Google+
Black Oak Ridge, Missouri Ozarks

Ozarks’ premier online magazine welcomes you!

These old hills are home to a people. A people defined by a region — a people who have come to define that region. It is easy to understand plateaus and highlands, rivers, boundaries. It is not so easy to understand a people, a culture, a sensibility. These old hills are rugged. Long ago, they attracted the desperate, the independent. The foolish.

This page is graciously sponsored by Victory Chiro! See more at right! --->

Frenchman from New Orleans. Early British pioneers. Poor Irish immigrants, then black-dirt farmers from Indiana and Illinois. Southerners to establish Missouri as a slave state. Unionists from Ohio and Iowa. German immigrants by the scores, with high-minded sensibilities, organizational skills and a desire to escape political persecution in Europe. The foolish died quickly or moved away. The independent flourished.

The foolish died quickly or moved away.

The depraved found safety — and often became more depraved.

In the 19th century, the Ozarks were a lonely, dangerous place. And what little law and order existed before the ravages of war, there was none after. Stories of deadly bushwhackers, baldknobbers and just plain-out-and-out-coldblooded killers make for romantic legends today. It wasn’t too romantic at the time.

How would you like to walk to school one morning and find the body of a neighbor hanging from a tree? Or work from dawn ’till dusk for months, only to see locust clouds descend over the hills, eating crops, grass, even fenceposts?

Life in these hills was hard.

Out of that hardness was bred a people — a people defined as stalwart, laconic, distrustful. A people self-reliant. To define the Ozark region by its culture? Some would say these peoples are a microcosm of all that makes the United States what it is. This State of the Ozarks.

— Joshua Heston, editor April 26, 2009

State of the Ozarks is one of the definitive websites of the Ozarks.

Not a government sponsored travel site nor a local advertisement page, StateoftheOzarks is privately owned and dedicated to the history, culture and the people of the Ozarks.

The Ozarks region has long been a respected place where the American Heartland still has a voice. Where time runs a little slower, the folks are friendlier, and rivers a bit cleaner. A place that stands in book end answer to elite Eastern sensibilities and the flash of LA culture.

The Ozarks are still here. And we’re still proud of that.

“...endless summer time.”

by Joshua Heston

One of these days, I reckon I’ll actually grow up (though as I grow older, being a kid again looks like a lot more fun).

I remember summer days that stretched on forever. I remember seasons slowly passing — when the local fair and my birthday, Christmas and even Halloween looked as though they would never arrive!

I remember the joy of an endless summer as though the white puffy clouds and azure blue sky simply could never not last forever.

Then adulthood happened. Schedules and deadlines happened. Responsibility happened. Now a whole summertime goes by faster than a week of my childhood. It’s downright depressing.

Easy it is to lament the lost past. Perhaps we are lamenting the belief the best is now behind us. Lost inexpressibly before we could really, truly savor the moment. What’s ahead?

The unknown. Loss? Darkness? Conflict? Impossible to tell.

But I can tell you this: We are surrounded by scores of immensely talented, amazing people. We live in one of the most beautiful regions of the world. And I believe some of the greatest contributions to our art, our music, our lives, our culture, our history, are yet to be made.

And I have an idea. Perhaps, if we look to the future with anticipation rather than trepidation, life will slow down just a mite. Each day might pass just a bit sweeter.

Perhaps we will see those around us with new eyes, wondering what amazing piece of a beautiful future they will create. Yes, there will be conflict and darkness and loss.

But there will also be beauty and joy and life.

And maybe then it will be like it was in the old days, waiting interminable weeks, until the county fair would open and we could go eat all the cotton candy we wanted and ride away the night on the Ferris Wheel, the Scrambler or the Tilt-A-Whirl.

A future that will last forever. A future filled with, well, filled with people markedly like us. We get to create their past. We get to paint a picture for them, a reminder —

The good old days weren’t all gone. There is hope and light yet.

— from August 10, 2014, State of the Ozarks Weekly Issue 349

Celebrate the Ozarks in Your Inbox!

Sign up to receive State of the Ozarks Weekly free in your inbox every Sunday at 5PM!

10/5/08, Black Oak Ridge. Photo credit, Joshua Heston. Location: Stone County, Missouri

From Shepherd of the Hills

“And this way runs the trail that lies along the higher, sunlit hills where those who journey see afar and the light lingers even when the day is done.”

— Harold Bell Wright, 1907

Check out These Recent ArticleS:

Buddy by Estella Padgett / Ginny Hoff

Buddy by Estella Padgett. “Most horses would start telling their life story from the time they were born. As I look back, I realize my life really didn’t begin until I was thirteen...” To read more, Click Here!

