Branson is located in Taney
County just south of Springfield Missouri near the Arkansas border in
the Ozark Mountains.
It is said that in the 1880s,
Branson was named after general store owner and postmaster, Rueben
In 1912, on the White river, the Powersite Dam was constructed creating
Branson gained popularity from
novelist Harold Bell Wright who wrote his book about the Ozark
Live performances known as The Shepherd of the Hills based on that novel
still run today in Branson.
Since the 60s, many other shows
have been developed to entertain the growing numbers of tourist visiting
Branson and the surrounding areas including The Baldknobbers Jamboree
(opened in 1959). Today Branson is known for its many shows from country
music, to family comedy, to variety shows, and even acrobatic
As early as 1894 visitors
to the Branson area to see Marble Cave and in 1950, the Herschend Family
obtained a 99 year lease on the cave and began holding square dances
in it. The family installed steps into the cave and added electricity.
By 1960, the Herschends opened
five "frontier" style stores and an old country church. In addition,
they hired actors to recreate the feud between the Hattfields and the
McCoys, hoping to entertain the shoppers. They called this center Silver
Dollar City which has grown considerably since then and today is a
thriving amusement park with a country/frontier theme offering rides,
food, light displays, and much more.
The television show, The Beverly Hillbillies which ran in the late 60s and early 70s created several episodes that were set in the area (Branson being the original home of the Clampetts), bringing more popularity the small, but growing city.