Top of the Rock: Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum

 Good morning again, my friends. If you can stand me yammering on for a little while longer, I'll tell you about the Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum. It was a part of the larger Top of the Rock Ozarks Heritage Preserve. The Preserve is the work of the Pro Bass shop guy, Johnny Morris. Golfers Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer also had a hand in its creation.

We first walked around the outside of the building for a bit. Here's the image of the chapel I promised you in my previous post. Weddings are held here sometimes.

Outside, we came across this pretty flowering thing.

My phone tells me this is Blue False Indigo.

There's another shot of Jack Nicklaus' cabin.

Here's the shot from my previous post.

Here's a little information about the Ozarks.

The museum was 40,000 square feet. As you might imagine, I took way too many pictures, and our eyes were completely full by the time we'd seen it all. This first item was a gift to Johnny Morris. It's such exquisite beadwork. 

There was a private collection of arrowheads. Honestly, I'm surprised this many arrowheads exist in the world!

They nearly filled this whole room.

There was also a huge collection of stone axe heads.

Here they are...stretching the entire wall of this room.

There was so much to see here. For you, I focused mainly on the clothing. It was interesting in its styling, but the beadwork was truly beautiful.

There was beautiful pottery. I'll admit to being partial to this stuff. As I stood looking at the intricate carvings in the clay, I found myself wondering why someone would go to so much trouble. And then...duh...it hit me. They were artists, just like any artist. They did it because it was their passion. They did it for the same reason many of us take a perfectly good piece of fabric, cut it into tiny pieces, and then sew it back together.

This next display interested me because the only other time I've seen any reference to the "atlatl" (pronounced attle-attle) was during a visit to Valley of Fire State Park some years back.

There were dioramas of ancient animals that once roamed this area...animals I never knew existed! The next signs refer to the image below.

That's the bear dog on the left, the hell pig on the right.

Regarding the hell pig...

Here's another one. You could get a feel for what it's like to be a squirrel or a mouse. Be sure to notice the size comparison on the right.

Here are some photos of beadwork and clothing. It was all so beautiful, and it represented the hand work of many different tribes. The vast majority of what we saw in the museum was devoted to respectfully honoring our indigenous peoples.

And look at this! Who knew? It's not unlike other beloved symbols that get co-opted for evil works by the worst among our species.

There were several examples of headdresses, but this one was the prettiest...made all of turkey feathers.

More bead work.

When we did our tour around the USA perimeter, I inadvertently started a doll collection. These were dolls on display in the museum. If we'd seen these in the "general store," I probably would have purchased one.

The white "beads" you see on these dresses were made from elks' teeth.

The warriors dressed with the expectation they would die in battle. They wanted to look their best when they met their maker.

This was hanging over the door in one of the rooms.

And this was an interesting photograph. That's Geronimo on the right, and some of his family members on the left. You can read the sign below the image to see who's present here.

From there, the museum had some displays about settlers and the civil war. We'd seen all we could take in by that time. Below is a Conestoga wagon. If you get a chance to visit the End of the Oregon Trail museum in Oregon City, Oregon, you'll learn a lot more about this. The wagons were pulled by oxen. They were much better suited to the long journey than horses.

Here was a little blurb about my childhood heroine, Annie Oakley. I had a whole Annie Oakley outfit and a couple of cap guns that put me into character.

And here's one last look at the clothing.

We decided to have lunch in the restaurant. This complex includes a golf course. In the image below, one of the holes for the golf course was here until a giant sink hole opened up in 2015. You can see pictures and read about the cause right here. It's now being excavated and, if possible, will eventually be connected to the Lost Cave tour from my previous post.

From there, we took the shuttle back to where our truck was located. We decided to drive out to see Table Rock Dam and Table Rock Lake. We drove across the dam...

To a viewing area. Looking right, it looked like this:

Looking left, we could see the dam.

Okay, and then, we continued making a loop back to the RV park with this little drive through the downtown Branson area. It also seems to go by the name of "Silver Dollar City." It seems like one huge amusement park. We could see a ferris wheel as we approached.

Here's King Kong climbing a tower behind the Walgreen's store there.

And what's this...the Titanic? The sign on the right indicated it was the "largest museum exhibit," not saying the largest of what, exactly, but here's a clue: That ain't the real Titanic...just sayin'.

Oooh...and look at this. I might have met my match here with the "fresh fudge." We saw a store selling fudge in Arkansas, and we didn't buy any. My willpower can only stretch so far, and now we've crossed a state line. I guess I know what I must do.

Here's another weird structure. It's hard to tell in this image, but the larger building seems to have landed on the smaller one at the left of center, and the whole thing is at a serious tilt.

A giant octopus is climbing on the aquarium.

So that was a full day of sight-seeing. I picked up a refrigerator magnet...

And a shot glass.

And you know it's a banner day when I can find both.

Okay, so today is kind of a chill day. We still have a few things we want to do. There are at least two quilt shops in town. I want to visit one of them. We'll also head back for some fudge. It's a requirement now. There's a short Waterfall Trail in town, and I'd like to take a look at that. Our legs are still sore from our hike of a few days ago, and so it will have to be an easy walk. And, finally, we're all out of ice cream. You might remember we did our grocery shopping while trying to kill time back in Arkansas. Since we couldn't unload our groceries until a couple of hours down the road, we avoided buying anything frozen. Now...it's a veritable catastrophe. No ice cream. The situation must be remedied immediately. The only thing worse would be to run out of cat food.

My friends, I've been at this for a couple of hours now. It's time to get on with my day. It's going to be an easy day despite the long list of to-do's. I hope you have a good day too.


Barbara said...

The most important thing I can tell you about aging is this: If you really feel that you want to have an off-the-shoulder blouse and some big beads and thong sandals and a dirndl skirt and a magnolia in your hair, do it. Even if you're wrinkled. ~ Maya Angelou

MissPat said...

Well that was awesome, or maybe fantastic, or possibly incredible. Take your choice. And today's quote is right on, too. Never been to Branson (well, there's a lot of places I've never been). I have heard of it, though. Seems like a giant amusement park. You probably hit it at a good time. Crowds of tourist are surely on the horizon.

Anonymous said...

Branson has many of the same attractions as Pigeon Forge, TN. kweather78@aol.com

piecefulwendy said...

My BIL is a golf course architect, and I am wondering if he worked on that course. I'll have to ask him. I'm curious about that sinkhole. The museum sights were quite something. I had no idea there were so many arrowheads or axe heads. Interesting.

Quilting Babcia said...

I wouldn't have cared about seeing the rest of Branson, but that museum is fantastic! I could spend several days studying all the exhibits, especially the beadwork.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

I love that quote from Iroquois Maxim - hope you don't mind if I snag that one for my blog. It sure makes you stop and think.
Really enjoyed seeing all the beadwork - soooo many hours creating them. And interesting to see the creatures too.

Kate said...

Arrow heads are pretty common in Missouri. At least they were when I was a kid growing up there. Looks like you found some fun things to see. Hope you found your ice cream and got your fudge too. Sounds like a great combo for dessert.

Lyndsey said...

Wow that was an amazing day. That museum is great and I particularly liked all the clothing and beadwork. I've tried beadwork and it took me hours and I produced something quite small.