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The Saint Francois Mountains, viewed here from Knob Lick Mountain, are the exposed geologic core of the Ozarks.
The Ozarks and its primary physiographic regions.
Elevation map of the Ozarks. Click to enlarge.

The Ozarks (also referred to as Ozark Mountain Country, the Ozark Mountains or the Ozark Plateau) are a physiographic, geologic, and cultural highland region of the central United States. It covers much of the south half of Missouri and an extensive portion of northwest and North central Arkansas. The region also extends westward into northeast Oklahoma and extreme southeast Kansas.

Although referred to as the Ozark Mountains, the region is actually a high and deeply dissected plateau. Geologically, the area is a broad dome around the Saint Francois Mountains. The Ozark Highlands area, covering nearly 47,000 square miles (122,000 km2), is by far the most extensive mountainous region between the Appalachians and the Rocky Mountains. Together, the Ozarks and Ouachita Mountains form an area known as the U.S. Interior Highlands, and are sometimes referred to collectively. For example, the ecoregion called Ozark Mountain Forests includes the Ouachita Mountains, although the Arkansas River valley and the Ouachitas, both south of the Boston Mountains, are not usually considered part of the Ozarks.


Origin of the name

Etymology of the name is a subject of speculation.

"Ozarks" is a toponym believed to be derived as a linguistic corruption of the French abbreviation "aux Arks" (short for aux Arkansas, or "toward Arkansas" in English)[1] in the decades prior to the French and Indian War, aux Arkansas originally referring to the trading post at Arkansas Post, located in wooded Arkansas Delta lowland area above the confluence of the White River with the Mississippi River.[2][3][4] "Arkansas" seems to be the French version of what the Illinois tribe (further up the Mississippi) called the Quapaw, who lived in eastern Arkansas in the area of the trading post. Eventually, the term came to refer to all Ozark Plateau drainage into the Arkansas and Missouri Rivers.

Other possible derivations include "aux arcs" meaning "toward the arches"[5] in reference to the dozens of natural bridges formed by erosion and collapsed caves in the Ozark region. These include Clifty Hollow Natural Bridge (actually a series of arches) in Missouri,[6] and Alum Cove in the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest. It is even suggested "aux arcs" is an abbreviation of "aux arcs-en-ciel", French for "toward the rainbows" which are a common sight in the mountainous regions. After the Louisiana Purchase, American travelers in the region referred to various features of the upland areas using the term "Ozark", such as "Ozark Mountains" and "Ozark forests." By the early 20th century, "The Ozarks" had become a generic term.[7][8]

Geographic subdivisions

The Ozarks consist of four primary physiographic sections—the Springfield Plateau, the Salem Plateau, the Saint Francois Mountains, and the Boston Mountains. Topography is mostly gently rolling, except in the Boston Mountains, along the escarpments separating the Springfield and Salem Plateaus, and the Saint Francois Range where it is rugged. Karst features such as springs,[9] losing streams, sinkholes, and caves are common in the limestones of the Springfield Plateau and abundant in the dolostone bedrock of the Salem Plateau and Boston Mountains.[10] Missouri is known as "The Cave State" with over 6000 recorded caves; the majority of these caves are found in the Ozark counties.[10][11] The Ozark Plateaus aquifer system affects groundwater movement in all areas except the igneous core of the St. Francois Mountains.[12][13][14][15] Geographic features unique to the Ozarks, particularly in Missouri, include limestone and dolomite gladesgrasses and forbs in shallow soil on exposed bedrock in sloping, otherwise heavily forested areas.[16][17]

The Boston Mountains are the highest section of the Ozarks. Summits can reach elevations of just over 2,560 feet (780 m) with valleys 500 to 1,550 feet (472 m) deep (150 m to 450 m). Turner Ward Knob (TWK) is the highest named peak. Located in western Newton County, Arkansas, its elevation is 2,463 feet (751 m). Nearby, five unnamed peaks have elevations at or slightly above 2,560 feet (780 m).


