This week’s linen style postcard features a typical boat and fishing dock at Lake of the Ozarks, Mo.
An 1893 relief map of the Osage River shows a meandering stream through the wooded hills of central Missouri. The river is named for the Osage nations that were indigenous to the region. The Osage Indian tribes roamed the lands between the three great rivers, the Missouri to the north, the Mississippi to the east and the Arkansas to the south.
Headwaters of the Osage River actually originate in the Kansas Flint Hills as the Marais des Cygnes River, its meaning taken from the French for “Swan Marshes.”
After crossing into Missouri near Rich Hill, it joins with the Little Osage and the Sac Rivers, as it continues to flow eastward into Truman Reservoir then Lake of the Ozarks, flowing into the Missouri River just east of Jefferson City at Bonnots Mill.
The creation of the lake dates to 1929 when construction on the Bagnell Dam on the Osage River began in order to create hydroelectric power for customers of Union Electric. Simultaneously, crews began clearing over 30,000 acres of timber in the Osage valley and completely demolishing the town of Linn Creek, Mo.
Construction was completed on May 30, 1931. Less than two weeks later, the lake was officially opened for boat traffic. Roughly four months after the dam’s completion, the giant hydroelectric turbines inside the dam were turned on creating a new power source for the south-central area of Missouri.
Lake of the Ozarks boasts a shoreline of approximately 1,300 miles and a surface area of roughly 65,000 acres. Lake of the Ozarks has been dubbed many things but those who own property along its shores simply refer to it as “The Lake.”
This postcard was published by the Corwin News Agency of Jefferson City, Mo. It was mailed to Mr. and Mrs. Keith Wilson of Iowa City, Iowa, on July 16, 1952. The handwritten message reads: “Dear Kieth and Cecil, here we are at Springfield, Mo and have a lovely cabin in the Skyline Court. It rained pretty hard on us this pm. We ate dinner at the Bagnell Dam. Will go on to Little Rock Tomorrow. Love Mom & Dad, D & C.”
Special thanks go out to Brandon Broughton in the Springfield Public Library for his assistance in the research of the Motor Court motel listed in the personal message of this postcard.