The Ozarks, also known as the Ozark Mountains or Ozark Plateau, is a physiographic region
In the United States
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a W ...
Missouri is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern region of the United States. With more than six million residents, it is the List of U.S. states and territories by population, 18th-most populous state of the country. ...
Arkansas () is a U.S. state, state in the South Central United States, South Central region of the United States, home to more than three million people as of 2018. Its name is from the Osage language, a Dhegihan languages, Dhegiha Siouan lan ...
Oklahoma () is a state in the South Central region of the United States
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in Nor ...
and the extreme southeastern corner of
Kansas () is a state in the Midwestern United States
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It cons ...
. The Ozarks cover a significant portion of northern Arkansas and most of the southern half of Missouri, extending from Interstate 40
in central Arkansas to Interstate 70
in central Missouri.
There are two mountain ranges within the Ozarks: the Boston Mountains
of Arkansas and the St. Francois Mountains
of Missouri. Buffalo Lookout, the highest point in the Ozarks, is located in the Boston Mountains. Geologically, the area is a broad
A dome (from Latin
Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman ...
with the exposed core in the ancient St. Francois Mountains. The Ozarks cover nearly , making it the most extensive highland region between the Appalachians
. Together with the Ouachita Mountains
, the area is known as the U.S. Interior Highlands
The Salem Plateau, named after Salem, Missouri
, makes up the largest geologic area of the Ozarks. The second largest is the Springfield Plateau, named after
Springfield is the third largest city in the state of Missouri
Missouri is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern region of the United States. With more than six million residents, it is the List of U.S. states and te ...
, nicknamed the "Queen City of the Ozarks". On the northern Ozark border are the cities of St. Louis
Columbia is a city in the U.S. state
In the United States
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. ...
. Significant Ozark cities in Arkansas include Fayetteville, Arkansas, Fayetteville, Bentonville, Arkansas, Bentonville, Springdale, Arkansas, Springdale, Eureka Springs, Arkansas, Eureka Springs, and Fort Smith, Arkansas, Fort Smith. Branson, Missouri, Branson, just north of the Arkansas–Missouri border, is a tourist destination and popularizer of Ozark culture.
''Ozarks'' is a toponym believed to be derived as an English-language adaptation of the French language, French abbreviation ''aux Arcs'' (short for ''aux Arcansas'', meaning "of/at/to Quapaw, the Arcansas [plural]"). Originally, in the decades prior to the French and Indian War, ''aux Arkansas'' referred to the trading post at Arkansas Post, located in wooded Arkansas Delta lowland area above the confluence of the Arkansas River with the Mississippi River.
"Arkansas" seems to be the French version of what the Illiniwek, Illinois tribe (further up the Mississippi) called the Quapaw, who lived in eastern Arkansas in the area of the trading post. Eventually, the term came to refer to all Ozark Plateau drainage into the Arkansas and Missouri River, Missouri rivers.
An alternative origin for the name "Ozark" relates the French term ''aux arcs''. In the later 17th and early 18th centuries, French cartographers mapped the Arkansas River, Arkansas and Mississippi rivers. The large, topmost arc or bend in this part of the Arkansas River was referred to as being ''aux arcs''—the top or northernmost arc in the whole of the lower Arkansas. Travelers arriving by boat would disembark at this top bend of the river to explore the Ozarks; the city of Ozark, Arkansas, is located on the north bank at this location.
Other possible derivations include ''aux arcs'' meaning "[land] of the arches",
in reference to the dozens of natural arch, natural bridges formed by erosion and collapsed caves in the Ozark region. These include Clifty Hollow Natural Bridge (actually a series of arches) in Missouri,
"Ozarks geology: Clifty Creek Natural Area includes natural bridge"
, ''The Ozarks Chronicle'', Rolla, Mo.
and Alum Cove in the Ozark–St. Francis National Forest. It is even suggested ''aux arcs'' is an abbreviation of ''aux arcs-en-ciel'', French for "toward the rainbows", which are a common sight in the mountainous regions. After the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, American travelers in the region referred to various features of the upland areas using the term "Ozark", such as "Ozark Mountains" and "Ozark forests". By the early 20th century, the "Ozarks" had become a generic and widely used term.
