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WE INVITE YOU to begin your journey through these pages by first thinking of mid-20th century America, before there even was a Silver Dollar City. All around the country, there was so much change: inventions that would replace the old ways, new contraptions, loud music and fast cars—so much hustle and bustle. There was one family, who lived in Chicago, yearning for the quiet and colorful call of the Ozark Mountains. With their teenage boys in tow, the parents came to the Ozarks and traveled the dusty mountain roads, exploring the hills and valleys. They found wildflowers, a massive cave, and colorful mountain folk, genuine settlers who were self-sufficient and eking out life in the Ozarks. As many were heard to say, “We make pert near everything. If we can’t make it, we probably don’t need it.”

THE FAMILY SHARED A DREAM, a dream that part of America’s colorful past could be preserved, that the men and women of an earlier America could show us our heritage. Wouldn’t it be something to share the skills of our forefathers, tell the tales of the past, and entertain with the music and lore of yesteryear? In time, Silver Dollar City sprouted into life. You’ll read more in the pages to come. This City, so treasured in the hearts of many, keeps the dream alive. A place where there’s a marshal, a blacksmith, musicians, craftsmen and women, heritage cooks, and other interesting characters. Leave your cars and computers, cell phones and jet planes, television sets and hectic schedules behind. Become immersed in the sounds, the smells, and the tastes of a simpler time. Welcome to Silver Dollar City, Branson, Missouri.

OUR nam atop cave bear from M marv foun good com

include a waterfall,

ders SILVER LINING: Natural won ns. The National Park formatio a lost river, and many stunning onal Natural Landmark in Service declared the cave a Nati overed so far in Missouri. disc cave pest dee the is 1973, and it


Marvel Cave


Publicity photo for early tours

OUR STORY BEGINS in the 1880s with a place called Marmaros, named after the Greek word for marble. The mining town was atop Roark Mountain above a mysterious cave. Legend says the cave was called “Devil’s Den” after an Osage hunter tracking a bear fell into the massive sinkhole entrance, never to be heard from again. Miners hoped to find silver and marble buried deep within the marvelous formations, so they called it Marble Cave. The miners found limestone that only glistened like marble, but times were good anyway. They discovered tons of bat guano, an important compound in gunpowder and fertilizer!


Evening Lantern Light Tours allow guests to experience Marvel Cave much as the firs explorers did. These 90-minute tours by lantern light include the Mammoth Room and the only known remaining “Spanish ladder,” a sturdy pole notched for footholds, believed to have been left by early Spanish explorers.



. The cave is home to the rare Ozark blind cave salamander, as well as cave crickets, flying bats, an blind cave crayfish The City works to preserve these special populations.

Early tour ladder

AS TIME went on, the great cave became a tourist destination with the name being changed to the more poetic Marvel Cave. Visitors wearing leather-seated britches would back down a wooden ladder before sliding down a massive pile of debris. The owners as of 1893 were a Canadian family, the Lynches, composed of an entrepreneurial gentleman and his two educated and refined daughters, one an opera singer. The Lynches ran the cave for some 50 years, building the road to it that is now Highway 76. They hired young men and women of the hills to help guide tours, and the Lynch sisters entertained, guided, served meals in the Tea Room, and offered lodging.

Early prom


ch in her mud boots

Believed to be Genevieve Lyn

Hugo and Mary

Jack Herschen d and a gue st exploring

HUGO HERSCHEND, born in 1899, left Denmark at age 19 to travel the world. He eventually settled in Chicago to study engineering. There, Hugo met Mary, the educated and outdoors-loving woman who would become his wife. Hugo worked in the vacuum cleaner industry, and he and Mary would vacation in the Ozarks. They struck up a friendship with the now-elderly Lynch sisters, who still owned Marvel Cave. The Lynch sisters agreed to lease the cave to the Herschends in the spring of 1950. Mary and their two boys, Jack and Pete, ran tours in the summer while Hugo continued to make cave-improvement money in Chicago. Tourism was picking up, and the family soon made the Ozarks their home. But Hugo had a fatal heart attack in 1955, leaving Mary and the boys on their own.


