Learn Your Branson History at the Branson Centennial Museum

The Branson Centennial Museum is a celebration of Branson’s past, present and future, featuring several exhibits honoring area traditions, performers and history.

I stopped in the museum last week and spent some time reading up on the fascinating history of the area and how this well-known town became all that it is today.

The museum opened its doors in 2012, exactly 100 years after the city of Branson was incorporated. The White River Valley Historical Society and the Chamber of Commerce put forth a team effort to consistently educate the visitors and residents with educational exhibits encompassing the history of the Branson area.

The exhibits regularly rotate throughout the year so you’re bound to see something new each and every time you stop in. Currently there are several different exhibits to explore as well as a short video about the importance of Table Rock Dam to watch.

Each display features interesting historic items and photographs like the original cash register of the Owen family’s drugstore on the corner of Main and Commercial in historic downtown Branson. (For those who don’t know, the Owen family played a large part in the development of the city of Branson.) The antique cash register was discovered in the basement of the “If The Shoe Fits” shop on Commercial Street in downtown Branson.

One of my favorite exhibits was a timeline that highlighted some of the important historical dates in the city’s history. I learned a lot reading through it and loved looking at all the old photos. It was fun to compare pictures of Branson 150 years ago to the way it looks today. The timeline also told the story of the very first permanent residents of the land that is now downtown Branson. The land was owned by 15-year-old teenage Calvin Smith Gayler and his 14-year-old wife. They moved to their White River property back in 1839 and began farming the land and harvesting fruit from their large garden. And today it’s a popular location for shopping and dining in Branson.

History buffs will love the Branson Centennial Museum as well as those who are just curious about the tri-lakes area and its humble beginnings. Visitors will also enjoy the small gift shop and large collection of books about Branson for sale.

The museum is at 101 Veterans Blvd. in historic downtown Branson, just up the road from The Landing. Hours are 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. and admission is free.

For more information, please visit www.wrvhs.org.

Shop the Treasures of Apple Tree Mall

photo 1 (6)I’ve driven past the Apple Tree Mall in Branson dozens of times but I’ve never stopped in. This week I finally decided to make a pit stop at this antique shop with the hopes of finding something different than all the other antique marketplaces in the area.

Luckily, Apple Tree Mall followed through and provided me with one of the most organized flea markets I’ve ever seen! Generally, most of the fun of flea market shopping is digging through piles, scanning row after row or scouring aisle after aisle just to uncover a few simple antique treasures. But sometimes you’re on the hunt for something specific and just want an easy shopping experience. Fortunately, the Apple Tree Mall features scores of well-organized and maintained booths that are browser-friendly.

Although in appearance it doesn’t seem like the typical antique/flea shop, it definitely is and they even just opened a brand new antique room featuring some really neat items that just can’t be passed up.I even came across two booths featuring refurbished guitars and ukuleles that are being offered at incredible prices.

photo 3 (5)It almost seems too good to be true, but the Apple Tree Mall is full of fantastic deals on just about everything. I went in hoping for an interesting adventure and came out with a vintage wooden frame for my wedding decor and spent less than $10. What a bargain.

Whether you’re looking for home furnishings and decor, unique stocking stuffers or just an interesting way to pass the time, definitely stop in to the Apple Tree Mall at 1830 W. Country Blvd., Branson, just up the strip from the God and Country Theatre and in the same parking lot as the Applebee’s.

Apple Tree Mall is open 7 days a week 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Attend the Annual Auction at College of the Ozarks

The annual College of the Ozarks Auction is scheduled for Saturday, October 11 at 10 a.m. on campus and will feature dozens of collectible items including vintage furniture, glassware, vehicles and other antique items and estate pieces.

Come out and uncover some extraordinarily unique pieces to add to your household collection or just come along for the ride and visit College of the Ozark’s amazing campus.

This year’s auctioneer is Holt Auction Company’s own Robert Owen. The auction will be held on campus near the transportation garage.

For more information, visit www.cofo.edu.

College of the Ozarks is at 100 Opportunity Ave., Point Lookout, MO, just off Highway 65.


Shop Shabby Chic at the Vintage Marketplace

Vintage Marketplace is one of the many flea markets that line the streets of Branson but the variety and quality of its products is what sets it apart from the rest.

Located right off the strip across from the Hampton Inn and Faith Life Church, Vintage Marketplace is a hodge podge of antiques, uniquely crafted housewares and collectibles that can only be described as “shabby chic.”

I wandered through the market trying not to pick up a million different things that I would have loved to have bought and used for my home and wedding decor and I’m betting you’ll feel the same way. Each booth is rented out by different individual sellers and they are absolutely packed with awesome goods that you won’t find anywhere else.

One of my most favorite finds of the day was a very old and intricately designed leather purse that looked like it came from another century. It was in pristine condition and I found it hidden underneath a host of other antiques atop a wooden dresser. It’s finds like these that make flea markets so much fun!

In addition to having tons of great antiques and collectibles, Vintage Marketplace also has some amazing new and handcrafted items including elaborate metal and wooden wind chimes, chalkboard home decor and handcrafted birdhouses and feeders. I was really close to buying one of the rustic-looking bird houses near the front of the shop. They were very eye catching, sturdy and would have made a perfect housewarming gift for my Dad’s new mountain home but I kept telling myself, “You’re at work…you’re at work…you can shop later…”

Not shopping was very difficult but somehow I made it out without cracking my wallet open. I’ll be back though.

The Vintage Marketplace is a great place to find that perfect nostalgic gift, pick up base pieces for your own handmade decor or just escape the rain. Whatever the reason may be, definitely stop in for a peek at some amazing merchandise.

To visit the Vintage Marketplace Facebook page for more pictures and information, click here. Hours are Sunday-Thursday 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m. and Friday-Saturday 8:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

The owners also just opened another location this past May called Treasures Marketplace. It’s the same kind of vintage shop but it’s lright next to the Branson IMAX on Shepherd of the Hills Expessway and the hours are Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m.-7 p.m.