|Incorporated||April 1, 1912|
|Named for||Reuben Branson|
|• Mayor||Larry Milton|
|• City||21.50 sq mi (55.69 km2)|
|• Land||21.35 sq mi (55.29 km2)|
|• Water||0.15 sq mi (0.40 km2)|
|Elevation||774 ft (236 m)|
|• Density||592.05/sq mi (228.59/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0739970|
Branson is a city in the U.S. state of Missouri. Most of the city is situated in Taney County, with a small portion in the west extending into Stone County. Branson is in the Ozark Mountains. The community was named after Reuben Branson, postmaster and operator of a general store in the area in the 1880s.The population was 12,638 at the 2020 census.
Branson has long been a popular destination for vacationers from Missouri and around the country. The collection of entertainment theaters along 76 Country Boulevard (and to a lesser extent along Shepherd of the Hills Expressway), including Dolly Parton's Stampede, has increased Branson's popularity as a tourist destination.
In 1882, Reuben Branson opened a general store and post office in the area.Branson was formally incorporated on April 1, 1912, and construction of the Powersite Dam nearby on the White River which would form Lake Taneycomo was completed.
In 1894, William Henry Lynch bought Marble Cave (renamed "Marvel Cave") and began charging visitors to tour it. Hugo and Mary Herschend leased the cave for 99 years in 1950 and began hosting square dances in it. The Herschend Family modernized the cave with electricity and concrete staircases, and in 1960 the Herschends opened Silver Dollar City, a re-creation of a frontier town that featured five shops, a church, and a log cabin, with actors that played out the feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys.
Harold Bell Wright published his novel about the Ozarks, The Shepherd of the Hills , in 1907. The novel became an international best seller, making Wright the first millionaire author and established Branson and Southwest Missouri as a tourist destination. The Old Mill Theater began its first outdoor production based on the novel in 1960. The show, known as The Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama, continued in its 61st season for 2021. The historic farm is also the home of Inspiration Tower, the #1 rated Shepherd of the Hills Adventure Park as well as numerous other shows and attractions.
The Harold Bell Wright Museum is located within The World's Largest Toy Museum complex. Mayor of Branson for 12 years and entrepreneur Jim Owen built the first theater in 1934 on Commercial Street, originally called "The Hillbilly Theater", which began to attract people from far and wide to tour the area. 1959 saw the completion of Table Rock Dam on the White River, which created Table Rock Lake. In 1959, the Mabe Brothers started a band that, in 1961, would become the first music show in Branson. Taking their name from the parts they played in the Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama, they became known as the Baldknobber Hillbilly Jamboree.
In 1962, Paul Henning, inspired by a Boy Scout camping trip to the Ozarks, created The Beverly Hillbillies , which ran on first-run television until 1971. Henning later donated 1,534 acres (6.21 km2) for the Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area near Branson. He also donated the modified 1921 Oldsmobile truck used as the vehicle in the series to the College of the Ozarks, where it is on display in the Ralph Foster Museum.
The Presley family became the first to move their show (Presleys' Country Jubilee) to Highway 76 in 1967, followed a year later by the Baldknobbers. Eventually Branson would have more than 50 theaters, most of them located on Highway 76.
Also in 1983, the 7,500-seat Swiss Villa Amphitheatre opened in Lampe, southwest of Branson. The outdoor amphitheater brought in acts like Def Leppard, Lynyrd Skynyrd, REO Speedwagon, Steppenwolf, and Ozzy Osbourne. Closing in the early 2000s, it reopened in 2010 as the Black Oak Mountain Amphitheater. Closing suddenly in 2013, it went unused until relaunching live music events in 2021.
In 1987, Boxcar Willie became the first internationally known entertainer to purchase a theater in Branson and have a permanent performance schedule there.
In 1989, Shoji Tabuchi opened his first theater in Branson (converting the Ozarks Auto Museum on West 76 Highway into a theater). He then built a new theater on Shepherd of the Hills Expressway in 1990, while Mel Tillis moved into Shoji's old theater. In 1990-1991 several nationally known stars such as Jim Stafford, Ray Stevens, Mickey Gilley, and Moe Bandy opened their own theaters. Along with these national stars, many home-grown shows also had theaters. The Lowe Family featured their show and hosted nationally known stars like Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn, Vern Gosdin, Waylon Jennings, and others. 76 Music Hall (now known as the Grand Country Music Hall) became the first theater to have three different shows a day performing in different time slots. In 1991, local producer and entertainer Bob Nichols opened the first morning show and the following year, Buck Trent became the first nationally known star to star in a morning show.
