Posted by The Galway Girl on 15th April 2010

History of Branson

Everyone knows what Branson is today, with all the live entertainment, shopping, and restaurants. But how did that happen?

In the 1880’s settlers began settling the area of the Ozark Mountains because of the “free land”. And a guy by the name of Rueben Branson opened a general store and post office, and there it is, that’s how Branson got it’s name.

The first official attraction in Branson was the Marble Cave, which people began to take tours of in the late 1800’s. Then, it was leased by the Herschend Family, who originally used it to host square dances in the 1950’s. Then in 1960, they began what is now know as the Silver Dollar City theme park in the same area and the cave became a big attraction.

Also, in the early 1900’s there was a very popular book written called The Shepherd of the Hills, by Harold Bell Wright. This book brought many visitors to the area. In the 1960;s they opened up The Shepherd of the Hills Homestead and outdoor theater.

Did you know we didn’t always have a lake? In the early 1900’s, they began constructing a dam and power site on the White River. First, they created the Taneycomo Lake, then later around 1958 they finished the dam and created the Table Rock Lake.

The Prestley’s moved into a theater on Hwy. 76, followed a year later by the Baldknobbers. Now this area host more than 50 theaters and over 100 shows. This area became know as “the strip”. With these developments, it didn’t take long for Branson to become known as the live entertainment capital, that it is today.

For more information and discounts on Branson Shows, Attractions, and Lodging check out

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