Friday, January 16, 2009

Living on the Lake of the Ozarks in the 50's

This is me when they brought me home from the hospital

When I was born my folks lived on the Lake of the Ozarks and my Dad was the proprietor of the Shorecrest Resort. If you can believe it for only 39 bucks two people could stay there for a week. You even had a boat furnished for free! Of course if you wanted an outboard motor that would cost you 4$ a day and a guide could be arranged. You would be staying in a brand new cabin, built by my dad and his partner that had a living room with a floor to ceiling window overlooking the lake, two bedrooms, modern (for the 50's) kitchen, complete with dishes, utensils and hot water!

My Dad working on the plumbing

I found an old brochure that boasts of new Rich Line aluminum boats at the dock. Or if you want to launch your own boat there is even a paved drive down to the lake. Shorecrest was built above the lake on a gentle slope right to the water. No hills to climb and a safe beach for swimming and plenty of play area to the children. What I remember is different, I remember the house we lived in was on top of a cliff overlooking the lake. Some of the pictures I've included reflect the wonderful view we had.

Our "Native Clothesline" as my Mom called it.

If you are not familiar with the Lake of the Ozarks it's located pretty much in the center of Missouri. It's a dragon shaped lake that stretches 92 miles-end to end-from Bagnell Dam to Truman Dam with over 40 miles of unobstructed tributaries. This adds up to over 1,150 miles of shoreline. Shorecrest was located on the Niangua Arm about 4 miles NW of Camdenton, that was famous for good fishing. You could catch lots of white and largemouth bass, crappie and of course catfish.

Doesn't he look happy!

Fishing was one of my Dad's favorite hobby and as you can see he was pretty good at it! The picture of him and the catfish was a record catch, there was is even a picture of him holding it posted in the local Lebanon newspaper. I used to have a copy of that, but unfortunately it's been lost. Even a record breaking; Muskie was caught in 1981 it was 49 1/4 inches long and weighed a whopping 41 pounds 2 ounces. The girth was 25 inches --4 inches more than each of the previous three state records!

Helping Daddy build something.

I remember very little of our time on the lake as we moved from there when I was about 3, but I do remember one winters day we looked out and there was a deer out in the middle of the frozen lake and everyone was concerned that the ice wasn't strong enough to hold it. What happened escapes me unfortunately. I'd like to think that it made it to where ever it was going and all was ok. We'll leave it at that.

My Sister and Brother and the kittens
There are many family stories I heard later, most of these concern my older brother, he fell out of the back of the jeep on a rocky road and was knocked out for a while, another time he was standing in the front seat of Daddy's Chevy on one trip up the gravel lake road and he somehow opened the door on a left hand corner and swung right out on his butt on the road. I think we are seeing a pattern here... And yet another time he was on top of the crib barn and threw a rock and hit my sister on the head! She survived but I can't say how his bottom felt after the paddling he got.

After we had moved to the city, (Richland Missouri) we did go back there for summer vacations for a time and I do remember some of those times as being a quiet peaceful spot of paradise. I know I was a lucky kid to have been able to experience that and only wish I lived on the lake now.

Edited 02-13-2010
I have had the pleasure of meeting a couple of really nice fellows here in the comments below that also had ties to this same resort! Something interesting has happened since they found this post, Jon has started his own blog called "Shorecrest Resort & Lake of the Ozarks in the 60s & 70s and Mike has sent me some pictures of his time visiting while Jon's folks owned the resort. I have posted a new article with his pictures here. So be sure to check both of these out for more info on Shorecrest Resort!
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