Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Spring Travel Part Seventeen: Henning Conservation Area, Missouri
One of the classic books about the South is Harold Bell Wright's Shepherd of the Hills.
The first American novel to sell more than 1,000,000 copies, Wright's book tells a captivating story about people living in the Ozarks of southern Missouri and was largely responsible for the beginning of tourism for the resort city of Branson.
Many of the settings from Shepherd of the Hills can be seen today on the outskirts of Branson where they are now part of a large state conservation area. They were preserved largely due to the generosity of the creators of another Southern icon, The Beverly Hillbillies.
The Ruth and Paul Henning State Conservation Area in Branson, Missouri, preserves a historic setting of Ozark "balds," valleys, mountains, caves and more. Paul Henning, a native of Missouri, was the creator of such 20th century television classics as The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres and Petticoat Junction. He and his wife, Ruth, loved the Missouri countryside around Branson and helped save and make public the tract that preserves many of the settings from Harold Bell Wright's great novel.
To read more about the Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area, please visit: www.exploresouthernhistory.com/henning1.