Nature Tourism

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Published on: Apr. 2, 1997

Last revision: Oct. 26, 2010

years away to transform his family home into a beautifully appointed bed and breakfast.

A thriving arts council has sprung up in town, supporting the many artisans inspired by the natural beauty. A yearly bluegrass festival, and several rodeos draw enthusiasts. But in the end, whether by wheel or water, horseback or on foot, it's the outdoors that brings people back again and again.

Cassville - History Happens Here

by Sandy LaRouche

On the surface Cassville looks like any other pleasantly sleepy, small Missouri town, but if Cassville had a town slogan, it might well be: "History Happens Here."

Tourists stopping to grab cold sodas, fast food or a new fishing lure on their way to the most popular park in the state, Roaring River State Park, seven miles south of town, could pass through without ever knowing the fascinating past and bright future this little town possesses.

They might guess that things are prosperous when they see the new wing and Main Street entrance to the Barry County Hospital, officially opened in the fall of 1996. But unless the 800,000 visitors, intent on "catching the big one," have need of a hospital, they'll probably not even notice.

The town's courthouse was built in 1913 on the same site where renegade Confederate delegates to the Missouri General Assembly seceded from the Union as Northern soldiers, chasing them from Jefferson City, swooped down on the town.

Those interested in hot food, cold drinks and entertainment after a "hard day" fishing, hiking or horseback riding will have no trouble finding what they're looking for in hospitable Cassville. The town loves serving visitors. About 1,500 people in Barry County work in jobs created by tourism. What's right for visitors is revenue for Cassville.

The little town of 2,400 is currently basking in the glow of the largest construction project in the history of Missouri's parks. Over $4 million is being spent from the state park earnings fund to create a magnificent new lodge at Roaring River State Park.

The 47,000 square foot facility, scheduled to be completed in 1997, will contain a retail store, 26 guest rooms, a restaurant and administrative offices.

Barry County is home to a marvelous population of wild creatures, including hundreds of bird species, bobcats, rare salamanders, bald eagles, black bears, lots and lots of fish and a few lively ghosts.

Bushwhackers and Confederates once hid out in the magnificent gorges, hills and valleys here. Generations of Native American tribes hunted

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