[McMillen, Margot Ford. ''A to Z Missouri: The Dictionary of Missouri Place Names'', Columbia, Missouri: Pebble Publishing, 1996. ]
The Ozarks consist of five physiographic subregions: the Boston Mountains
of north Arkansas and Cookson Hills of east Oklahoma; the Springfield Plateau of southwest Missouri, northeast Oklahoma, and northwest Arkansas and including Springfield, Missouri, Springfield, Joplin, Missouri, Joplin and Monett, Missouri, Monett/Aurora, Missouri, Aurora in Missouri, Tahlequah, Oklahoma, Tahlequah in Oklahoma, and Fayetteville, Arkansas, Fayetteville and Harrison, Arkansas, Harrison in Arkansas; the White River Hills along the White River, including Branson, Missouri, Branson and Mountain Home, Arkansas, Mountain Home to Batesville, Arkansas, Batesville; the Salem Plateau or Central Plateau, which includes a broad band across south central Missouri and north central Arkansas including the Lebanon, Missouri, Lebanon, Salem, Missouri, Salem and West Plains, Missouri, West Plains areas; the Courtois Hills of southeastern Missouri; the Osage-Gasconade Hills around the Lake of the Ozarks; the Saint Francois Mountains; and the Missouri River and Mississippi River border areas along the eastern and northeastern flanks.
Karst features such as spring (hydrology), springs, losing streams, sinkholes and caves are common in the limestones of the Springfield Plateau and abundant in the Dolomite (rock), dolomite bedrock of the Salem Plateau and Boston Mountains.
[''Karst, Springs and Caves in Missouri''](_blank)
Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Missouri is known as "The Cave State" with over 7,300 recorded caves, second in number only to Tennessee. The majority of these caves are found in the Ozark counties.
The Ozark Plateaus aquifer system affects groundwater movement in all areas except the igneous core of the St. Francois Mountains.
''OzarksWatch'', Vol. I, No. 4, Spring 1988.
United States Geological Survey.
United States Geological Survey.
Geographic features include limestone and dolomite glade (geography), glades, which are rocky, desert-like areas on hilltops. Kept open by periodic fires that limit growth of Herbaceous plant, grasses and forbs in shallow soil, glades are home to collared lizards, tarantulas, scorpions, cacti and other species more typical of the Desert Southwest.
["Spatial Interaction Webs in Ozark Glades"](_blank)
John Chase, Assistant Professor. Washington University in St. Louis.
The Boston Mountains contain the highest elevations of the Ozarks, with peaks over , and form some of the greatest relief of any formation between the Appalachians and Rocky Mountains. The Ouachita Mountains
to the south rise a few hundred feet higher, but are not geographically associated with the Ozarks. The Boston Mountains portion of the Ozarks extends north of the Arkansas River Valley , is approximately long,
and is bordered by the Springfield and Salem Plateau to the north of the White River (Arkansas), White River. Summits can reach elevations of just over , with valleys deep. Turner Ward Knob is the highest named peak. Found in western Newton County, Arkansas, its elevation is . Nearby, five unnamed peaks have elevations at or slightly above . Drainage is primarily to the White River, with the exception of the Illinois River (Arkansas), Illinois River, although there also is considerable drainage from the south slopes of the Boston Mountains to the Arkansas River. Major streams of this type include Lee Creek, Frog Bayou, Mulberry River, Spadra Creek, Big Piney Creek, Little Piney Creek, Illinois Bayou, Point Remove Creek, and Cadron Creek. Many Ozark waterways have their headwaters in the uplands of the Boston formation, including the Buffalo National River, Buffalo, Kings River (Arkansas), Kings, Mulberry River (Arkansas), Mulberry, Little Red River (Arkansas), Little Red and White rivers.
Topography is mostly gently rolling in the Springfield and Salem plateaus, whereas the Saint Francois Mountains are more rugged. Although the Springfield formation's surface is primarily Mississippian (geology), Mississippian limestone and chert, the Salem Plateau is made of older Ordovician dolomites, limestones, and sandstones.
Both are rife with karst topography and form long, flat plains. The formations are separated by steep escarpments that dramatically interrupt the rolling hills. Although much of the Springfield Plateau has been Denudation, denuded of the surface layers of the Boston Mountains, large remnants of these younger layers are present throughout the southern end of the formation, possibly suggesting a peneplain process. The Springfield Plateau drains through wide, mature streams ultimately feeding the White River.
The St. Francois Mountains
in the northeastern Ozarks are the eroded remnants of an ancient range which form the geological core of the highland dome. The igneous and volcanic rocks of the St. Francois Mountains are the exposed remains of a Proterozoic mountain range hundreds of millions of years old. The remaining hills are the exposed portion of an extensive terrane (the Spavinaw terrane in part) of Granite, granitic and Rhyolite, rhyolitic rocks dating from 1485 to 1350 mya (unit), mya that stretches from Ohio to western Oklahoma.
[Denison, Rodger E., et al., ''Geology and Geochemistry of the Precambrian Rocks in the Central Interior Region of the United States'', Geological Survey Professional Paper 1241-C, 1984]
The core of the range existed as an island in the Paleozoic seas. Reef complexes occur in the sedimentary layers surrounding this ancient island. These flanking reefs were points of concentration for later ore-bearing fluids which formed the rich lead-zinc ores that have been and continue to be mined in the area. The igneous and volcanic rocks extend at depth under the relatively thin veneer of Paleozoic sedimentary rocks and form the basal crust of the entire region.
