ozark Mountains where Marble Cave in Branson can be found, that its tourism industry bloomed.
Since then, Branson has been the setting of various entertainment shows. In 1962 Paul Henning, inspired by a Boy Scout camping trip to the Ozarks, created The Beverly Hillbillies which ran on first-run television until 1971.The Presley’s moved their show to Branson in 1967. Eventually Branson would have more than 50 theaters, most of them located on Highway 76.
Today, Branson has established itself as a leading forefront in the local entertainment industry. Over a hundred years of Branson, it still attracts tourists from all over the planet. It consists of numerous entertainment theaters, shops, museums and restaurants.
The shops in Branson are unlike any other. You can find shops which could blast you to the past and take you away from the traditional four-cornered stores in the metro. Specialty shops such as ABC Dolls & Collectibles and Aromatique Outlet Store can be found in the area. Another thing about Branson is that, there are jewelry shops that have specialty hand-made pieces by local artists and other unique pieces. These jewelries are made available in Black Hills & Fine Jewelry and Plum Bazaar Bead &Jewelry Shop. There is also Dicks 5 & 10, which can offer anything you might need, and even more. If you ever go looking for crinolines and lace, Patricia’s Victorian House is the place to be. From antiques to jewelry shops, flea markets and thrift stores are indispensable. Items made out of and centered on the wonders of pennies can be found in the Copper Coin. Main Street Flea Market, Old Town Flea Market, and The Classy Flea are the flea markets and thrift stores in Branson. With all of these shops, Branson will not only give you items for consumption, but also take you to different kinds of adventures.
MUSEUMS & ATTRACTIONS
A trip to Branson will not be complete with only shopping. The historical place provides guests with a little afternoon entertainment as well. Branson is home to museums and other attractions too. Different aspects of a hundred years of Branson’s history and rotating exhibits are featured in the Branson Centennial Museum, which is free to the public. But donations should come in handy. For downtown Branson, the Branson Ghosts & Legends tour is available. It packages a different side of the historical place, in where you will hear stories and legends you will never hear in other places. Take a journey into the heart of Branson and maybe even capture evidences of the other side. A perfect way to spend a chill afternoon is to take a ride on the Branson Scenic Railway. The one hour 45 minute trip will take passengers through tunnels, over trestles, and through the southwest Missouri or northwest Arkansas – a place which is still known to be home to wildlife and ruins of long-ago communities. And on Saturdays, the train ride offers passengers a dinner and takes them to witness the beauty of the Ozark scenery. It is a must to take the many train cars because each could take guests to different views of railroad history.
Branson is known to have a theme of originality. Thus, the area offers dining from family owned and operated restaurants. Specialty sandwiches are available in Clocker’s Café, Hot Hits Café, Loosie Lou’s Diner, Main Street Alley Snack & Shop, Smack’s Deli & Ice cream, and The Shack, which are local favorites and each shop has its own unique feel. Classic eateries are Farmhouse Restaurant & Gifts and Mr. B’s Ice Cream & Deli Shop, which definitely serve the best meals and ice cream. Italian food has been all over the world and is definitely present in Branson too. Mr. G’s Chicago Style Pizza has amazing pizza, and Rocky’s Italian Eatery offer some of the best Italian food in town. For some relaxed afternoon coffee or tea, Ruby Lena’s Tea Room & Antiques is the place to be. Branson not only provides guests with comfort food and relaxed coffee and tea, but also some fine dining as well. Palate Fine Wines & Provisions and Table 22 Restaurants offer that much anticipated fine dining experience.
As Branson faces the coming years, it continues to grow and build onto its rich hundred years of history, and will surely be accommodating visitors, and entertaining them for many years to come.