The Saint Francois Mountain Range rises above the Ozark Plateau and is the geological core of the highland dome. The igneous and volcanic rocks of the Saint Francois Mountains are the exposed remains of a Proterozoic mountain range. The mountains are the exposed portion of an extensive terrane (the Spavinaw terrane in part) of granitic and rhyolitic rocks dating from 1485 to 1350 mya that stretches from Ohio to western Oklahoma.[18] The core of the range existed as an island in the Paleozoic seas. Reef complexes occur in the sedimentary layers surrounding this ancient island. These flanking reefs were points of concentration for later ore-bearing fluids which formed the rich lead-zinc ores that have been and continue to be mined in the area. The igneous and volcanic rocks extend at depth under the relatively thin veneer of Paleozoic sedimentary rocks and form the basal crust of the entire region.[19]

Grey dolomite laid down c. 500 mya nonconformally overlies reddish rhyolite that formed close to 1500 mya in the St. Francois Mountains.

A major unconformity in the region attests that the Ozarks was above sea level for several hundred million years from the time of the volcanism in the Precambrian until the mid-Cambrian with an erosionally produced relief of up to 1500 feet.[19] The seas encroached during the late Cambrian producing the LaMotte sandstone (200 – 300 feet thick) followed by carbonate sedimentation. Coral reefs formed around the granite and rhyolite islands in this Cambrian sea. This carbonate formation, the Bonneterre now mostly dolomite, is exposed around the St. Francis mountains, but extends in the subsurface throughout the Ozarks and reaches a thickness of 400 to 1500 feet.[19] The Bonneterre is overlain by 500 to 600 feet of dolomite, often sandy, silty or cherty, forming the Elvins Group and the Potosi and Eminence Formations. Withdrawal of the seas resulted in another unconformity during the latest Cambrian and early Ordovician periods. Hydrothermal mineralizing fluids formed the rich lead ore deposits of the Lead Belt during this time.[19]

Sedimentation resumed in the Ordovician with the deposition of the Gunter sandstone, the Gasconade dolomite and the prominent Roubidoux sandstone and dolomite. The sandstone of the Roubidoux forms prominent bluffs along the streams eroding into the southern part of the Salem plateau. The Roubidoux and Gunter sandstones serve as significant aquifers when present in the subsurface. The source of the sands is considered to be the emerging Wisconsin Dome to the northeast.[19] The Ozark region remained as a subsiding shallow carbonate shelf environment with a significant thickness of cherty dolomites as the Jefferson City, Cotter and Powell formations.[19]

Portions of the Ozark Plateau, the Springfield plateau of southwest Missouri and northern Arkansas, are underlain by Mississippian cherty limestones locally referred to as Boone chert consisting of limestone and chert layers. These are eroded and form steep hills, valleys and bluffs.

During the Pennsylvanian Period the Ozark Plateau was uplifted as a result of the Ouachita orogeny. During the early Paleozoic a deep ocean basin existed in central and southern Arkansas. Then South America collided with North America creating the folded Ouachita Mountains and uplifting the Ozark plateau to the north.

Ecology and conservation

Ozark-St. Francis National Forest was created by proclamation of President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908. In 1939, Congress established Mark Twain National Forest at nine sites in Missouri. In 1976, Congress established Hercules-Glades Wilderness, the first of 13 designated wilderness areas in the Ozarks. In 1986, Congress established the Ozark Plateau National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Oklahoma. Protected areas ensure the recovery of endangered and threatened species including the Ozark big-eared bat, Indiana bat, Ozark cavefish, eastern small-footed bat, southeastern bat, southeastern big-eared bat, longnose darter, Ozark cave crayfish, Bowman's cave amphipod, Ozark cave amphipod, bat cave isopod, and Ozark chinquapin, and habitat of migratory birds, as well as geological, archeological, historical, and paleontological resources.

Commercial farms and processing operations are known to raise levels of chemical and biological contaminants in Ozark streams, threatening water supplies, recreational use and endangered native species.[20][21][22][23][24]

Lakes and streams

Big Spring, one of the largest in the United States, discharges 276 million gallons of water per day into Current River.
Big Sugar Creek in Southwest Missouri.