[A. G. Unklesbay, Jerry D. Vineyard. ''Missouri Geology — Three Billion Years of Volcanoes, Seas, Sediments, and Erosion'', University of Missouri Press, 1992. ]
A major unconformity in the region attests that the Ozarks were above sea level for several hundred million years from the time of the volcanism in the Precambrian until the mid-Cambrian with an erosionally produced relief of up to .
[ The seas encroached during the late Cambrian producing the Lamotte Sandstone, thick, followed by carbonate rock, carbonate sedimentation. Coral reefs formed around the granite and rhyolite islands in this Cambrian sea. This carbonate formation, the Bonneterre Formation, Bonneterre, now mostly Dolomite (rock), dolomite, is exposed around the St. Francis Mountains, but extends in the subsurface throughout the Ozarks and reaches a thickness of .] [ The Bonneterre is overlain by of dolomite, often sandy, silty or cherty, forming the Elvins Group and the Potosi Dolomite, Potosi and Eminence Formation, Eminence formations. Withdrawal of the seas resulted in another unconformity during the latest Cambrian and early Ordovician periods. Hydrothermal mineralizing fluids formed the rich lead ore deposits of the Lead Belt during this time.] [
Sedimentation resumed in the Ordovician with the deposition of the Gunter sandstone, the Gasconade Formation, Gasconade dolomite and the prominent Roubidoux Formation, Roubidoux sandstone and dolomite. The sandstone of the Roubidoux forms prominent bluffs along the streams eroding into the southern part of the Salem Plateau. The Roubidoux and Gunter sandstones serve as significant aquifers when present in the subsurface. The source of the sands is considered to be the emerging Wisconsin Dome to the northeast.] [ The Ozark region remained as a subsiding shallow carbonate shelf environment with a significant thickness of cherty dolomites such as the Jefferson City Formation, Jefferson City, Cotter Formation, Cotter and Powell Formation, Powell formations.] [
Portions of the Ozark Plateau, the Springfield Plateau of southwest Missouri and northern Arkansas, are underlain by Mississippian (geology), Mississippian cherty limestones locally referred to as "Boone chert", consisting of limestone and chert layers. These are eroded and form steep hills, valleys and bluffs.
The Boston Mountains are a high and deeply dissected plateau. The rocks of the region are essentially little disturbed, flat-lying sedimentary layers of Paleozoic age. The highest ridges and peaks are capped by Pennsylvanian sandstone such as the basal Atoka and the "Middle Bloyd". The deeply eroded valleys are cut into Mississippian limestone and below that layer Ordovician dolomite.
During the Pennsylvanian (geology), Pennsylvanian period the Ozark Plateau was uplifted as a result of the Ouachita orogeny. During the late Paleozoic the deep ocean basin that existed in central and southern Arkansas was lifted when South America collided with North America, creating the folded Ouachita Mountains and uplifting the Ozark plateau to the north.
Ecology and conservation
Formal conservation in the region began when the Ozark–St. Francis National Forest, Ozark National Forest was created by proclamation of President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908 to preserve across five Arkansas counties. Another were added the following year. The initial forest included area as far south as Mount Magazine and as far east as Sylamore, Arkansas, Sylamore.
In 1939, Congress established Mark Twain National Forest at nine sites in Missouri. Wildlife management areas were founded in the 1920s and '30s to restore populations to viable numbers. In the 1930s and 1940s Aldo Leopold, Arthur Carhart and Bob Marshall (wilderness activist), Bob Marshall developed a "wilderness" policy for the Forest Service. Their efforts bore fruit with The Wilderness Act of 1964 which designated wilderness areas "where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by men, where man himself is a visitor and does not remain", though this included secondary forest, second growth public forests like the Mark Twain National Forest.
Land was also added to Ozark National Forest during this period, with over in total additions. Some land was reclaimed by the government through the Resettlement Administration during the Great Depression in the United States, Great Depression. In 1976, Congress established the Hercules Glades Wilderness, the first of 13 designated wilderness areas in the Ozarks. In 1986, Congress established the Ozark Plateau National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Oklahoma. Protected areas ensure the recovery of endangered and threatened species of animals and plants, including the Ozark big-eared bat, Indiana bat, eastern small-footed bat, southeastern bat, southeastern big-eared bat; longnose darter, Ozark cavefish, Ozark cave crayfish, Bowman's cave amphipod, Ozark cave amphipod, bat cave isopod; and Ozark Castanea pumila, chinquapin. It is a habitat of migratory birds and contains geological, archeological, historical, and paleontological resources.
