Rural Missouri - June 2012 - (Page 20)

More than a premier trout park, Roaring River State Park offers much for outdoor enthusiasts I and Conference Center. “For me, there is nothing more peaceful than fishing down on that river,” says Roie, a Barry Electric memt’s Roie Hudson’s birthday and just ber. “That night before opening day, like his last 37 birthdays, he has I can hardly sleep I am so anxious. spent it huddled on the banks of a When that horn sounds, I can’t wait frigid river, hours before the break to catch that first fish of the season.” of dawn, shoulder to shoulder with The first-class fishing opportunities hundreds of others he’s never met. are due in large part to Roaring River At 6:30 a.m., a thundering horn Spring, which flows from a cave at the echoes through the deep valley and base of a limestone cliff. Daily, Misacross the mountainsouri’s 20th largest spring pumps ous terrain above the out around 20 million gallons of swift currents of Roarcool, clear 57-degree water. ing River to signal Roie’s “The spring is what present: the first cast on a attracted early settlers to day of trout fishing. this area and what carved Every year, March Cassville this valley,” says Park 1 marks the beginning • Superintendent Dusty of trout season and the Reid. “They first used the spectacle that is opening river as a power source for day, an annual tradition mills that were once constructed here. for many Missourians that begins an In the 1800s, this was a very popular eight-month opportunity for anglers place for folks to come and grind up to catch and keep trout in four of the their goods.” state’s trout parks. When the Civil War broke out, Since 1928, Roaring River State bushwhackers destroyed the area’s Park has been a favored destination main mill. When the war ended, a for anglers. The outdoor paradise nesnew grist mill was built, along with tled in the Ozark hills west of Branson many other mills including a sawmill is one of Missouri’s premiere parks. and woolen carding mill. Although trout are the main attracAt the beginning of the 20th cention, there’s a lot more to love than tury, the valley transformed into a just fish. Visitors can spend the day tourist destination. In 1905, Roland hiking the karst topography and oakBruner purchased 120 acres surroundhickory forests, touring the park’s fish ing the spring for $9,000 and started hatchery, swimming or learning about the Roaring River Rod and Gun Club. the rich natural and cultural history The resort, enlarged to 3,500 acres, of the area at the park’s nature center. had a hotel, cabins, its own hydroThe park also reflects the influence electric power plant and the area’s first of the Civilian Conservation Corps fish hatchery, completed in 1910. (CCC), a Depression-era program that Financial hard times soon came, put young men to work. and the property was foreclosed and Roaring River, which is served by sold in 1927 on the Cassville courtBarry Electric Cooperative, also offers house steps to Thomas Sayman, a several overnight lodging options soap manufacturer from St. Louis. A including campsites, cabins and year later, on Dec. 6, 1928, he donated rooms in the rustic Emory Melton Inn by Kyle Spradley kspradley@ruralmissouri.coop all the land to the state of Missouri to become Roaring River State Park. “Not much changed in the park the first few years until the CCC came in 1933,” says Dusty, a Barry Electric member. “Most of the structures we see today were built by hand by the CCC boys during the 1930s.” The classic rustic style of stone and wood architecture is prominent in many of the picnic shelters and cabins. The park’s group camp, Camp Smokey, was originally the barracks for the CCC while they worked. The CCC boys constructed most of the 12 miles of trails through the Above: Roaring River State Park has 26 cabins available during trout season for overnight guests. Right: Roie Hudson of Cassville fishes from the banks of Roaring River on opening day of trout season this year. Nearly 2,000 fished in the park on March 1. 20 WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP http://WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - June 2012

Rural Missouri - June 2012
Table of Contents
Comments
Columns
The power of purple
The little town that could
Out of the Way Eats
Missouri snapshots contest
Sustainable forestry
Stocked with adventure
Hearth and Home
Outdoors
Around Missouri
Marketplace
Neighbors
Just4Kids

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