The United States Army Corps of Engineers lakes that were created by damming the White River beginning in 1911 with Lake Taneycomo have provided a large tourist, boating and fishing economy along the Missouri-Arkansas border. Six lakes were created by dams in the White River basin from 1911 through 1960. White River lakes include Lake Sequoyah,[25] a small recreational fishing lake east of Fayetteville, Arkansas, formed in 1961; Sequoyah is the uppermost impoundment on the White River. Below Sequoyah (northeast of Fayetteville) is Beaver Lake, formed in 1960. The White River continues northeasterly into Table Rock Lake (1958) in Missouri, which feeds directly into Taneycomo, where the river zigzags southeasterly into Arkansas forming Bull Shoals Lake along the Arkansas-Missouri line. Completed in 1952, Bull Shoals is the furthest downstream lake on the White River proper. Lake Norfork formed by damming the North Fork River, a tributary of the White River, in 1941.

The Lake of the Ozarks, Pomme de Terre Lake, and Truman Lake in the northern Ozarks were formed by impounding the Osage River and its tributary the Pomme de Terre River in 1931, 1961 and 1979 respectively. Grand Lake in Northeast Oklahoma was created in 1940. Stockton Lake was formed by damming the Sac River near the city of Stockton, Missouri in 1969 and supplements the water supply of Springfield in nearby Greene County. Most of the dams were built for the dual purpose of flood control and hydropower generation.

The creation of the lakes significantly altered the Ozark landscape and impacted traditional Ozark culture through displacement.[26][27][28][29] The streams provided water and power to communities, farms, and mills concentrated in the valleys prior to impoundment.[30] Many farm roads, river fords and railways were lost when the lakes came, disrupting rural travel and commerce. Baxter County, Arkansas alone saw nearly four-hundred people displaced to make way for the reservoir created by Norfork Dam. The town of Forsyth, Missouri was relocated in its entirety to a spot two miles from its previous location. Prior to damming, the White and Osage River basins were similar to the current conditions of the Buffalo, Elk, Niangua, Gasconade, Big Piney, Current, Jack’s Fork, Eleven Point, and Meramec Rivers.[26]

The Buffalo National River was created by an Act of Congress in 1972 as the nation's first National River administered by the National Park Service. In Missouri, the Ozark National Scenic Riverways,[31] was established in 1964 along the Current and Jacks Fork River as the first US national park based on a river system. The Eleven Point River is included in the National Wild and Scenic Riverways System established in 1968. These river parks annually draw a combined 1.5 million recreational tourists to the least populated counties in Arkansas and Missouri.

Missouri Ozark rivers include the Gasconade, Big Piney and the Niangua River in the north central region. The Meramec River and its tributaries Huzzah and Courtois Creeks are found in the northeastern Ozarks. The Black and St. Francis Rivers mark the eastern crescent of the Ozarks. The James, Spring, and North Fork Rivers are in south central Missouri. Forming the West central border of the Ozarks from Missouri through Kansas and into Oklahoma are Spring River and its tributary Center Creek. Grand Falls, Missouri's largest natural waterfall, a chert outcropping, includes bluffs and glades on Shoal Creek south of Joplin. All these river systems see heavy recreational use in season, including the Elk River in Southwest Missouri and its tributary Big Sugar Creek.

Ozark rivers and streams are typically clear water, with baseflows sustained by many seeps and springs, and flow through forests along limestone and dolomite bluffs. Gravel bars are common along shallow banks, while deep holes are found along bluffs.[32] Except during periods of heavy rain or snow melt – when water levels rise quite rapidly – their level of difficulty is suitable for most canoeing and tubing.

Fish hatcheries are common due to the abundance of springs and waterways.[28] The Neosho National Fish Hatchery was built in 1888; it was the first Federal hatchery. The Missouri Department of Conservation operates numerous warm and cold water hatcheries and trout parks;[33] private hatcheries such as Rockbridge[34] are found throughout the region.

Regional economy of the Ozarks


Traditional economic activity

Sly Mill, a grist and saw mill on Spring River in the Springfield Plateau, c. 1860.

The Ozarks contain ore deposits of lead, zinc, iron, and barite. Many of these deposits have been depleted by historic mining activities, but much remains and is currently being mined in the Lead Belt of south-central Missouri. Historically the lead belt around the Saint Francois Mountains and the Tri-state district lead-zinc mining area around Joplin, Missouri, have been very important sources of metals. Mining practices common in the early 20th century left significant undermining and heavy metal contamination in topsoil and groundwater in the Tri-state district.[35][36] Furthermore, active mining in south-central Missouri continues to hazard groundwater and streams.[37]

Much of the area supports beef cattle ranching, and dairy farming is common across the area. Dairy farms are usually cooperative affairs, with small farms selling to a corporate wholesaler who packages product under a common brand for retail sales. Petroleum exploration and extraction also takes place in the Oklahoma portion of the Ozarks, as well as in the east half of the Boston Mountains in Arkansas. Logging of both softwood and hardwood timber species on both private land and in the National Forests has long been an important economic activity.