The Herschends put up a few cabins where visitors could buy ice cream and browse for souvenirs while awaiting their tour of the cave. Silver Dollar City grew from that humble beginning.

From left, Pete, Mary, and Jack


Newlyweds Jack and Sherry Herschend

d and Sherry

chen SILVER LINING: Jack Hers r he asked kissed in the c ve, but only afte

Nickel first the cave and countryside permission! They often explored Marvel Cave in 1954. in ried together, and they mar



THE 1950S BROUGHT a lot of change for the Herschend family with college for both boys, the Marines for Jack and the Army for Pete, plus all the cave duties. Jack, a true cave enthusiast, had befriended one of the very first cave guides, Fannabelle Nickel, who had begun guiding tours for the Lynches as a 15-year-old. She soon introduced Jack to her captivating and adventurous daughter, Sherry. Sherry had grown up exploring the cave, even entertaining tourists with a daring dance on a narrow rail high above the Cathedral Room. Jack was smitten, and the couple courted on cave adventures. Sherry also played and sold dulcimers in the City.


Levi Morrill, also known as Uncle Ike, was one of the only real people portrayed in Harold Bell Wright’s Shepherd of the Hills. He was the postmaster for the village of Notch, and Fannabelle delivered mail for him on horseback.


and Uncle




Porch pickin’ parties used to be common throughout the Ozarks. People would bring potluck or pie and their instruments or dancing shoes and play late into the night, with the coyotes singing right along with this music of the hills.


Fiddlin’ Jake Vining, a colorful local who visited the City frequently

Don Richardson

BY THE LATE 1950S, tourists visiting the cave were increasing at a rapid rate. The Herschends knew that the guests waiting to tour needed something to do. So with Hugo’s vision in mind, they went out and found a community building to serve as a church, started constructing frontier-style buildings­—two log cabins and a homestead—creating an Ozarks village of the 1880s. They went searching down long, curvy roads and across hills and hollers for the mountain people who made the products their neighbors needed, like brooms, knives, and horseshoes. They found wood-carvers and fiddlers, tall-tale tellers, and a native basket maker. Press agent Don Richardson came up with the name Silver Dollar City, based on his idea that silver dollar coins from the US Mint could be used as change— and advertising! Visitors would take the silver dollars back to their relatives and neighbors and talk all about this place in the hills. Word-of-mouth marketing!

Basket maker Leslie Jones


“This company has flourished y supporting and empowering one another. Some decisions must be made based on engineering and facts, yet there are some decisions of intuition and instinct that come from the heart.” —Jack Herschend


Jack Herschend installing a sign

“EIGHTEEN THOUSAND persons from twenty-two states visited the reconstructed historic village of the eighteen hundreds,” read the Branson Beacon, stating that the opening of Silver Dollar City in 1960 drew the largest crowd ever to attend such a dedication in the Ozarks. There was much excitement over being given change in silver dollars, the General Store with fresh ground coffee and a real cracker barrel, the Wilderness Church made of logs, an Old Miner’s Shack, the Stage Coach Inn, and a print shop where the town paper was to be published daily. Cars wound along the highway for more than a mile. The Herschends quickly realized they were no longer only in the cave tour business, but they also had a theme park to run.

Opening Day


You can still tour the McHaffie Homestead, one of the buildings from the early years. It’s a rare surviving 1843 saddlebag cabin, consisting of two rooms on either side of a stone chimney that heated both rooms.