Commercial farms and processing operations are known to raise levels of chemical and biological contaminants in Ozark streams, threatening water supplies, recreational use and endangered native species.
Lakes and streams
, the largest freshwater spring in the Ozarks, discharges of water per day into the Current River (Ozarks), Current River.
Image:Morning on the Buffalo River.jpg, Roark Bluff on the Buffalo National River
The United States Army Corps of Engineers, Army Corps of Engineers lakes that were created by damming the White River (Arkansas–Missouri), White River beginning in 1911 with Lake Taneycomo have provided a large tourist, boating and fishing economy along the Missouri–Arkansas border. Six lakes were created by dams in the White River basin from 1911 through 1960. White River lakes include Lake Sequoyah,
[Boss, Stephen K., Heil-Chapdelaine, Vanessa M] a small recreational fishing lake east of Fayetteville, Arkansas, formed in 1961; Sequoyah is the uppermost impoundment on the White River. Below Sequoyah (northeast of Fayetteville) is Beaver Lake (Arkansas), Beaver Lake, formed in 1960. The White River continues northeasterly into Table Rock Lake (1958) in Missouri, which feeds directly into Taneycomo, where the river zigzags southeasterly into Arkansas forming Bull Shoals Lake along the Arkansas-Missouri line. Completed in 1952, Bull Shoals is the furthest downstream lake on the White River proper. Norfork Dam, Norfork Lake was formed by damming the North Fork River (Missouri–Arkansas), North Fork River, a tributary of the White River, in 1941.
The Lake of the Ozarks, Pomme de Terre Lake, and Truman Lake in the northern Ozarks were formed by impounding the Osage River and its tributary the Pomme de Terre River (Missouri), Pomme de Terre River in 1931, 1961 and 1979 respectively. Grand Lake o' the Cherokees, Grand Lake in northeast Oklahoma was created in 1940. Stockton Lake was formed by damming the Sac River near the city of Stockton, Missouri, in 1969 and supplements the water supply of Springfield, Missouri, Springfield in nearby Greene County, Missouri, Greene County. Most of the dams were built for the dual purpose of flood control and hydropower generation.
The creation of the lakes significantly altered the Ozark landscape and affected traditional Ozark culture through displacement.
"Mapping Landscape Change: An Historic and Bathymetric Study of Lake Sequoyah, Washington County, Arkansas"
"The Meramec Basin Project: A Look Back 25 Years Later"
''Ozark Mountain Experience''. Article 69 & 70 Combined. 2006.
["Mountain Home (Baxter County)": ''The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture''](_blank) [Campbell, Rex R. Campbell, Mary. Hughes, Colleen]
"A Revolution in the Heartland: Changes in Rural Culture, Family and Communities, 1900–2000"
. University of Missouri: Department of Rural Sociology. Columbia, Missouri. 2004.
The streams provided water and power to communities, farms and mills concentrated in the valleys prior to impoundment. [E. Joan Wilson Miller] Many cemeteries, farm roads, river fords and railways were lost when the lakes came, disrupting rural culture, travel and commerce. Baxter County, Arkansas, alone saw nearly 400 people displaced to make way for the reservoir created by Norfork Dam. The town of Forsyth, Missouri, was relocated in its entirety to a spot from its previous location. Prior to damming, the White and Osage River basins were similar to the current conditions of the Buffalo National River, Buffalo, Elk River (Oklahoma), Elk, Niangua River, Niangua, Gasconade River, Gasconade, Big Piney River, Big Piney, Current River (Ozarks), Current, Jacks Fork River, Jacks Fork, Eleven Point River, Eleven Point and Meramec River, Meramec rivers.
"The Ozark Culture Region as Revealed by Traditional Materials". ''Annals of the Association of American Geographers'', Volume 58 Issue 1, Pages 51-77. January 3, 1967.
The Buffalo National River was created by an Act of Congress in 1972 as the nation's first List of areas in the United States National Park System#National rivers and national wild and scenic rivers, National River, administered by the National Park Service. The designation came after over a decade of battling a proposed Army Corps dam in the media, legislature, and courts to keep the river free flowing. The Ozark Society, the main force behind the dam protest, still leads the fight to keep the Buffalo pristine and protected. Today, the Buffalo sees approximately 800,000 visitors camping, canoeing, floating, hiking, and tubing annually. In Missouri, the Ozark National Scenic Riverways was established in 1964 along the Current River (Ozarks), Current and Jacks Fork rivers as the first US national park based on a river system. The Eleven Point River is included in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System established in 1968. These river parks annually draw a combined 1.5 million recreational tourists to the least populated counties in Arkansas and Missouri.