The majority of the Ozarks is forested; oak-hickory is the predominant type; Eastern Junipers are common, with stands of pine often seen in the southern range. Less than a quarter of the region has been cleared for pasture and cropland.[38] Forests that were heavily logged during the early to mid-20th century have recovered; much of the remaining timber in the Ozarks is second-growth forest. However, deforestation of frontier forest contributed through erosion to increased gravel bars along Ozark waterways in logged areas; stream channels have become wider and shallower and deepwater fish habitat has been lost.[14]

The numerous rivers and streams of the region saw hundreds of water powered timber and grist mills.[39][40] Mills were important centers of culture and commerce; dispersed widely throughout the region, mills served local needs, often thriving within a few miles of another facility. Few Ozark mills relied on inefficient water wheels for power; most utilized a dam, millrace, and water turbine.[41]

During the New Deal, the Civilian Conservation Corps employed hundreds in the construction of nearly 400 fire lookouts throughout the Ozarks at 121 known sites in Arkansas and 257 in Missouri. Of those lookouts, about half remain, and many of them are in use by the Forest Service. A 2007 report by the National Trust for Historic Preservation deemed these fire lookouts and related structures as one of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.[42]

Current economic activities

Tourism is the growth industry of the Ozarks as evidenced by the growth of the Branson, Missouri, entertainment center celebrating the traditional Ozark culture.[29][43]

Poultry farming and food processing are significant industries throughout the region. The Tyson Foods corporation and ConAgra Foods each operates several hundred poultry farms and processing plants throughout the Ozarks. Schreiber Foods has operations throughout southern Missouri. Stillwell foods has frozen vegetable and other food processing centers in eastern Oklahoma.

The trucking industry is important to the regional economy with national carriers based there including J. B. Hunt, ABF, and Prime, Inc. Springfield remains an operational hub for BNSF Railway. Logging and timber industries are also significant in the Ozark economy with operations ranging from small family run sawmills to large commercial concerns. Fortune 500 companies such as Wal-Mart and Leggett & Platt are based in the Ozarks.

Ozark culture

Ozark also refers to a region of people with a distinct culture, architecture,[42][44] and dialect shared by the people who live on the plateau. Early settlers in Missouri were American pioneers who came West from the Southern Appalachians at the beginning of the 19th century,[28][45] followed in the 1840s and 50s by Irish and German immigrants. Much of the Ozark population is of German, English, and Scots-Irish descent, and the Ozark families from which the regional culture derived[45] tend to have lived in the area since the 19th century.[46]

Early settlers relied on hunting, fishing and trapping, as well as foraging to supplement their diets and incomes.[28] Today hunting and fishing for recreation are common activities and an important part of the tourist industry. Foraging for mushrooms, especially morels and ginseng, is common, and is financially supported by established buyers in the area. Other forages include poke, watercress, persimmons, and pawpaw; wild berries such as blackberry, raspberry, Red Mulberry, Black Cherry, wild strawberry, and dewberry; and wild nuts such as black walnut and even acorns.[47] Edible native legumes, wild grasses and wildflowers are plentiful, and beekeeping is common.[48]

Ozark culture is widely referenced in print and broadcast media. Where the Red Fern Grows, the Shepherd of the Hills[43] and As a Friend[49] are books set in the Ozarks. The 1999 film Ride with the Devil, based on the book Woe to Live On,[50] depicts warfare in Southwest Missouri during the Civil War.[51] Several early and influential country music television and radio programs originated from Springfield in the 1950s and 60s, including ABC-TV's Ozark Jubilee and The Slim Wilson Show on KYTV. Ozark musicians include Porter Wagoner and old-time fiddler Bob Holt.[52] Examples of commercial interpretations of traditional Ozark culture include the two major family theme parks in the region, Silver Dollar City and the now defunct Dogpatch U.S.A., and the resort entertainment complex in Branson. Ozark Folkways in Winslow, Arkansas and Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas interpret regional culture through musical performance and exhibitions of pioneer skills and crafts.

