As you travel the Ozarks this fall to attend Timberfest, Haunting in the Hills, arts and crafts shows or simply to view the fall colors, you just might pass through small towns like Grandin, Winona, Birch Tree, Jadwin or Bunker. You may pull over to take a break, get a cool drink or fill up the tank.
As you visit these towns and others scattered through the Ozarks, something to keep in mind is the impact these very towns had on the settlement of not only the Ozarks but the entire western United States. It may not be easily recognized, but it was immeasurable. Without the people who settled in these towns and the lumber and railroad ties they produced, development might have come much more slowly.
The "Big Mills and Tall Timber" and "Stamp of Character" DVDs do a great job in telling the history of settlement in the Ozarks. What sets the Ozarks apart from other areas of the country that were heavily harvested is how the citizens began to look ahead.
In a conversation with Gifford Pinchot, the first United States forester, the manager of the Missouri Mine and Lumber Company, J. B. White, said, “We are not thinking of the future or handing down of our business to future generations. If this (reduction of the size of the mills) were done, better prices could be obtained for lumber and the business could be perpetuated.”
It’s here in Missouri that loggers, hunters and citizens saw the need to manage our forests, fish and wildlife. Citizens saw the need to manage and, in some cases, such as with the deer, turkey and bluebirds, restore our resources. Looking out for the future is just one more thing to add to our proud Ozarks heritage.
You can add to the value of that heritage by sharing the history with your family as you pass through the Ozarks this fall. To view the "Big Mills and Tall Timber" and "Stamp of Character" DVDs, or to discover more about Ozarks fish, forest and wildlife history, stop by the Twin Pines Conservation Education Center.