Many other waterways and streams have their headwaters in the Boston Mountains such as the Mulberry River (Arkansas), Mulberry River, the White River, War Eagle Creek, Little Mulberry Creek, Lee Creek, Big Piney Creek, and the Little Red River. To the south, the Arkansas River valley separates the Boston Mountains from the Ouachita Mountains.
Missouri Ozark rivers include the Gasconade River, Gasconade, Big Piney River, Big Piney, and Niangua River, Niangua rivers in the north central region. The Meramec River and its tributaries Huzzah Creek (Meramec River tributary), Huzzah Creek and Courtois Creek are found in the northeastern Ozarks. The Black River (Arkansas–Missouri), Black and St. Francis River, St. Francis rivers mark the eastern crescent of the Ozarks. The James River (Missouri), James, Spring River (Arkansas), Spring and North Fork River (Missouri–Arkansas), North Fork rivers are in south-central Missouri. Forming the west central border of the Ozarks from Missouri through Kansas and into Oklahoma are the Spring River (Missouri), Spring River and its tributary, Center Creek. Grand Falls, Missouri's largest natural waterfall, a chert outcropping, includes bluffs and glade (geography), glades on Shoal Creek south of Joplin, Missouri, Joplin. All these river systems see heavy recreational use in season, including the Elk River (Oklahoma), Elk River in southwestern Missouri and its tributary Big Sugar Creek.
Ozark rivers and streams are typically clear water, with baseflows sustained by many seep (hydrology), seeps and spring (hydrology), springs, and flow through forests along limestone and Dolomite (rock), dolomite bluffs. Gravel bars are common along shallow banks, while deep holes are found along bluffs. [MS Panfil, RB Jacobson] Except during periods of heavy rain or snow melt – when water levels rise quite rapidly – their level of difficulty is suitable for most canoeing and tubing.
Fish hatcheries are common due to the abundance of springs and waterways.
"Hydraulic Modeling of In-channel Habitats in the Ozark Highlands of Missouri: Assessment of Physical Habitat Sensitivity to Environmental Change"
USGS-Biological Resources Division.
The Neosho National Fish Hatchery was built in 1888; it was the first federal hatchery. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Missouri Department of Conservation and United States Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service operate numerous warm and cold water hatcheries and trout parks; private hatcheries such as at Rockbridge, Missouri, Rockbridge are found throughout the region.
Missouri Fish Hatcheries and Trout Parks
Traditional economic activity
The Ozarks contain ore deposits of lead, zinc, iron and barite. Many of these deposits have been depleted by historic mining activities, but much remains and is currently being mined in the Southeast Missouri Lead District, Lead Belt of southeast Missouri. Historically, the lead belt around the Saint Francois Mountains and the Tri-State district lead-zinc mining area around Joplin, Missouri, have been important sources of metals. Mining practices common in the early 20th century left significant abandoned underground mine problems and heavy metals, heavy metal contamination in topsoil and groundwater in the Tri-State district.
Tri-State and Viburnum Trend Districts
''Rocks & Minerals'', November 1, 1997.
Much of the area supports beef cattle ranching, and dairy farming is common across the area. Dairy farms are usually cooperative affairs, with small farms selling to a corporate wholesaler, who packages product under a common brand for retail sales. Petroleum exploration and extraction also takes place in the Oklahoma portion of the Ozarks, as well as in the east half of the Boston Mountains in Arkansas. Logging of both softwood and hardwood timber species on both private land and in the United States National Forest, National Forests has long been an important economic activity.
The majority of the Ozarks is forested. Oak–hickory forest, Oak-hickory is the predominant type; Juniperus virginiana, eastern junipers are common, with stands of List of Pinus species, pine often seen in the southern range. Less than a quarter of the region has been cleared for pasture and cropland.
, Kansas Geological Survey. Updated May 5, 2005.
[''Primary Distinguishing Characteristics of Level III Ecoregions of the Continental United States''](_blank) Forests that were heavily logged during the early-to-mid-20th century have recovered; much of the remaining timber in the Ozarks is secondary forest, second-growth forest. However, deforestation of Old-growth forest, frontier forest contributed through erosion to increased gravel bars along Ozark waterways in logged areas; stream channels have become wider and shallower, and deepwater fish habitat has been lost.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Revised April 2000.
The numerous rivers and streams of the region saw hundreds of water-powered timber and grist mills. ["Index to the old mills of Missouri"](_blank)
Hosted by rootsweb, this incomplete list includes almost 250 old mills in Missouri alone.
Mills were important centers of culture and commerce; dispersed widely throughout the region, mills served local needs, often thriving within a few miles of another facility. Few Ozark mills relied on inefficient water wheels for power; most utilized a dam, Sluice, millrace and water turbine.
