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Unique Finds in Dewey Short Visitors Center


One of the most pristine lakes in Branson, Missouri is Table Rock Lake. The man-made lake was created in the 1950s by the US Army Corps of Engineers when the White River was dammed for flood control purposes. No one expected the creation of this beautiful lake just by creating a dam. And now, Table Rock Lake has been one of the most famous attractions in Branson, Missouri. Tourists from all over the world recognize this lake as one of the best places to go to experience amazing outdoors and exciting water activities. Thanks to the Table Rock Dam, the creation of this lake would not have been possible. There’s a fascinating story behind all of this and can be found out at Dewey Short Visitors Center! Get ready to be flooded by the dam’s history, fun and entertaining interactive displays, unique gifts, breathtaking views, and so much more!

The Dewey Short Visitors Center was named after Dewey Jackson Short, a Republican US Representative from Missouri’s 7th Congressional District and elected for a whopping twelve terms in office. He was one of the biggest advocates of the funding of the Table Rock Dam project and he was an avid supporter of the project. Thanks to US Representative Short, the construction of the dam did not take too long. It started in 1954 and was dedicated just after 5 years, 1959. The Dewey Short Center is located directly off Highway 165 next to the Table Rock Dam. It has the history of the dam as well as the vision and mission of Dewey Jackson Short inside. Today, visitors come here to learn more about the dam and also the lake that was simultaneously created with the dam.

Looking at the Dewey Short Visitors Center, you will see that it is a very distinct, modern-style building perched on the shores of Table Rock Lake. Its opening in April 2012 attracted locals and tourists and thus was recognized as the “crown jewel” of Table Rock Lake. There is an outdoor viewing deck that lets you set your eyes on the main channel of Table Rock Lake. You can also snap photos so that you would have something to remember! There are also a walking path and a small rock garden with a wooden bridge as the visitors center’s outside features. But there’s more in the inside!

Once you’re inside the Dewey Short Visitors Center, you will find a theater that holds a film about the dam to your left. Looking to your right, you will find The Discovery Shop, where you can buy all the unique Ozark gifts and souvenirs. It is one of the best Ozark gift shops in the city limits where you can find hats, t-shirts, and other fun Table Rock-Themed merchandises. Don’t forget to check out the shelves for bird books, field guides, local historical books, puzzles, science-centered games, and fun gadgets for little nature lovers like small clip-on compasses and bug catchers. Also, be sure to check the front desk for postcards that feature photos of the Dewey Short Visitors Center, maps and pamphlets for the Tri-Lakes and Branson Area.

You might be wondering where all the history about the Table Rock Lake and Dam can be found. Don’t panic because you will find all of the history you want downstairs of the Dewey Short Visitors Center! There are walls and murals, displaying the history of the dam. There is also a Native American artefact exhibit, educating visitors about the Indians that lived in the area. The White River is interactively displayed on a board downstairs, showing its length and what happens to it when rainfall causes the dam to be opened or closed. There are so many things that you will learn, even about the inner workings of a hydroelectric dam! Besides that, there is also another interactive exhibit, which will show you a lot of things and can even find out how much power it takes to hand crank enough electricity to and electric blender! Kids can learn about water safety and know the importance of wearing a life jacket and following safe water/boating procedures while in the lake area. Learn more about the lakeside wildlife through the wall to wall diorama room, showcasing the fishes, birds, and other critters at Table Rock Lake. With how the diorama is painted, you will definitely feel that you are in an actual wildlife location!


Feel immersed in the wonderful history of the Table Rock Dam and the amazing Ozarks’ wildlife in Dewey Short Visitors Center! This is absolutely a great way to spend you Branson vacation!

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