The increasing number of theaters and other attractions opening in Branson drew the attention of 60 Minutes , which aired an episode about Branson on December 8, 1991, and called it the "live music capital of the entire universe".
Andy Williams built his theater in Branson, opening on May 1, 1992, calling it the Moon River Theatre. The Glen Campbell Goodtime Theatre opened in 1994, starring Glen along with his "Goodtime Band", daughter Debbie Campbell, the Matthew Dickens Dancers, and comedian ventriloquist Jim Barber. Also headlining their own theaters were Tony Orlando (Yellow Ribbon Theater) and Bobby Vinton (Blue Velvet Theater). In 1998, the Acrobats of China arrived in Branson, making them one of the first international shows to call Branson home. They opened their theatre, the New Shanghai Theatre, in 2005. In 2006, Dick Clark's American Bandstand Theatre opened and is the most recent new theater to be built on Route 76. Branson has continued to add theaters (the most recent being the Sight & Sound Theatres) and shows; it refers to itself as "the live music show capital of the world".
Use of social media is now an important factor in putting the spotlight on Branson. For example, the Petersens, a family bluegrass band, forced by COVID-19 to quit touring or performing live at Branson's Little Opry Theatre for much of 2020, found that YouTube was an alternative, with their videos generating more than 70 million views. In addition, 65% of their nearly 600,000 subscribers live outside the United States. (Figures as of October 2021 are as found on YouTube or cited by the Petersens). Thus this "American roots" band is generating a wide range of interest in Branson as a tourist destination.
Just after 1 a.m. on February 29, 2012, the city of Branson sustained damage from an EF-2 tornado in the 2012 Leap Day tornado outbreak. At least 37 injuries were reported, most being cuts and bruises, with the most serious injury being an 80-year-old woman with a head injury. 22-mile-long (35 km) path from Kimberling City, Missouri, across Table Rock Lake and along the entertainment strip Missouri Route 76 (now 76 country boulevard) before hitting the downtown area where it blew out or cracked windows in 219 of the hotel rooms in the 12-story/295 room Hilton Branson Convention Center. The tornado extensively damaged three of Branson's 50-plus theatres — (Americana Theater, Branson Variety Theater and Dick Clark's American Bandstand Theater) and there was damage to portions of Branson Landing on Lake Taneycomo and the Veterans Memorial Museum. Vehicles at the Ride the Ducks water/land attraction were flipped over, but officials said they were not damaged enough to be put out of service.Most of the tourist attractions and businesses were undamaged and remained open after the storm, although at least 11 buildings suffered more than $3 million in total damage. As of November 2012, most of the damage was repaired. Mary Jane Rice, a spokeswoman for Branson Area Chamber of Commerce, told the AP that February is generally a slow time for business and most of the damage would be cleaned up in the next few days. The tornado followed a
Besides the numerous entertainment theaters for which Branson is known, other local attractions include Aquarium at the Boardwalk, Beyond The Lens!, Hollywood Wax Museum Branson, Wonderworks, Silver Dollar City, White Water, Ripley's Super Fun Zone, Mount Pleasant Winery, Dolly Parton's Stampede, ziplines, cave tours, go-karts, mini golf, and more. Ripley's Odditorium is housed in a building that has been made to look as if it is cracked wide open by an earthquake or other disaster, while the Titanic Museum is a half-scale replica of the famous ship and iceberg.
Branson Landing opened in the summer of 2006on the Lake Taneycomo waterfront in downtown Branson. The lakefront project includes retail space with Bass Pro Shops and Belk as anchors in an outdoor shopping mall of stores and restaurants. It also features a scenic boardwalk along the lakefront with the Branson Landing Fountains at the heart of the property as well as a Hilton Hotel. Branson Landing has been known to host summer concerts and other special events throughout the year. The convention center, situated between Branson Landing and Historic Downtown Branson, opened September 7, 2007. The Branson Scenic Railway is located in the old depot, across from Branson Landing.
Due to Branson being known for family-oriented tourism, casino gambling is frowned upon and it does not exist in this area. However, Branson's neighboring cities do offer those types of entertainments for those who enjoy gambling.
