State of the Ozarks Online Magazine is one of the definitive publications 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.

Stories of culture, craftsmanship, history, people of the hills, and so much more… CLICK HERE FOR MORE

Articles on our Ozarks natural heritage, from trees and flowers to fishing and hunting… CLICK HERE FOR MORE

This week in StateofthOzarks…

The Celtic World

John Anster Fitzgerald (1823-1906), Titania and Bottom The Celtic World by Joshua Heston “From the cradle to the grave our every move is shadowed by beings not quite of this world.” (1) In the old days, before our inundation of technology, before we could pat ourselves on the back for having discovered every mystery worth finding,…

Irish Games in the Hills

Irish Games in the Hills by Joshua Heston I suspect more than one exasperated hillbilly has — unknowingly — participated in the old Celtic games of strength. The necessary components are at hand. First, there are plenty of stones for throwing. Second, there are a great number of Irish and Scotch families in these hills.…

About the Ozarks...

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.

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.

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About the Ozarks (continued)...

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.

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-in-chief April 26, 2009