Traditional Ozark culture includes stories and tunes passed orally between generations through community music parties and other informal gatherings.[53] Many of these tunes and tales can be traced to the British Isles[54] and to German folklore. Moreover, historian Vance Randolph attributes the formation of much Ozark lore to individual families when "backwoods parents begin by telling outrageous whoppers to their children and end by half believing the wildest of these tales themselves."[45] Randolph collected Ozark folklore and lyrics in volumes such as the national bestseller Pissing in the Snow and Other Ozark Folktales (University of Illinois Press, 1976), Ozark Folksongs (University of Missouri Press, 1980), a four-volume anthology of regional songs and ballads collected in the 1920s and 30s,[54] and Ozark Magic and Folklore (Courier Dover Publications, 1964).[45] Evidenced by Randolph's extensive field work, many Ozark anecdotes from the oral tradition are often bawdy, full of wild embellishments on everyday themes.[55][56] In 1941-42, commissioned by Alan Lomax of the Archive of Folk Culture, Randolph returned to the Ozarks with a portable recording machine from the Library of Congress and captured over 800 songs, ballads, and instrumentals.[57] Selected from among these several hundred recordings, 35 tracks were released on Various Artists: Ozark Folksongs (Rounder Records) in 2001.[54]

Boston Mountains in the Arkansas Ozarks.

Square dances were an important social avenue throughout the Ozarks into the 20th century.[58][59][60] Square dances sprang up wherever people concentrated around mills and timber camps, springs, fords, and in towns small and large. Geographically isolated communities saw their own local dance tunes and variations develop.[58][59] Of all the traditional musicians in the Ozarks, the fiddler holds a distinct place in both the community and folklore.[58][59] Community fiddlers revered for carrying local tunes; regionally, traveling fiddlers brought new tunes and entertainment, even while many viewed their arrival as a threat to morality.[52][58][59][60] In 2007, Gordon McCann, a chronicler of Ozarks folklife and fiddle music for over four decades, donated a collection of audio recordings, fieldnotes and photographs to Missouri State University in Springfield.[61] The collection includes more than 3,000 hours of fiddle music and interviews recorded at jam sessions, music parties, concerts and dances in the Ozarks. Selected audio recordings along with biographical sketches, photographs, and tune histories were published in the 2008 book/CD set Ozarks Fiddle Music: 308 Tunes Featuring 30 Legendary Fiddlers,[62] with selections from 50 other Ozark fiddlers.

From 1973-83, the Bittersweet project, which began as an English class at Lebanon, Missouri High School, collected 476 taped and transcribed interviews, published 482 stories and took over 50,000 photographs documenting traditional Ozark culture.

Population influx since the 1950s,[27][29] coupled with geographically lying in both the Midwest and Upper South, proximity to the Mississippi embayment, the Osage and Northern Plains, contributes to changing cultural values in the Ozarks. Theme parks and theatres seen to reflect regional values have little in common with traditional Ozark culture. Community tradition bearers remain active, in decreasing numbers, far afield of commercial offers.[63][64]


Ozark religion, like that of Appalachia, was predominantly Baptist and Methodist during periods of early settlement; it tends to be conservative, or individualistic, with Anglicans, Assemblies of God, Baptists including Southern Baptists, Church of Christ, and other Protestant Pentecostal denominations present, as well as Catholics.[65][66] Religious organizations headquartered in the Ozarks include the Assemblies of God and the Baptist Bible Fellowship International in Springfield, and the Pentecostal Church of God in Joplin. The 1960s and 70s saw back-to-the-land farms and communes established in rural counties. The Ozarks are also home to some sects unique to the area.[citation needed]

See also

National Forests of the Ozarks
Ozark National Rivers and Wild Scenic Riverways
Hiking Trail Systems of the Ozarks