Another attraction in Branson is the Andy Williams Performing Arts Center and Theatre. It hosts annual shows year round, but most prominent are the Christmas shows hosted by The Osmonds and The Lennon Sisters.
Branson is located at(36.637706, -93.254965). The White River/Lake Taneycomo forms a bend on the east and southern side of the city.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 20.80 square miles (53.87 km2), of which 20.63 square miles (53.43 km2) is land and 0.17 square miles (0.44 km2) is water.
Branson has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) with characteristics of a continental climate. The hardiness zone is 6b.
|Climate data for Branson, Missouri (1991−2020 averages)|
|Record high °F (°C)||80|
|Average high °F (°C)||43.2|
|Average low °F (°C)||26.6|
|Record low °F (°C)||−15|
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||2.81|
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||2.9|
|U.S. Decennial Census|
The Branson Micropolitan Statistical Area encompasses Taney and Stone counties.
As of the census 509.9 inhabitants per square mile (196.9/km2). There were 8,599 housing units at an average density of 416.8 per square mile (160.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 89.0% White, 2.0% African American, 0.9% Native American, 1.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.9% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.8% of the population.of 2010, there were 10,520 people, 4,688 households, and 2,695 families living in the city. The population density was
There were 4,688 households, of which 23.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.8% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 42.5% were non-families. 32.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.77.
The median age in the city was 41.2 years. 18.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 10.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.7% were from 25 to 44; 25.6% were from 45 to 64; and 19.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.9% male and 52.1% female.
As of the censusof 2000, there were 6,050 people, 2,701 households, and 1,661 families living in the city. The population density was 374.0 people per square mile (144.4/km2). There were 3,366 housing units at an average density of 208.1 per square mile (80.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.50% White, 0.84% African American, 0.86% Native American, 0.71% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.47% from other races, and 1.59% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.26% of the population.
There were 2,701 households, out of which 24.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.9% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.5% were non-families. 31.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.76.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 20.3% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 24.4% from 25 to 44, 27.0% from 45 to 64, and 20.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females, there were 86.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $31,997, and the median income for a family was $43,145. Males had a median income of $31,769 versus $21,223 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,461. 12.1% of the population and 9.7% of families were below the poverty line. 15.6% of those under the age of 18 and 17.0% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
Branson R-IV School District operates four elementary schools, Branson Jr. High School and Branson High School.
The town has a lending library, the Taneyhills Community Library.
Branson is served by the 165 bed full-service hospital and emergency department Cox Regional Medical Center and the Mercy Health System multi-specialty clinic.
U.S. Route 65 runs north and south, connecting Branson to Springfield to the north, and Little Rock to the south. Missouri Route 76 ran through Branson. In 2020, Route 76 was rerouted onto the existing Ozark Mountain Highroad replacing Route 465. The old alignment now forms 76 Country Boulevard.[ citation needed ]
Branson is served primarily by Branson Airport, the closest commercial airport, which opened in May 2009. It is the largest privately owned commercial airport in the United States. Over the years, the airport has had on-again off-again service from carriers such as AirTran, Sun Country, and Frontier.
The two closest commercial airports to Branson with more extensive airline service are the Springfield-Branson National Airport (SGF) located in Springfield, Missouri, which is about 52 miles from Branson, and Northwest Arkansas National Airport (XNA), in Highfill, Arkansas, which is about 62 miles from Branson. Between these two airports, service is offered to cities such as Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, and Denver which allows connections to other cities.
M. Graham Clark Field in Branson is a general aviation airport, which serves mainly single engine aircraft.
Branson is served by the Missouri & Northern Arkansas Railroad (MNA), owned by shortline holding company Genesee & Wyoming. The MNA is an important link between Kansas City, Missouri, and Newport, Arkansas. The MNA typically runs freight traffic at night, and its only current customers in the area are Royal Oak Charcoal at Gretna, the Branson Scenic Railway (BSR), Tyson Foods in Bergman, and Butterball in Yellville. At the Gretna siding trains frequently meet to pass each other and/or swap train crews. The MNA leases the railroad trackage from owner Union Pacific Railroad. In turn, the BSR leases trackage rights and land from the MNA. MNA freight and BNR passenger trains are operated by MNA train crews.[ when? ][ citation needed ]
Jefferson City, informally Jeff City, is the capital of Missouri. It had a population of 43,228 at the 2020 census, ranking as the 15th most populous city in the state. It is also the county seat of Cole County and the principal city of the Jefferson City Metropolitan Statistical Area, the second-most-populous metropolitan area in Mid-Missouri and the fifth-largest in the state. Most of the city is in Cole County, with a small northern section extending into Callaway County. Jefferson City is named for Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States.