[Suggs, George E., Jr. ''Water Mills of the Missouri Ozarks''. University of Oklahoma Press: Norman, Oklahoma. 1990]
During the New Deal, the Civilian Conservation Corps employed hundreds in the construction of nearly 400 fire lookouts throughout the Ozarks at 121 known sites in Arkansas and 257 in Missouri. Of those lookouts, about half remain, and many of them are in use by the United States Forest Service, U.S. Forest Service. A 2007 report by the National Trust for Historic Preservation deemed these fire lookouts and related structures as one of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.
In the 1960s, federal activity promoted modernization, especially through better transportation and tourism. The Ozarks Regional Commission sponsored numerous projects.
Current economic activities
Tourism is the growth industry of the Ozarks as evidenced by the growth of the Branson, Missouri, entertainment center celebrating traditional Ozark culture.
[''Area and Economic Overview: Southwest Missouri Overall Economic Development Program''](_blank)
Southwest Missouri Council of Governments White Paper.
[Snyder, Robert E. "Shepherd of the Hills Country: Tourism Transforms the Ozarks, 1880s-1930s". ''The Journal of American Culture'', Volume 27 Issue 1, Pages 117-119.] The rapidly growing Northwest Arkansas, Northwest Arkansas metropolitan area has also become a tourist hub, drawing nationwide attention for Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Poultry farming and food processing are significant industries throughout the region. The Tyson Foods corporation and ConAgra Foods each operates several hundred poultry farms and processing plants throughout the Ozarks. Schreiber Foods has operations throughout southern Missouri.
The Trucking industry in the United States, trucking industry is important to the regional economy, with national carriers based there including J. B. Hunt, ABF Freight System, ABF, and Prime, Inc. Springfield remains an operational hub for the BNSF Railway. Logging and timber industries are also significant in the Ozark economy, with operations ranging from small family-run sawmills to large commercial concerns. Fortune 500 companies such as Wal-Mart, Leggett & Platt, Bass Pro Shops, and O'Reilly Auto Parts are based in the Ozarks.
The area is home to several Missouri wine regions, including the Ozark Highlands AVA, Ozark Highlands and Ozark Mountain AVA, Ozark Mountain American Viticultural Areas.
"Ozark" also refers to the distinctive culture, architecture,
[Andy Ostmeyer] and Ozark English, dialect shared by the people who live on the plateau. Early settlers in Missouri were American pioneer, pioneers who came west from the Appalachia, Southern Appalachians at the beginning of the 19th century,
"Original Ozarks: Evidence of settlement before 1830 hard to find"
''Joplin Globe''. June 21, 2009. According to the National Register of Historic Places, the Rice-Upshaw House, ca.1826, "is one of the two oldest remaining standing buildings in Arkansas, and a rare surviving example of a building from Arkansas' territorial period"; Wolf House, ca. 1825, overlooks the junction of the Norfork and White rivers; the Craighead-Henry House, ca. 1816, is "one of the oldest known structures in the interior [Missouri] Ozarks."
[Randolph, Vance. ''Ozark Magic and Folklore''. 367 pages. Courier Dover Publications, 1964.] followed in the 1840s and 1850s by Irish Americans, Irish and German Americans, German immigrants. Much of the Ozark population is of English Americans, English, Scots-Irish Americans, Scots-Irish, and German descent, and the Ozark families from which the regional culture derived tend to have lived in the area since the 19th century. [Rafferty, Milton D. ''The Ozarks: Land and Life'', University of Arkansas Press, 2nd ed., 2001. ]
Early settlers relied on hunting, fishing, trapping, and foraging to supplement their diets and incomes. Today hunting and fishing for recreation are common activities and an important part of the tourist industry. Foraging for Edible mushroom, mushrooms (especially morels) and for American ginseng, ginseng is common and financially supported by established buyers in the area. Other forages include Phytolacca americana, poke, watercress, Diospyros virginiana, persimmons and Asimina triloba, pawpaw; wild berries such as blackberry, black raspberry, raspberry, Morus rubra, red mulberry, Prunus serotina, black cherry, Virginia strawberry, wild strawberry and dewberry; and wild nut (fruit), nuts such as Juglans nigra, black walnut and even acorns. [Phillips, Jan. ''Wild Edibles of Missouri''. Missouri Department of Conservation, 2nd edition (1998)] Edible native plant, native legumes, grass, wild grasses and wildflowers are plentiful, and beekeeping is common.
Cover, Introduction, Acknowledgments and Preface
Print and broadcast media have explored Ozark culture broadly. Books set in the Ozarks include ''Where the Red Fern Grows'', ''The Shepherd of the Hills (novel), The Shepherd of the Hills'',
High Plains Films. Doug Hawes-Davis, Director. 32 minutes, Color/B&W, 2001.
and ''As a Friend''. [Forrest Gander, Gander, Forrest. ] The 1999 film ''Ride with the Devil (film), Ride with the Devil'', based on the book ''Woe to Live On'', depicts conflict in southwest Missouri during the American Civil War, Civil War.