  1. ^ Stewart, George R. (1967). Names on the Land: A Historical Account of Place-Naming in the United States, p. 137. Houghton Mifflin, Boston.
  2. ^ Randolph, Vance. The Ozarks: An American Survival of Primitive Society. New York: The Vanguard Press, p. 14. 1931.
  3. ^ Arnold, Morris S. Unequal Laws Unto a Savage Race: European Legal Traditions in Arkansas, 1686-1836. University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville. 1985.
  4. ^ Arnold, Morris S. Colonial Arkansas 1686-1804: A Social and Cultural History. University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville. 1991.
  5. ^ E. Joan Wilson Miller. The naming of the land in the Arkansas Ozarks: A study in culture processes. Abstract Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 59 (2), 240–251. 1969.
  6. ^ Watkins, Conor. Ozarks geology: Clifty Creek Natural Area includes natural bridge, The Ozarks Chronicle, Rolla, Mo.
  7. ^ Morrow, Lynn (1996). "Ozark/Ozarks: Establishing a Regional Term". White River Valley Historical Quarterly 36 (2). http://thelibrary.springfield.missouri.org/lochist/periodicals/wrv/V36/N2/f96c.htm. Retrieved 2006-09-08. 
  8. ^ McMillen, Margot Ford. A to Z Missouri: The Dictionary of Missouri Place Names, Columbia, Missouri: Pebble Publishing, 1996. ISBN 0-9646625-4-X
  9. ^ Jerry D. Vineyard and Gerald L. Feder. Springs of Missouri. Missouri Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Geological Survey. 1974 (revised 1982).
  10. ^ a b Karst, Springs and Caves in Missouri, Missouri Department of Natural Resources
  11. ^ Scott House (2005-05-14). "Fact Sheet on 6000 Caves". The Missouri Speleological Survey, Inc.. http://www.mospeleo.org/docs/pr6000.htm. Retrieved 2008-03-16. 
  12. ^ Ozark Aquifer Map, United States Geological Survey.
  13. ^ Rafferty, Milton.The Ozarks as a Region: A Geographer's Description, OzarksWatch, Vol. I, No. 4, Spring 1988.
  14. ^ a b Project Tour - A quick visit to the Ozarks Stream Geomorphology Project, United States Geological Survey.
  15. ^ Ground Water Atlas of the United States: Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. United States Geological Survey
  16. ^ Spatial Interaction Webs in Ozark Glades. John Chase, Assistant Professor. Washington University in St. Louis.
  17. ^ Ware, Stewart. Rock Outcrop Plant Communities (Glades) in the Ozarks: A Synthesis, Abstract. The Southwestern Naturalist, Vol. 47, No. 4 (Dec., 2002), pp. 585-597.
  18. ^ Denison, Rodger E., et al., Geology and Geochemistry of the Precambrian Rocks in the Central Interior Region of the United States, Geological Survey Professional Paper 1241-C, 1984
  19. ^ a b c d e f A. G. Unklesbay, Jerry D. Vineyard. Missouri Geology — Three Billion Years of Volcanoes, Seas, Sediments, and Erosion, University of Missouri Press, 1992. ISBN 0-8262-0836-3
  20. ^ Endangered Species Guidesheet. Missouri Department of Conservation.
  21. ^ Research Project: Poultry Manure Management To Reduce Non-Point Source Phosphorus Pollution. United States Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service.
  22. ^ B. E. Haggard, P. A. Moore, Jr, I. Chaubey and E. H. Stanley. Nitrogen and Phosphorus Concentrations and Export from an Ozark Plateau Catchment in the United States: Abstract. Biosystems Engineering, Volume 86, Issue 1, September 2003, Pages 75-85.
  23. ^ Missouri Water Quality Report: 2006. Missouri Department of Natural Resources: Water Protection Program. April 1, 2007.
  24. ^ Spellman, Derek. Tribe urges swimmers to stay clear of Lost Creek, Spring River for now. The Joplin Globe. July 16, 2009.
  25. ^ Boss, Stephen K., Heil-Chapdelaine, Vanessa M. Mapping Landscape Change: An Historic and Bathymetric Study of Lake Sequoyah, Washington County, Arkansas
  26. ^ a b Watkins, Conor. The Meramec Basin Project: A Look Back 25 Years Later. Ozark Mountain Experience. Article 69 & 70 Combined. 2006.
  27. ^ a b Mountain Home (Baxter County): The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture.
  28. ^ a b c d Campbell, Rex R. Campbell, Mary. Hughes, Colleen. A Revolution in the Heartland: Changes in Rural Culture, Family and Communities, 1900–2000. University of Missouri: Department of Rural Sociology. Columbia, Missouri. 2004.
  29. ^ a b c Area and Economic Overview: Southwest Missouri Overall Economic Development Program. Southwest Missouri Council of Governments White Paper.
  30. ^ E. Joan Wilson Miller. Abstract The Ozark Culture Region as Revealed by Traditional Materials. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Volume 58 Issue 1, Pages 51-77. January 3, 1967.
  31. ^ Ozark National Scenic Riverways