: Services have be en held in the ch from the beginnin urch g, and they are still held every Su for guests and em nday ployees who wo uld like to attend . 18

The church in the hills

THE WILDERNESS CHURCH, originally built in 1849, is one of the most storied treasures of Silver Dollar City. In the mid-1950s, the Herschends, led by Hugo, found the log structure at nearby Galena. They bought it, dismantled it, numbered the logs in chalk, and then brought it all to Marvel Cave Park. As the logs sat out in time and weather, the chalk wore off. When it came time to rebuild, the determined early crew had to figu e out where each log fit, log by log. The placement of the church is yet another story. Mary, a dedicated outdoor enthusiast, it loved the old sycamore tree that was right in Lester Vining carving the pulp the middle of the ideal spot! Arguments ensued as Mary insisted the tree would not come down. In the end, she compromised when the family decided the trunk of the sycamore could be the pulpit. NUGGET: And another story? Jack and Pete, while learning the business In the beginning, together, found great inspiration and guidance through the when a pastor Wilderness Church. Both parents had a hand in this signature couldn’t make it to structure, and both men had recently become Christians. They Sunday service, Jack agreed to ask the Lord to guide them in their lives and the shaping and Pete would fli a silver dollar to see of Silver Dollar City. They held their “board meetings” sitting on an who would have to old log secluded behind the old church.

give the sermon. The winner got to ring the bell!

Lloyd “Shad” Heller



Shad Heller made thousands of horseshoe-nail rings for ladies’ fingers. ou have a piece of history if you have one!

LLOYD “SHAD” HELLER, with his signature sparkling eyes, met the Herschends in the late 1950s. A vaudevillian, snake dancer, performer, and salesman, Shad came to the Ozarks and, along with his wife, Ruth (later named Aunt Mollie), started working with The Shepherd of the Hills outdoor play. With the opening of Silver Dollar City, they both took day jobs as performers, , in a skit Molly, center creating characters all their own. Shad Shad and Aunt Blacksmith was most often the “smithy”—establishing Wayne Rice City blacksmithing as an entertaining experience. He was the mayor one day, the sheriff the next. Shad exemplified early Silver Dollar City, serving as the promotional face and character of an exciting time. Soon, he would become a TV star, too!

an TODAY: The blacksmith at the forge is

buy icon of American craftsmanship. You can smithy beautiful hammered steel roses, and the still hammers iron products by hand.

me friends as they

NUGGET: Pete and JoDee beca ed Zekey Hatfield performed together. Pete play

worked and In one skit, he was supposed to in love with Sarey Ellen McCoy. , he pulled a live frog instead time one but hand her a fl wer, She married him anyway! her. from his bib overalls to hand


Singing Pete Herschend, third from left

m left

THE HERSCHEND BROTHERS shared a knack for selecting the loves of their lives. Like Jack, Peter met his bride at Marvel Cave Park/Silver Dollar City. JoDee Pete with his Remien came to the City to work convertible in the General Store and perform in street skits, as most employees did in those days. Very pretty and gracious, she caught Pete’s eye. Pete offered her a ride to work in his bright red convertible but was told “no, thank you.” She didn’t take rides with strangers! Pete and JoDee became friends while acting in skits together and taking their routine to nearby communities to promote Silver Dollar City. They fell in love and married in 1966. The brothers were JoDee at the discovering t h ere re JoDee and Pete General Sto was a strong role for each of them, as well as a handful of loyal, hardworking employees, now called Silver Dollar City “citizens.” Jack, who was deeply involved with Marvel Cave, had an engineering and operational mind, and Pete proved to be a master of marketing and publicity.

West Plains, Missouri, radio

s, SILVER LINING: In the 1990 ed the old Concord coach, over disc by Ham Rick boy ity Cow

personal nsas barn, still bearing its Silver sitting in tall weeds behind an Arka n He had ridden in the coach whe Dollar City door and inventory tag. it, renamed it The ored rest it, ght bou He ! 1964 he was fi e years old in family is distance runs in it. The Hamby Journey, and made several long . gifting it back to Silver Dollar City


