Lake of the Ozarks History

While the Lake of the Ozarks is a booming vacation destination in the Midwest, with thousands upon thousands vacationers - it hasn't always been that way. The Lake of the Ozarks is only 75 years old, but the area has been around even longer. The Boathouse Lakeside Bar & Grill is situated on Mile Marker 3, and we have loved being a part of this Ozark community. We wanted to tell you a little bit about the history of this Lake area while eagerly await the opening of The Boathouse.

Photo Credit: FunLake.com

Lake of the Ozarks History

The Osage Indians were the first to settle the Ozark hills, but Lewis and Clark were the first to describe the natural wonders of the Ozark Mountains to others. The Civil War and westward expansion, combined with railroads all helped develop the area, long before the Osage River was dammed.

At the time that it was created, Bagnell Dam was considered the most skillful engineering feat of its day, and it was also the world's largest man-made lake. The Great Osage River Project began on August 6, 1929, by Union Electric Company of St. Louis, which is now AmerenUE.

Only four months after the construction of the dam began, the stock market crashed and the nation was thrust into The Great Depression. While the rest of the country was facing this crash, the mammoth Bagnell undertaking brought about a growth and expansion to central Missouri which continues today. Around 4,600 workers were employed at one time, among 20,500 total individuals over the two years.

The History of Lake Ozark & Osage Beach

Photo Credit: FunLake.com

Lake Ozark

When Bagnell Dam was completed, businesses moved to the west side of the Dam and the tourism took off. Very few of the original building of that generation have survived, but there is the White House that was built in 1932, and it has been recently renovated.


Osage Beach

This town was named for a man-made sand beach on the banks of the Osage River at the foot of a steep hill. Rea estate developers platted Osage Beach in 1928, and they were selling lots before the Dam was even completed. There were two small towns, Zebra and Damsel that were originally on the Osage River, and both were incorporated into Osage Beach.


Come Out to the Lake of the Ozarks

There's nothing quite like coming out to the Lake of the Ozarks for a vacation, whether it be for a weekend or a whole week. When you do come out, don't forget to stop at your favorite lakefront restaurant at the Lake of the Ozarks. The Boathouse is finishing up some AMAZING renovations, from the pool to the tiki bar, and even the band stage and menu. Make plans to enjoy your summer weekends and evenings with us! Don't' forget to text BOATHOUSELOTO to 71441 to get updates about our progress and fun discounts!


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By Land:
107 Village Marina Rd
Eldon, MO 65026

By Boat:
Mile Marker 3 by Bagnell Dam

573-365-1674


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