  32. ^ MS Panfil, RB Jacobson. Hydraulic Modeling of In-channel Habitats in the Ozark Highlands of Missouri: Assessment of Physical Habitat Sensitivity to Environmental Change. USGS-Biological Resources Division.
  33. ^ http://mdc.mo.gov/areas/hatchery/ Missouri Fish Hatcheries and Trout Parks
  34. ^ Rockbridge
  35. ^ Lasmanis, Raymond. Tri-State and Viburnum Trend Districts, Rocks & Minerals, 11/1/1997.
  36. ^ GeoKansas: Lead and Zinc Mining, Kansas Geological Survey. Updated May 5, 2005.
  37. ^ The Element of Doom. High Plains Films. Doug Hawes-Davis, Director. 32 minutes, Color, 1993.
  38. ^ Primary Distinguishing Characteristics of Level III Ecoregions of the Continental United States, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Revised April 2000.
  39. ^ Index to the old mills of Missouri. Hosted by rootsweb, this incomplete list includes almost 250 old mills in Missouri alone.
  40. ^ Barry County, MO Mills (Rootsweb)
  41. ^ Suggs, George E., Jr. Water Mills of the Missouri Ozarks. University of Oklahoma Press: Norman, Oklahoma. 1990
  42. ^ a b National Trust Names Historic Structures in Missouri's Mark Twain National Forest One of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. June 14, 2007.
  43. ^ a b Snyder, Robert E. Shepherd of the Hills Country: Tourism Transforms the Ozarks, 1880s-1930s. The Journal of American Culture, Volume 27 Issue 1, Pages 117 - 119.
  44. ^ Andy Ostmeyer. Original Ozarks: Evidence of settlement before 1830 hard to find. Joplin Globe. June 21, 2009. According to the National Register of Historic Places, the Rice-Upshaw House, ca.1826, "is one of the two oldest remaining standing buildings in Arkansas, and a rare surviving example of a building from Arkansas' territorial period"; Wolf House, ca. 1825, overlooks the junction of the Norfork and White rivers; the Craighead-Henry House, ca. 1816, is "one of the oldest known structures in the interior [Missouri] Ozarks."
  45. ^ a b c d Randolph, Vance. Ozark Magic and Folklore. 367 pages. Courier Dover Publications, 1964.
  46. ^ Rafferty, Milton D. The Ozarks: Land and Life, University of Arkansas Press, 2nd ed., 2001. ISBN 1-55728-714-7
  47. ^ Phillips, Jan. Wild Edibles of Missouri. Missouri Department of Conservation, 2nd edition (1998). Cover, Introduction, Acknowledgments and Preface; Chapters; Color Plates.
  48. ^ The Naturalist. High Plains Films. Doug Hawes-Davis, Director. 32 minutes, Color/B&W, 2001.
  49. ^ Gander, Forrest. As a Friend. New York City: New Directions Publishing Corporation. 2008.
  50. ^ Woodrell, Daniel. Woe to Live On. Henry Holt, 1987.
  51. ^ Ward L. Schrantz. Jasper County, Missouri in the Civil War. 1923.
  52. ^ a b Henigan, Julie. Play Me Something Quick and Devilish: Bob Holt - Old-Time Square Dance Fiddler, Musical Traditions, Article MT021, June 1998.
  53. ^ Aunt Shelle Stormoe. How to Spot a Genuine Ozark Hillbilly. October 23, 2008.
  54. ^ a b c Smith, Vic. Review of Ozark Folksongs, Musical Traditions, January 2001.
  55. ^ University of Illinois Press Catalog Entry on Pissing in the Snow and Other Ozark Folktales
  56. ^ Florer, Faith L. Book Review. Pissing in the snow and other Ozark folktales. Whole Earth Review. Summer, 1987. "Because of their--ahem--subject matter, the tales contained in this volume could not be published with Randolph's four great collections of Ozark material published in the 1950s, and have till recently been circulating only in manuscript and on elusive microfilm."
  57. ^ Rounder Records Catalog Entry.
  58. ^ a b c d Karen Mulrenin, Rita Saeger and Terry Brandt. Old-Time Ozark Square Dancing. Bittersweet, Volume II, No. 1, Fall 1974.
  59. ^ a b c d Foreman, Diana. Fiddlin' Around. Bittersweet, Volume V, No. 2, Winter 1977.
  60. ^ a b Edited and photography by Allen Gage. Old-Time Fiddling: A Traditional Folk Art With Four Ozark Musicians, Bittersweet, Volume IX, No. 3, Spring 1982.
  61. ^ Gordon McCann pledges collection to Missouri State University: Four decades of material will be housed in Meyer Library. Missouri State University Press Release. September 26, 2007.
  62. ^ Beisswenger, Drew. McCann, Gordon. Ozarks Fiddle Music: 308 Tunes Featuring 30 Legendary Fiddlers. Book/CD Set. Mel Bay Publications, Inc. 2008.
  63. ^ Jam Sessions in Southwest Missouri. Missouri State University Libraries.
  64. ^ Bob Holt: Fiddler from the Missouri Ozarks. Local Legacies project of the Library of Congress.
  65. ^ "The Association of Religion Data Archives | Maps & Reports". Thearda.com. http://www.thearda.com/mapsReports/reports/state/05_2000.asp. Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  66. ^ "The Association of Religion Data Archives | Maps & Reports". Thearda.com. http://www.thearda.com/mapsReports/reports/state/29_2000.asp. Retrieved 2010-02-19. 