As a Friend
''. New York City: New Directions Publishers, New Directions Publishing Corporation. 2008.
[Ward L. Schrantz. ''Jasper County, Missouri in the Civil War''. 1923.] ''Winter's Bone'', a novel by Daniel Woodrell (author of ''Woe to Live On''), reflects on contemporary methamphetamine culture and its impact on families on the plateau. Released as a feature film in 2010, ''Winter's Bone'' received the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, as well as other awards. Several early and influential country music, country-music television and radio programs originated from Springfield, Missouri, Springfield in the 1950s and '60s, including ABC-TV's ''Ozark Jubilee'' and ''The Slim Wilson Show'' on KYTV (TV), KYTV. The Clampett clan of ''The Beverly Hillbillies'' TV show provide a stereotypical depiction of Ozark people. Ozark musicians include Porter Wagoner and Old-time music, old-time fiddler Bob Holt (fiddler), Bob Holt. [Henigan, Julie] Netflix drama series ''Ozark (TV series), Ozark'' takes place in Osage Beach, Missouri and centers around the well-to-do Byrde family as their lives are uprooted and they are forced to move from Chicago to the Ozarks after a money laundering scheme goes wrong. The series focuses on the Byrdes’ dealings in the Ozarks, as well as their interactions with local Ozark crime families. The series premiered on July 21, 2017.
Play Me Something Quick and Devilish: Bob Holt – Old-Time Square Dance Fiddler
''Musical Traditions'', Article MT021, June 1998.
The NBC sitcom Superstore (TV series), Superstore takes place in the Ozark Highlands location of Cloud 9, a traditional big box store which is the main focus of the series.
Examples of commercial interpretations of traditional Ozark culture include the two major family theme parks in the region, Silver Dollar City and the now defunct Dogpatch USA; and the resort entertainment complex in Branson, Missouri, Branson. Ozark Folkways in Winslow, Arkansas, and Ozark Folk Center State Park in Mountain View, Arkansas, interpret regional culture through musical performance and exhibitions of pioneer skills and crafts.
Traditional Ozark culture includes stories and tunes passed orally between generations through community music parties and other informal gatherings. [Aunt Shelle Stormoe] Many of these tunes and tales can be traced to United Kingdom, British origins
"How to Spot a Genuine Ozark Hillbilly"
October 23, 2008.
[Smith, Vic] and to German folklore. Moreover, historian Vance Randolph attributes the formation of much Ozark lore to individual families when "backwoods parents begin by telling outrageous whoppers to their children and end by half believing the wildest of these tales themselves."
Review of Ozark Folksongs
''Musical Traditions'', January 2001.
Randolph collected Ozark folklore and lyrics in volumes such as the national bestseller ''Pissing in the Snow and Other Ozark Folktales'' (University of Illinois Press, 1976), ''Ozark Folksongs'' (University of Missouri Press, 1980), a four-volume anthology of regional songs and ballads collected in the 1920s and 1930s, and ''Ozark Magic and Folklore'' (Courier Dover Publications, 1964). Evidenced by Randolph's extensive field work, many Ozark anecdotes from the oral tradition are often Ribaldry, bawdy, full of wild embellishments on everyday themes. [Florer, Faith L] In 1941–42, commissioned by Alan Lomax of the Archive of Folk Culture, Randolph returned to the Ozarks with a portable recording machine from the Library of Congress and captured over 800 songs, ballads and instrumentals.
"Book Review. Pissing in the snow and other Ozark folktales".
''Whole Earth Review''. Summer, 1987. "Because of their—ahem—subject matter, the tales contained in this volume could not be published with Randolph's four great collections of Ozark material published in the 1950s, and have until recently been circulating only in manuscript and on elusive microfilm."
Selected from among these several hundred recordings, 35 tracks were released on ''Various Artists: Ozark Folksongs'' (Rounder Records) in 2001.
Traditional square dance, Square dances were an important social avenue throughout the Ozarks into the 20th century. [Karen Mulrenin, Rita Saeger and Terry Brandt]
"Old-Time Ozark Square Dancing"
''Bittersweet'', Volume II, No. 1, Fall 1974.
''Bittersweet'', Volume V, No. 2, Winter 1977.
[Edited and photography by Allen Gage] Square dances sprang up wherever people concentrated around mills and timber camps, springs, fords, and in towns small and large. Geographically isolated communities saw their own local dance tunes and variations develop.
''Bittersweet'', Volume IX, No. 3, Spring 1982.
