Ralph Foster Museum
One of the Midwest’s foremost institutions of historical preservation located just 2 miles south of Branson, the Ralph Foster Museum located on the campus of the College of the Ozarks offers an intriguing and educational experience for guests of many ages to enjoy. Visitors can explore exhibits and artifacts of the Ozarks region, including antiques, weapons, toys, an art gallery, and more.
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Ralph Foster Museum
The Ralph Foster Museum, on the campus of the College of the Ozarks, grew from humble beginnings in the 1920s to become one of the Midwest’s foremost institutions of historical preservation. Dr. Robert M. Good, the President of the school, took an interest in the idea of a museum on campus. Subsequently, he made space available for the display of items in the basement of Abernathy Hall, a boy’s dormitory. When the dorm was later vacated, funds were provided to convert the entire building into a museum.
The primary focus of the Ralph Foster Museum today is to collect, preserve, interpret and exhibit items relating to the Ozarks region. One of the more famous exhibits is the original vehicle used in the television series “The Beverly Hillbillies.” In addition, visitors will find antiques, weapons, dolls, natural history, and other items from around the world. After your visit to the museum, be sure to check out the many other activities and points of interest College of the Ozarks has to offer.
Built with funds provided by the late Mr. and Mrs. Hubert C. Edwards, is powered by a twelve-foot water wheel turned by runoff water from nearby Lake Honor. Student-workers grind whole-grain meal and flour, available for purchase inside the building. Upstairs is a weaving studio, where students design and produce rugs, shawls, placemats, and other items on traditional looms. Downstairs, students hand-weave baskets.
The park sits near the entrance of campus and contains The Missouri Vietnam Veterans Memorial which bears the names of the 1,410 men and women from Missouri who gave their lives in Vietnam. Patriots Park is also home to The Missouri Gold Star Families Memorial which honors Gold Star Families (those who have lost immediate family members in their service to the country), preserves the memory of the fallen, and stands as a stark reminder that freedom is not free.
Fruitcake & Jelly Kitchen
Since 1934, College of the Ozarks has produced its famous fruitcakes on campus, and today student workers, along with supervisors, bake more than 25,000 cakes a year. Visitors are welcome in the kitchen where a variety of jellies and the College’s delicious apple butter are also made and sold. The Kitchen is open for public tours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
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