The Concord in 1966

THE EARLY SIXTIES were an exciting time in the establishment of Silver Dollar City. Visitors were enthusiastic, and their numbers were growing. More attractions were needed, and in what seemed perfect timing, a New York amusement park was selling two authentic stagecoaches and a steam train. Each piece had a history. One coach, referred to as The Vanderbilt, had actually been owned by that famous family. It was a TallyEarly stagecoa ch rides Ho road coach and quite elegant. The other, a Concord coach was built in New Hampshire in the 1880s and used for decades to carry mail and passengers on the Overland Stage Lines out west before it was retired and sent back east, where it was stored for some 50 years before going into service at the New York park. The Herschend family bought both and opened the 1962 season by taking guests for rides on real horse-drawn stagecoaches, on what the City called The Butterfield Stage Line, named after the real line that passed nearby! The ride went bouncing and jouncing over backwoods trails, becoming a memorable experience for thousands of early guests. The coaches were retired in the 1970s.


The old Concord stage begins its final journe in May 2016, leaving Clarendon, Texas, to travel to Matador, Texas, once again carrying mail, this time from school children in Missouri to those in Texas. In the fall, it will come home to Silver Dollar City.

r company

of ou RE: “The application TRUE TREASU s is our single most competitive

ue beliefs and core val se beliefs built however, is that the nt, rta po im As for all of us to advantage. rk wo me provide a great fra rschend on Christian service filling life.� Pete He live a better, more ful


Frisco Silver Dollar Steam Line

A hillbilly gang stopping the

“WOO! WOO!� The shrill whistle of the Frisco Silver Dollar Steam Line rings through the Ozark hills at Silver Dollar City on a regular schedule, summoning riders for a 20-minute ride through the beautiful countryside. The first train, a pretty red locomotive with its 4-4-2 engine, was the main attraction that came along with the stagecoaches for the season of 1962. This narrow gauge locomotive has a fascinating history as it had been in the collection of Henry Ford, the famous producer of automobiles, as a play train for his kids! The popularity of the train ride and the hold-ups along the way kept growing, and the family knew they needed more powerful locomotives to negotiate the terrain and handle all the passengers. In 1969, the Herschends located an Iowa collector of old German steam trains, and two of those are still in service at Silver Dollar City, taking unknowing passengers into the land of hillbilly ruffians


The entertaining mock train robbery today arose out of necessity. The original steam engine needed to pause to build up enough steam to get up the last steep hill before returning to the depot.


Granny and Elly May Clampett with blacksmith Shad Heller



G: The City char vice versa . Budd med the cast of y Ebsen (Jed) tri The Beverly Hillb ed tie-hacking af illies, and Donna Douglas ter watching th (Elly May) got an e City’s expert. exclusive perso after a day of film nally guided tour ing. One of the Ci of the cave ty’s early citi en for Elly May. You s was selected as can still meet he the stand-in r today in the ca ndy store. Turn the page! 28

Beverly Hillbilli

HALLMARKS OF Silver Dollar City citizens have always been creativity, ingenuity, and out-of-the-box thinking. Knowing that America was fascinated by a family of hill folk who were in the toprated program on television during the 1960s, Silver Dollar City leaders pitched the producer of The Beverly Hillbillies an idea. The premise was that the Clampett family would need to go back to their home in the hills to find a husband for Elly May. The idea hit home, and when filming—an astounding five-and-a-half episodes when only two episodes had been planned before The cast the producer’s arrival—much of the City’s Square and some citizens were front and center! The building that is Hannah’s Ice Cream Shop today served as the hotel, and blacksmith Shad became key to the production. When the episodes aired, Silver Dollar City received more publicity than it had in all of the first ten years. The number of visitors to the City exploded.

es promotion at

the City

June Ward

Hillbillies television show ked from the candy pluc came to the City, June Ward was June recalls standing . May Elly for d-in stan counter to be the the crew fine-tune as g, pirin in the heat, red-faced and pers called “First eam,� and ctor dire the l unti s ctor refle lights and stepped in as Elly May. a cool and fresh Donna Douglas

NUGGET: When The Beverly


NO VISIT TO Silver Dollar City is complete without a stop at Brown’s Candy Factory where June Ward is the undisputed Queen of Candy and a matriarch of the City. She’s been there since 1968 and making candy since 1969, after learning from some of the original candy makers and finding her own candy calling. For more than four decades, she has taught the secrets to newer helpers, and they make 90,000 pounds of candy every season. You can watch nut brittle, fudge, toffee, divinity, hard candy, and more being made, and along with the demonstrations, you’ll get a sample of both down-home Ozark humor and the goodies. Peanut lovers, dare to resist the peanut brittle!