Shall We Gather At The River by R.B. Bailey

Shall We Gather by R.B. Bailey. “The Ozarks. How many years have been at work upon these ancient hills ground down by glacial grit?” To read more, Click Here!

Dorothy Matters by Cindy Clark

Dorothy Matters by Cindy Clark. “The year 1933 seems like a simpler time by modern standards; it was not...” To read more, Click Here!

Bubble Lights by Dave Loftin

Bubble Lights by Dave Loftin. “One of my favorite memories from my childhood years was going to Paw-Paw and Granny’s house...” To read more, Click Here!

Celebrate the Ozarks in Your Inbox!

Every week, we celebrate the Ozarks with a brand-new issue of State of the Ozarks Weekly, cram packed with articles and topped off with a traditional recipe.

Sign up to receive State of the Ozarks Weekly free in your inbox every Sunday at 5PM!

Check out These Articles As well:

Sycamore Log Church

Sycamore Log Church. “The cicadas sang to the hot summer air of the holler, air redolent with cedar...” To read more, Click Here!

Pythian Castle Ghosts

Pythian Castle Ghosts. “There was a knock on the heavy oak door, a door sheltered beneath massive Carthage limestone...” To read more, Click Here!

Prince Ivan

Prince Ivan. “Nothing is more powerful in music than changing minds and hearts. It sails right past the intellect...” To read more, Click Here!

Robbie Blackwood & Joshua Heston

Branson Terry Awards 2015. “The Starlite Theatre became the perfect venue last Sunday night as Branson entertainers arrived in black limos...” Click Here! Photos courtesy of Beckie Fairchild.

Ozark Poetry

Ozark Poetry. “I can’t write poetry. Let’s get that out of the way right now...” To read more, Click Here!

Riders in the Sky

Riders in the Sky. “I can’t think of a better way to kick off our new section of recorded interviews than with two-time Grammy award winners, Riders in the Sky...” To read more, Click Here!

Hogscald Holler by Lance Estep

Snake Royalty by Ben Dalton. “A speckled kingsnake has caught the scent of its prey: the copperhead. Nearing the would-be predator, the kingsnake strikes!” To read more, Click Here!

Hogscald Holler by Lance Estep

Hogscald Holler by Lance Estep with Joshua Heston. “He has heard my great-great grandfather preach at Hogscald Holler and he showed me how to get there.” To read more, Click Here!

Chinkapin Oak State of the Ozarks Page Sponsor

Victory Chiropractic

Victory Chiropractic

Tami’s Story...

Imagine having chest pains at the young age of 23! That was me! I was doing high-stress social work and my husband Bo (pictured with me above) hurried me to Urgent Care. I was diagnosed with an “infection of the heart” and sent home with Vioxx.

Yes, that Vioxx, the one later removed from the market. My husband was skeptical and I chose not to take the pills.

Later that year, I hurt my back at the gym and made an appointment with Bo’s chiropractor — that's what we do, right? Visit a chiropractor only when we hurt?

That’s when I discovered my chest pain was from a rib out of place! Then and there I learned what principled chiropractic meant!

click to visit our sponsor!

That one event changed the course of our lives. The more we learned how God designed our bodies, the more we believed in the power of chiropractic and the beauty of His design.

Bo caught the passion and discovered his purpose in life! You see, my husband is now Doctor Bo Bandy. He now helps others find and keep their God-given health potential.

Our vision is to greatly and beautifully impact one family at a time. True, principled chiropractic is so much more than we have been led to believe. What is standing between you and your God-given health?

...For more of Tami’s story, click here!

Visit Victory Chiro’s Facebook Page. Call (417) 337-7077. Email victorychiro@live.com

CLICK TO VISIT! State of the Ozarks Page Sponsor

Baldknobber Vigilantes

(Kirbyville, MO) The early spring day [believed to be April 5, 1885] dawned bright and clear. The meeting grounds were on top of Snapp's Bald, a great treeless peak located about two miles northwest of Kirbyville, a village of approximately five miles southwest of Forsyth and not far from the Kinney home.

"Barren of timber and underbrush, the spot had been selected because sentries could insure the secrecy and security of the proceedings. This particular peak commanded a view of the countryside that discouraged interlopers from drawing nearer than a half mile."

From Baldknobbers: Vigilantes on the Ozark Frontier, 1988.

State of the Ozarks

Email the Editor:
Josh@StateoftheOzarks.net

State of the Ozarks Inc.
© 2007-2016

Copy and/or use of any portion of this site for commercial reasons without written consent is expressly prohibited.

PO Box 205, Hollister, MO 65673

Proud Member of Table Rock Lake Chamber of Commerce

Table Rock Lake Chamber of Commerce Logo
ozark pine

StateoftheOzarks.net

Celebrating & Preserving the Ozarks