Sense of Place

Explore the mystery and folklore of the Ozarks region by taking a step back in time. This series focuses on true stories from the vaults and attics of local historians.

Michele Skalicky

Welcome back to our Sense of Community series, "Mysteries from the Hollers."

Stories of buried treasure in the Ozarks have intrigued people for decades. 

Rockbridge Rainbow Trout and Game Ranch, Inc.

Eighty miles southeast of Springfield, deep in the Ozark Mountains lies a secluded getaway spot that draws people from all over the world.  It boasts a river stocked with Rainbow Trout and a restaurant that makes one heck of a cobbler—but the town of Rockbridge, Missouri also has a gem of a past.

What started in 1841 as a settlement of migrants from Kentucky is now a 2,000 acre resort that attracts visitors year round.


Rockbridge Rainbow Trout and Game Ranch is home to some of the best fly fishing in the midwest.


Michele Skalicky

Welcome to our Sense of Community series, "Mysteries from the Hollers."

Before modern medicine was readily available, people would turn to home remedies to treat various diseases. 

When someone was bitten by an animal, especially if it was believed to be rabid, folks in the Ozarks as late as the 1930s, would pull out the family madstone or go to a local person who possessed one.

Michele Skalicky

George Washington Carver, famous for his many contributions to agriculture as a chemist at the Tuskegee Institute, was born into slavery sometime in the 1860s (no one knows for sure) on the farm of Moses Carver in Diamond, Missouri.

From what historians can tell, Moses and his wife, Susan, were fond of little George who loved to help with domestic chores.

He desperately wanted an education, but when he tried to attend a nearby school he was turned away because of the color of his skin.

Claire Kidwell / KSMU News

Smallin Civil War Cave near Ozark has a rich history, dating back to right after the last Ice Age.  It was also a sacred space for the Osage tribes. But after the Osage moved to Kansas and Oklahoma, it became a community spot for pioneers and townfolk. 

Wanetta Bright, who owns the cave and surrounding property with her husband, took us back on a trip to see the cave through the eyes of local explorers.

She says the explorer Henry Schoolcraft came to this place, describing it as a “secret of the great works of nature.”