June Ward, Queen of Candy


Marshal Chuc

k Terry

Kids love candy and being deputized by Silver Dollar City’s long-time marshal, whose jail is right across from the candy shop.

celebrate our Silver cultu a n, Dollar City family. As we’ve grow guided by strong personalities parts carefully planned, others family.” —Jack Herschend City ar within the Silver Doll

nly TRUE TREASURE: “We ope re has evolved—many


Master basket maker Donnie Ellison

Master knife maker Ray Johnson

PROGRESS CAME slow to the still isolated Ozark hills. In the mid-20th century, people living here were keeping the old ways alive through their everyday lives. The Herschends were captivated by these people who hammered out their own knives, grew their own food, and made their own instruments, baskets, and clothes. They scoured the surrounding hill country for people and the handcrafts they might bring to the City, so that guests could see this way of life so rich with American tradition. From the early days at Silver Dollar City, park craftsmen and women demonstrated making baskets and pottery, dipping candles, hewing logs or shingles, making lye soap, and building split rail fences. When the City held the first three-day festival featuring additional demonstrating craftsmen in October 1963, it drew 60,000 people. Craftsmanship was clearly a draw, and the resident crafts colony began to grow.

orker Lathe woodw r Gene Bortne


: On Silver Dollar City’s SILVER LINING ngressional Proclamation Co a 10, ersary in 20 Anniv rk as the 1880s theme pa officially recogn ed ip.” nsh ma fts can Cra “The Home of Ameri


Master chip carver Pam Gresham

Log hew er and buil der Mark Ed wards

Master glass blower Shawn Watt

Master potter Je


AMERICAN HERITAGE CRAFTS and the craftsmen and women who kept them alive became a big part of the Silver Dollar City experience. These experts, some second or third generation artisans, drew enthralled crowds who peppered them with questions about the crafting process. Then came eager apprentices hired for summer jobs at the growing City. With years of instruction, practice, and experimentation, some dedicated apprentices developed into top artisans themselves. Just one example is Mark Edwards, a long-time log hewer and builder, who made many of the cabins around the City.



G: You can buy mo crafts you see in th st of the handma de e City at fine shop s li e Heartland Ho Furnishings, which me has its own Craftsm an Collection. There are 60 craft shop s and unique bout iques in the City.


Master furniture maker Warren Cook

Master cut glass craftsman George Stiverson

Master k

nife mak er Denn

is Smith

OVER THE DECADES, still more craftsmen and women, some with degrees in art, flocked to the City, a place where they could spend their work days at the craft they loved. Today, you can watch knife, candle, and pottery making, glass blowing and etching, wood carving, leather crafting, and more by the park’s resident colony of 100 demonstrating craftsmen and women. Over the years, the City became known as The Home of American Craftsmanship. Master leather craftsman

Vada Swearingen

The bakers at Eva and Delilah’s Bakery


The House of BBQ

AS YOU ENTER the Square at Silver Dollar City, catch the aroma of fresh baked cinnamon rolls from Eva & Delilah’s Bakery straight ahead. Bakers who start work before dawn pull trays from the brick ovens: yeasty rolls and buns, huge turnovers, breads, giant cookies, and more. In Center City, another bakery opens early with its own specialties: Sullivan’s Mill is famous for its warm cinnamon loaves with vanilla icing and hearty loaves of multi-grain bread, but it’s more than a bakery. The authentic water-powered gristmill, an icon for decades at Silver Dollar City, grinds corn into fresh meal as you watch. Home-style breakfasts and savory buffets are among about 25 dining options in the City. Each festival also brings its own specialty foods. For Bluegrass & BBQ, the City’s largest presentation hall becomes The House of BBQ, featuring ribs, chicken, brisket, and pulled pork—direct from large outdoor charcoal grills and the City’s custom-made smokers.