Of all the traditional musicians in the Ozarks, the fiddler holds a distinct place in both the community and folklore. Community fiddlers were revered for carrying local tunes; regionally, traveling fiddlers brought new tunes and entertainment, even while many viewed their arrival as a threat to morality. In 2007, Gordon McCann, a chronicler of Ozarks folklife and fiddle music for over four decades, donated a collection of audio recordings, fieldnotes and photographs to Missouri State University in Springfield. [Gordon McCann pledges collection to Missouri State University: Four decades of material will be housed in Meyer Library](_blank) The collection includes more than 3,000 hours of fiddle music and interviews recorded at jam sessions, music parties, concerts and dances in the Ozarks. Selected audio recordings along with biographical sketches, photographs and tune histories were published in Drew Beisswenger and Gordon McCann's 2008 book/37-track CD set ''Mel Bay Presents Ozarks Fiddle Music: 308 Tunes Featuring 30 Legendary Fiddlers With Selections from 50 Other Great Ozarks Fiddlers''.
From 1973 to 1983, the Bittersweet project, which began as an English class at Lebanon High School (Missouri), Lebanon High School in Missouri, collected 476 taped and transcribed interviews, published 482 stories, and took over 50,000 photographs documenting traditional Ozark culture.
Population influx since the 1950s,
Missouri State University Press Release. September 26, 2007.
coupled with geographically lying in both the Midwest and Upper South, proximity to the Mississippi embayment, the Osage Plains, Osage and Northern Plains, contributes to changing cultural values in the Ozarks. Theme parks and theatres seen to reflect regional values have little in common with traditional Ozark culture. Community tradition bearers remain active, in decreasing numbers, far afield of commercial offers.
Ozark religion, like that of Appalachia, was predominantly Baptist and Methodist during periods of early settlement; it tends to the social conservatism, conservative or individualistic, with Episcopal Church (United States), Episcopalians, Assemblies of God, Baptists including Southern Baptist Convention, Southern Baptists, Churches of Christ, Church of Christ, pentecostalism, Pentecostals, and other Protestant denominations present, as well as Roman Catholic Church, Catholics.
Religious organizations headquartered in the Ozarks include the Assemblies of God and Baptist Bible Fellowship International in Springfield, Missouri, Springfield and the General Association of General Baptists in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, Poplar Bluff.
;National Forests of the Ozarks
;Ozark National Rivers and Wild Scenic Riverways
;Hiking Trail Systems of the Ozarks
;Ships named Ozark
* Beisswenger, Drew & Gordon McCann,
Mel Bay Presents Ozarks Fiddle Music: 308 Tunes Featuring 30 Legendary Fiddlers With Selections from 50 Other Great Ozarks Fiddlers
* Blevins, Brooks, ''A History of the Ozarks: Volume 1: The Old Ozarks.'' Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2018.
* Rafferty, Milton D. ''The Ozarks: Land and Life.'' Fayetteville, AR: University of Arkansas Press, 2001.
* Randolph, Vance. ''The Ozarks: An American Survival of Primitive Society.'' 1931.
* Rossiter, Phyllis. ''A Living History of the Ozarks'' Gretna, LA: Pelican, 1992.
* Phillips, Jared. ''Hipbillies: Deep Revolution in the Arkansas Ozarks'' Fayetteville, AR: University of Arkansas Press, 2019.
* Gilmore, Robert Karl. ''Ozark Baptizings, Hangings, and Other Diversions: Theatrical Folkways of Rural Missouri, 1885-1910'' Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1984.
* Morrow, Lynn, and James Keefe, eds. ''White River Chronicles.'' Fayetteville, AR: University of Arkansas Press, 1994.
* McNeil, W. K.''Ozark Country.'' Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 1995.
* Randolph, Vance. ''Ozark Folksongs.'' In four volumes. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 1980)
* ''A reminiscent history of the Ozark region: comprising a condensed general history, a brief descriptive history of each county, and numerous biographical sketches of prominent citizens of such counties'' (1894
* Morrow, Lynn, and Linda Myers-Phinney. ''Shepherd of the Hills Country: Tourism Transforms the Ozarks, 1880s–1930s.'' Fayetteville, AR: University of Arkansas Press, 1999.
Ozark National Scenic Riverways
Ozark Plateau National Wildlife Refuge
Ozark Mountains, Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture, The Central Arkansas Library System.
The Intimate Wild: Ozark Highlands Trail, National Geographic, 10/2008.
"Closest to Everlastin'": Ozark Agricultural Biodiversity and Subsistence Traditions, 9/2010.
Civilian Conservation Corps in Arkansas
Civilian Conservation Corps in Missouri
Mountain ranges of Arkansas
Mountain ranges of Kansas
Mountain ranges of Missouri
Mountain ranges of Oklahoma
Physiographic regions of the United States
Plateaus of the United States
Regions of Arkansas
U.S. Interior Highlands