Archive Posts

Apple Butter Makin’

Apple Butter Makin’ by Dale Grubaugh There’s a great big pan of cat-head biscuits a’bakin’ off in the oven…. Made from scratch of course. Settin’ before me is a butter dish with a fresh stick of real butter and a jar of homemade apple butter. All three of us are a’waitin’ fer those biscuits to…

Bubble Lights

Bubble Lights by Dave Loftin One of my favorite memories from my childhood years was going to Paw-Paw and Granny’s house. They were fantastic grandparents and I remember Granny doing certain things that didn’t happen at home. I remember that Granny would freely provide between meals and she never seemed to run out of store-bought…

The Blacksmith

The Blacksmith. BY JOSHUA HESTON Unique. There is something unique about our perception of blacksmithing. As Buddy Ebsen noted (below), the blacksmith was “one of the most essential of all the pioneer craftsmen.” Perhaps that is why it figures so predominately in American culture of the 19th century. And while the art was ubiquitous in…

German Culture in the Ozarks

German Culture in the Ozarks by Joshua Heston The year was 1830. Across Germany, folks of all walks of life were reading the work of writer Gottfried Duden. His book Bericht über eiene Reise nach den westlichen Staaten Nordamerika’s made an enormous impact in Continental Europe — and consequently the United States — and for…

Persimmon Snow

PLATE 1. Detail photo, persimmon bark (Diospyros virginiana). Persimmon Snow by Joshua Heston It was a persimmon snow that fell heavily across the Ozarks just prior to the 72nd anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day. Branson tourism came to a stormy halt as the week’s previously balmy 70-degree temperatures were replaced by icy winds and a…

Ice Roses

Ice Roses BY JOSHUA HESTON If you find yourself traipsing about an Ozark hillside sometime this winter, it might be a good idea to watch where you’re going. Otherwise, you may put your foot down on an ice rose. Ice roses, also known as frost flowers, are rare natural formations. They form at certain altitudes…

The Red Fern

The Red Fern BY JOSHUA HESTON If you search the internet carefully, you’ll learn the truth. Truth that red ferns exist only the realm of cryptobotany. What does that mean? It means the red fern is a figment. Made-up. A bit of literary imagining. A myth. Sort of like Bigfoot. But prettier. That’s if you…

Alley Spring

Alley Spring BY JOSHUA HESTON Alley Springs is located three miles west of Eminence on Route 106 in rural Shannon County, Missouri. The spring has been given a rank of 7, with daily flow around 81-84 million gallons of water. The spring surges into the Jacks Fork River. Water has been shown to flow into…

Knife Making

Plate 1. Ozark knives against rabbit skins and oak leaves. State of the Ozarks Photo Archive. Knife Making by Joshua Heston Plate 2. Jehu Knife Detail, May 30, 2014. Like fire and ice, the beauty of a hand-crafted knife captivates the imagination. An age-old art, knife making hearkens of generations past. Knives are essential tools,…

The 37th Annual War Eagle Craft Fair

The 37th Annual War Eagle Craft Fair by Joshua Heston and Dale Grubaugh It all started with a heavy rain. The clouds rolled over the Ozark hills along with unseasonably cold temperatures. Plate 2. Downpours hit the high country of the Boston Mountains — the headwaters of the White River, the Kings River, and the…

Cushaw Pumpkins

Plate 1. Shmoo In The Cradle (Jonathan’s Pumpkin or White Cushaw), February 5, 2008. As a side note, this particular cushaw weighed in at 20.5 pounds. Now that’s prolific! — the editor Cushaw by Donny Heston Unsuspectingly, I took a packet of Jere Gettle’s white cushaw seeds and planted four hills, each a hoe-handle length…

Dried Fruit

Plate 1. Harvest-time maple leaves, Roark Mountain. October 5, 2008. Dried Fruit from How They Lived In The Ozarks by Chick Allen Chick Allen, fourth generation in the Ozarks — of Indian blood — was born in a log cabin on the James River. This is the story of the way the early Indians and…

Feature Articles

Apple Butter Makin’

