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What was planned to be an industrial center in the Ozarks, generating trainloads of lumber, logs and manufactured products in 1903, soon became the spot where an idea of making Branson a resort town took shape. In 1912 Branson became incorporated and with the thoughts of bringing visitors to the area, three hotels were built, an ice plant, soft drink bottling plant, a candy factory and an ice cream factory all went up in anticipation. To keep the area looking nice and neat for anyone stopping by, the neighboring factories and businesses were encouraged to keep their logs, lumber and bricks stacked.
Branson, Missouri History
In the 30's, Lake Taneycomo had become an inexpensive place to vacation. With street fairs, parades, community picnics and boat races, not to mention the beauty of the area, all of the businesses were able to survive through the Great Depression and bank failures. After World War II, craftsmen and artists inundated the area as well as returning servicemen and industry workers. In 1949, Steve Miller, an artist, had an idea to put a large, lighted Adoration Scene on the Mount Branson bluff across from Lake Taneycomo that left the thousands of viewers of the first lighting awe-struck.
After the first Adoration Parade, plans were made to construct Table Rock Dam, which was completed in 1959. Once the dam was completed, Branson's citizens were relieved that floods no longer threatened the waterfront. From that time more visitors came each year to see the new lake. Lake Taneycomo became too cold to swim in since it was being fed by the cold waters of Table Rock Lake, so fishing became a big sport at Taneycomo. Area attractions like Silver Dollar City and Shepherd of the Hills Farm also began to bring in the visitors.
Branson, Missouri Today
Branson has hosted over seven million visitors, almost half of them coming from 300 or more miles away. With 412 restaurants, 200 lodging facilities and 45 theaters that provide more seats than New York City's Broadway District, Branson has come a long way from the humble beginnings of the Mabes and Presleys, who performed wherever they could before the theaters were built in the late 60's. Now more than 80 shows in 45 theaters are there to offer breakfast shows, matinees and evening performances that promise to keep you entertained all day. These live shows are what make Branson known today as the "Live Country Music Capital of the World". You will find all genres of music at these theaters as well as magic and comedy, to add more fun to your stay.
Branson, Missouri Shopping
Three outlet shopping malls with more than 200 retailers offer up countless choices of contemporary items, the historic downtown area has specialty stores, and charming eateries that add to the experience of your vacation. You will also find a great deal of treasures at Silver Dollar City and Engler Block where local artisans display works that reflect the culture of the Ozarks.
Branson, Missouri Outdoor Activities
For the outdoorsmen, Branson is an entryway to the great outdoors. Located in the Ozark Mountains and with lakes nearby; fishing, camping, hiking, and biking as well as so many other activities await those that love being outside communing with nature. With high temperatures that can reach as much as 90 degrees in July highs of up to 42 degrees in January, the seasons are pleasant and predictable and you can see the changing seasons that decorate the Ozarks, from budding plant life in the spring and summer to fall foliage come autumn.
Branson is within a day's drive of more than half the country's population. The Springfield/Branson Regional Airport is located about 40 miles from Branson and is served by five major airlines with more than 70 arrivals and departures daily. So whether you drive in or fly, you can be sure you'll enjoy your stay in Branson as you put life on hold for a bit and take in heartfelt entertainment, browse for something special to take home or just relax by Table Rock Lake.