Taney County is a county located in the southwestern portion of the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2020 census, the population was 56,066. Its county seat is Forsyth. It is included in the Branson, Missouri, Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Stone County is located in the southwestern portion of the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2020 census, the population was 31,076. Its county seat is Galena.
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Mountain Home is a city in, and the county seat of, Baxter County, Arkansas, United States, in the southern Ozark Mountains near the northern state border with Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 12,448. A total of 41,307 persons lived within the city and micropolitan area combined, which encompasses the majority of Baxter County.
Camdenton is a city in and the county seat of Camden County, Missouri, United States. Its population was 3,718 at the 2010 census. The city is enveloped by the Lower Niangua arm of the Lake of the Ozarks and serves as a popular trade point for visitors to the area.
Buffalo is a city in and the county seat of Dallas County, Missouri, United States. The population was 3,084 at the 2010 census.
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Rockaway Beach is a city in Taney County, Missouri, United States. The population was 829 at the 2020 census. It lies on the shoreline of the White River.
Branson West is a city in Stone County, Missouri, United States. The population was 484 at the 2020 census.
Osage Beach is a city in Camden and Miller counties in the U.S. state of Missouri. Most of the city is in Camden County, while a small eastern sliver is in Miller County. The population was 4,351 at the 2010 census.
Springfield is the third largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and the county seat of Greene County. As of the 2020 census, the city's population was 169,176. It is the principal city of the Springfield metropolitan area, which has an estimated 2021 population of 481,483 and includes the counties of Christian, Dallas, Greene, Polk, and Webster, and is the fastest growing metropolitan area in the state of Missouri.
Joplin is a city in Jasper and Newton counties in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Missouri. The bulk of the city is in Jasper County, while the southern portion is in Newton County. Joplin is the largest city located within both Jasper and Newton Counties - even though it is not the county seat of either county. With a population of 51,762 as of the 2020 census, Joplin is the 13th most-populous city in the state. The city covers an area of 35.69 square miles (92.41 km2) on the outer edge of the Ozark Mountains. Joplin is the main hub of the three-county Joplin-Miami, Missouri-Oklahoma Metro area, which is home to 210,077 people making it the 5th largest metropolitan area in Missouri. In May 2011, the city was hit by a violent EF5 tornado which destroyed one-third of the city.
The U.S. state of Missouri has a storied musical history. It has been the scene of major developments in several popular music genres as well as the birthplace of many notable musicians. St. Louis was an important venue for early blues and jazz, as well as country and bluegrass. Kansas City is home to famous performers such as Charlie Parker, Count Basie, Lester Young, and its own distinct jazz style. Ragtime got its influential hold in the city of Sedalia, Missouri, thanks to Scott Joplin and his publisher John Stark, and through another Missouri native, James Scott.
Lake Taneycomo is a man-made lake or reservoir on the White River in the Ozark Mountains of Taney County, Missouri. The reservoir's name is a portmanteau for the county and state in which it is located: Taney County, MO.
Route 76 is a highway in the west half of southern Missouri running between U.S. Route 60 and U.S. Route 63 at Willow Springs and the Oklahoma state line near Tiff City where it continues as a county road. It bypasses Branson on the Ozark Mountain High Road and is the namesake of the Branson strip, 76 Country Blvd. The road runs for its entirety through the Missouri Ozarks, and is at times very hilly and curvy.
Silver Dollar City is a 61-acre (25 ha) amusement park in Stone County, Missouri, near the cities of Branson and Branson West. The park is located off of Missouri Route 76 on the Indian Point peninsula of Table Rock Lake. Silver Dollar City opened on May 1, 1960. The park is an 1880s-themed experience that fits Branson's vision as a family-friendly vacation destination with down-home charm. Silver Dollar City's operating season runs from March until December, with the park closed for two months. Silver Dollar City is owned by Herschend Family Entertainment.
Herschend Family Entertainment (HFE) is a privately owned themed-entertainment company that operates several theme parks and tourist attractions within the United States, and as of 2021, one aquarium in Vancouver, Canada.