Apple Butter Makin’ by Dale Grubaugh There’s a great big pan of cat-head biscuits a’bakin’ off in the oven…. Made from scratch of course. Settin’ before me is a butter dish with a fresh stick of real butter and a jar of homemade apple butter. All three of us are a’waitin’ fer those biscuits to…

Bubble Lights

Bubble Lights by Dave Loftin One of my favorite memories from my childhood years was going to Paw-Paw and Granny’s house. They were fantastic grandparents and I remember Granny doing certain things that didn’t happen at home. I remember that Granny would freely provide between meals and she never seemed to run out of store-bought…

The Blacksmith

The Blacksmith. BY JOSHUA HESTON Unique. There is something unique about our perception of blacksmithing. As Buddy Ebsen noted (below), the blacksmith was “one of the most essential of all the pioneer craftsmen.” Perhaps that is why it figures so predominately in American culture of the 19th century. And while the art was ubiquitous in…

German Culture in the Ozarks

German Culture in the Ozarks by Joshua Heston The year was 1830. Across Germany, folks of all walks of life were reading the work of writer Gottfried Duden. His book Bericht über eiene Reise nach den westlichen Staaten Nordamerika’s made an enormous impact in Continental Europe — and consequently the United States — and for…

Persimmon Snow

PLATE 1. Detail photo, persimmon bark (Diospyros virginiana). Persimmon Snow by Joshua Heston It was a persimmon snow that fell heavily across the Ozarks just prior to the 72nd anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day. Branson tourism came to a stormy halt as the week’s previously balmy 70-degree temperatures were replaced by icy winds and a…

Ice Roses

Ice Roses BY JOSHUA HESTON If you find yourself traipsing about an Ozark hillside sometime this winter, it might be a good idea to watch where you’re going. Otherwise, you may put your foot down on an ice rose. Ice roses, also known as frost flowers, are rare natural formations. They form at certain altitudes…

Alley Spring

Alley Spring BY JOSHUA HESTON Alley Springs is located three miles west of Eminence on Route 106 in rural Shannon County, Missouri. The spring has been given a rank of 7, with daily flow around 81-84 million gallons of water. The spring surges into the Jacks Fork River. Water has been shown to flow into…

Knife Making

Plate 1. Ozark knives against rabbit skins and oak leaves. State of the Ozarks Photo Archive. Knife Making by Joshua Heston Plate 2. Jehu Knife Detail, May 30, 2014. Like fire and ice, the beauty of a hand-crafted knife captivates the imagination. An age-old art, knife making hearkens of generations past. Knives are essential tools,…

Cushaw Pumpkins

Plate 1. Shmoo In The Cradle (Jonathan’s Pumpkin or White Cushaw), February 5, 2008. As a side note, this particular cushaw weighed in at 20.5 pounds. Now that’s prolific! — the editor Cushaw by Donny Heston Unsuspectingly, I took a packet of Jere Gettle’s white cushaw seeds and planted four hills, each a hoe-handle length…

Dried Fruit

Plate 1. Harvest-time maple leaves, Roark Mountain. October 5, 2008. Dried Fruit from How They Lived In The Ozarks by Chick Allen Chick Allen, fourth generation in the Ozarks — of Indian blood — was born in a log cabin on the James River. This is the story of the way the early Indians and…

Grandma Gwinn’s Ginger Bread

Grandma Gwinn’s Ginger Bread by Joshua Heston I remember my great grandma, Lula [Benge] Gwinn, although she passed away when I was only four. She lived in all-but forgotten Leroy, Iowa, in a tiny, shingle-sided house surrounded by lilacs. Although she lived her whole life up in the rolling hills and hollers of Lucas County,…

Ozark Cooking

Ozark Cooking by Joshua Heston I think it is darned near impossible to separate Ozark culture from Ozark cooking. And with culinary sensibilities long-inherited from a tradition best described as “Southern by way of the Cumberland Gap,” I’m happy to now preside as editor over this section. Great Pumpkin Sheet Cake from Dale Grubaugh Cake:…