Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Historic Sites of Branson, Missouri - Part Six

This is a view of what the residents of the Branson area call "bald knobs." This one can be seen at the Ruth and Paul Henning State Conservation Area.

This unusual rocky hilltops became known as the meeting places of the "Baldknobbers." These gangs of outlaws and vigilantes met at isolated spots in the Ozarks during the years after the Civil War to plot raids for robbery or to hand out mountain justice as they saw fit.

The groups terrorized the region for a number of years and were the outgrowth of guerrilla gangs that roamed southern Missouri during the Civil War.

The legends of the Bald Knobbers continue to live in Branson. One of the first musical groups to open a show on Country 76, the Branson Strip, was the Baldknobbers and a comical version of the original outlaws has treated train ridders at Silver Dollar City for many years.

The Bald Knobbers figure prominently in the famed novel, The Shepherd of the Hills, and the region is filled with folklore dating back to their reign of terror.

Our series on the historic sites of Branson will continue. Until the next post, you can read more about the area by visiting www.exploresouthernhistory.com/branson1.

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