External links

Coordinates: 37°10′55.93″N 92°30′57.13″W / 37.1822028°N 92.5158694°W / 37.1822028; -92.5158694

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

The Ozarks [1] is in the USA and includes areas in southern Missouri, northern Arkansas, and eastern Oklahoma.

Buffalo National River
Buffalo National River
  • Buffalo National River[2] In northern Arkansas is an unpolluted and free-flowing river in the heart of the Ozarks. It has both swift water and calm streaches.


The Ozarks is a plateau that covers 50,000 sq. miles. There is also an Ozark culture which embodies the people that live in this region. The area has rolling hills, mountains that have eroded over time along with many man-made lakes. All of this makes the area attractive for outdoor activities including fishing, hunting and hiking.

The area became a popular tourist attraction overnight with Harold Bell Wright's 1907 novel, "The Shepherd of the Hills". His novel told a story about the mountain country and hill people nearby Branson, Missouri.


The people of the Ozarks have their own way of talking and a set of terms that you might not hear outside the region. For example some of the common terms are; "Frog Strangler" or "Gully Warsher" both of which mean a heavy rain. You might hear some way say "You look mighty peakid, are you a-fixen to be sick?" Others are "Rosanears" is corn on the cob, "yourn" is yours "Is that yourn?", a "krick" is a creek, "pritnear" is almost like ""I'm pritnear done with this". The hill people of the Ozarks are affectionately called Hillbillies.

  • Interstate 44 runs across the Missouri Ozarks from St. Louis to Tulsa.
  • Interstate 40 runs East-West along the southern edge of the Ozarks
  • Interstate 70 runs East-West along the northern edge on the Ozarks.
  • Also historic Route 66 runs from St. Louis to Tulsa in the Ozarks.

Get around

The best way to get around is to drive. You will also get a good fill of the scenery driving the hills of the Ozarks.

  • Roaring River State Park, [3] in southwest Missouri has a fresh water steam with trout fishing, camping and hiking.
  • Branson, Missouri with world class entertainment and access to Table Rock Lake for Bass fishing and Lake Taneycomo for lake trout fishing.
  • Eureka Springs, Arkansas sometimes called the little Switzerland of the Ozarks and on other occasions the San Francisco of the Ozarks. Local craft shops and art galleries, good food and shopping. Close to Beaver Lake with fishing, water skiing, swimming and other water sports. Don't forget to see the Passion Play.


Visit the Lake of the Ozarks area

Canoe one of the clear, clean rivers of the Ozarks, to include: the National Scenic Jack's Fork or the Current rivers, Elk River, Meramec, Big Piney, Gasconade, or the Huzzah. For the fishers, all contain good populations of smallmouth bass.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




  1. Plural form of Ozark.


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