C of O Attraction Guidebook: Gaetz Tractor Museum

A little museum tucked away in the Branson area just happens to house some very fascinating historic machinery.

The Gaetz Tractor Museum is located on College of the Ozarks campus near the college dairy and is often overlooked. An interesting display of agricultural history, the museum is free to visitors and offers a nostalgic look into the evolution of farming equipment over the years.

The exhibit features a 1935 John Deere B, a Canadian 1919 Massey-Harris, an antique Marseilles-Adams cyclone feed power corn sheller and a 1930 Rumley 6A, among others.

Although small, the Gaetz Tractor Museum is a great stop in the Ozarks for anyone interested in history, antiques or agriculture. (Curiosity was my main reason for stopping by.)

The museum is free and open to the public during normal business hours, so stop by next time you’re in town and take some time to browse this impressive collection!

Check the Branson Shows Blog tomorrow at 3 p.m. for the next blog in the C of O Attraction Guide series on the W. Alton Jones Dairy.

Explore Branson’s Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery

Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery For an educational experience that is both free and fun for the whole family, take a day to visit the Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery in Branson.

This impressive facility is much more than what it sounds like, offering guided and self-guided tours of the hatchery, interactive exhibits, aquariums filled with trout, multi-media presentations and access to year-round lakeside fishing and the trails near the conservation center.

The hatchery is located just below Table Rock Dam and produces between 350,000 and 400,000 pounds of trout every year and is the largest trout-rearing facility operated by the Missouri Department of Conservation. It was built in 1957 with trout production beginning just a year later when construction of the dam was completed.

The hatchery’s aquariums and tours allow you to see the rainbow and brown trout that are raised onsite up close as they pass through different stages of growth. The exhibits describe trout spawning, egg development and rearing techniques so you and your kids can learn all about the processes that are ongoing at the hatchery. Guided tours are available on weekdays from Memorial Day to Labor Day but self-guided tours are available at any other time throughout the year.

Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery The Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery lies in a unique area of rich forestry called the White River Valley. The trails on the property boast an amazing variety of wildlife ranging from the state bluebird, great blue heron, kingfisher and bald eagles to red-shouldered hawks, woodpeckers and all kinds of songbirds.

While hiking the trails, you may also come across an interesting array of plant life with clusters of wildflowers, beautiful violets, large oak and hickory trees, wild plum trees and the Ashe’s juniper, which is only found in the Ozarks.

The trails on the fish hatchery grounds also provide year-round trout fishing access, so bring your line, pole and bait and make it a full day of fishing fun.

Surrounded by the beautiful, steep bluffs of the White River Valley, you’re sure to have an exciting venture at the Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery, just six miles southwest of Branson on Highway 165.

For more information, click here.

Join the Branson Area Festivities this 4th of July!

As you’ve certainly guessed by now, there’s no lack of things to do in Branson especially this 4th of July. Next week, Branson will play host to a variety of different fireworks displays and family friendly events in celebration of our great country’s independence. If you’re still looking for something to do to commemorate this special day, check out some of these extraordinary activities that you can only find here in Branson.


Red, White & Boom FireworksWhite Water

Where: White Water

Address: 3505 W. Hwy. 76, Branson, MO

Date: every Saturday night, July 5-August 30

Time: 10 p.m.

Why celebrate the 4th of July just once when you can carry on the celebration all summer long? Sit back and enjoy a fantastic fireworks show that’s included with your admission ticket into White Water’s Night Water.


61st Annual Hollister 4th of July Celebration

Where: Chad A. Fuqua Memorial Park

Address: 312 Esplanade Dr., Hollister, MO (on the north side of Hollister City Hall)

Date: Friday, July 4

Time: 6 p.m.

Come be a part of the oldest fireworks display in Taney County! Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy the Little Miss Firecracker Pageant, a performance from the New Premier Dance Academy and a radio countdown from Mayor Tate before the fireworks display at dusk. Food and drink will be available as well as the Hollister’s Ozark Mountain Family YMCA Bounce House for kids.


Journey Resurrection Live in Concert and 7th Annual Liberty Light Up Fireworks ShowFireworks

Where: The Branson Landing Fountains

Address: 100 Branson Landing, Branson, MO

Date: Thursday, July 3

Time: 8 p.m.

Experience this one-of-a-kind Journey tribute band with seasoned lead vocalist Ryan Christopher backed by musicians who have worked directly with Journey. Follow up the concert with a choreographed fireworks display show that will light up the skies over Lake Taneycomo.


Honor America

Where: The Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks

Address: 1 Opportunity Ave., Point Lookout, MO

Date: Sunday, June 29

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Enjoy tunes from the “Linger Family Mountain Music”, “Ayo”, starring “Voices of Glory” and “Red, Hot … & Blue”!, and the Hard Work U Concert Band before being dazzled by the fantastic fireworks display, beginning at dusk.


Fourth of July Celebration

Where: Chateau on the Lake

Address: 415 North State Hwy. 265, Branson, MO

Date: Friday, July 4

Time: 8 a.m.

Chow down at the outdoor barbeque, let the kids toss some water balloons and enjoy some live music at this beautiful resort. Close out the night with a jaw-dropping fireworks display and hop in the pool afterward for a late-night dive in movie.


Patriotic Picnic

Where: The Swimmin’ Hole Lawn at Big Cedar Lodge

Address: 612 Devil’s Pool Rd., Ridgedale, MO

Date: Friday, July 4

Time: 3 p.m.

Big Cedar Lodge’s Swimmin’ Hole Lawn will be packed with games, attractions, pony rides and more as well as a delicious barbeque and special show from the Clay Self Band. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets for the colorful fireworks display at dusk.



Where: Kimberling City Bridge at Table Rock Lake

Address: on Hwy. 13, Kimberling City, MO

Date: Saturday, July 5

Time: 9 p.m.

Boats will gather and the bridge will be filled with spectators waiting to see this incredible fireworks display over the waters of Table Rock Lake. Get a good view from your car, lawn chair, on foot or by boat! It will be hard to miss this fantastic display as it lights up the skies over Kimberling City.


Come Get Your Free Ice Cream at College of the Ozarks!

College of the OzarksWhen the words “free ice cream” are introduced, most kids are willing to do just about anything to be the recipient of a deliciously sweet waffle cone filled with creamy ice cream.

In support of the I Pledge Program, The College of the Ozarks is giving kids ages 12 and under a free ice cream cone if they can recite the Pledge of Allegiance by memory. So if you’re in Branson during the month of July, stop by Nettie Marie’s Homemade Ice Cream inside College of The Ozark’s Keeter Center for a free single scoop of ice cream!College of the Ozarks

Sorry parents, the same deal doesn’t apply to you but I must say, definitely try the Arnold Palmer ice cream. It’s a rare treat that iced tea lovers everywhere should taste before leaving Nettie Marie’s Homemade Ice Cream. Its incredibly refreshing taste will cool you down after a hot summer day of sightseeing in Branson.College of the Ozarks

Free ice cream days are July 1, 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31 between 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

The Keeter Center is located on the College of the Ozarks campus at 101 Opportunity Avenue, Point Lookout, MO.

For more information, call 417-690-2146.