Sullivan’s Mill


Sullivan’s Mill is also home of the world’s largest selection of cookie cutters. Find shapes from armadillos to mermaids!



G: A Tolar family skillet tradition recipe started th at the City. Thes e big e are huge fi eopen grills, filled foot skillets on with egetables and stirred with paddle. A favorit a big metal e is the succotas h, with corn, chicken stir-frie d into a savory on squash, okra, and e-dish meal. 40

Shirley Tolar

The Culinary & Crafts School

THIS CITY IS UNIQUE in that visitors can indulge in hearty from-scratch cooking: doublebattered fried chicken, 18-hour slow-smoked barbecue, mashed potatoes and cream gravy, and stone-hearth oven pizza. The City is also legendary for its fresh-made ice cream, and Hannah’s Ice Cream Factory on the Square churns 9,000 gallons per year. Famous for its food for decades, Silver Dollar City found a way to serve the food aficionados who want to learn the City’s culinary craftsmanship: The Culinary & Crafts School, built in 2008 by City craftsmen and filled with City artisans’ handiwork. The School partners with Midwest Living magazine and offers daily classes in seasonal cuisine, with sampling of the sumptuous concoctions. Master o

f Culinary

Arts Deb

bie Uhri


The Homestead Pickers

t lies not in what on reas the is it is, but who it is. The who people, and therein City is successful. The who is the Herschend ete —P e.” renc diffe makes the

TRUE TREASURE: “The hear why Silver Dollar



ller Jud

Horsecreek Ba

nd River Rats

FROM THE CITY’S first days, there were shows like the Hatfields and McCoys feuding in comical improv skits on Main Street. The Silver Dollar Saloon opened in 1973 with colorful can-can dancers, singing bartenders, and a dastardly villain along with root beer and peanuts. The Horsecreek Band played traditional country and bluegrass, and the River Rats were the City’s own kings of Dixieland jazz.

y Young

addition to the music,

es, in SILVER LINING: Sometim batic skateboarders, a as acro you might catch zany acts such ons, working dogs showing Wild West Show, magic and illusi em Globetrotters. Harl off their stuff, or en the


The Cajun Connection


NEW THEATERS with high-tech sound and lighting delivered new entertainment options running the gamut from pickin’ parties to Broadway-style productions like A Dickens’ Christmas Carol, For The Glory, and Headin’ West. Talented performers sing, dance, and act in venues Saloon can-ca n dancers from the Gazebo Stage to the 4,000-seat Echo Hollow Amphitheatre under the stars. The stages are filled with top bluegrass bands and Southern Gospel artists during festivals, and regulars include the lively Cajun Connection, the Western-style Sons of the Silver Dollar, and the Homestead Pickers. The Harlem Globetrotters bring their playful antics for six weeks every summer, and quite a few lucky guests become part of the show. Everyone can meet the team and get autographs and a picture with them. The Harlem Globetrotters

des, partnerships eon elod Nick as such ds, bran with national ment’s VeggieTales, and Rudolph Smithsonian, Big Idea Entertain added star-power. the Red-Nosed Reindeer, have

the deca SILVER LINING: Through , National Geographic,


Cowboy painter Buck Taylor, who played Newly of Gunsmoke fame


THE CITY’S first three-day festival in 1963 featuring craftsmen and a fall harvest theme grew into a two-month festival, which is Woodcarver Peter Engler now the National Harvest & Cowboy Festival, acclaimed as the granddaddy of all crafts festivals in America’s heartland. The number of festivals has grown, too, and now seven festivals and events—each with different features, entertainment, food, and décor—bring guests back from March through December. While the elements change, spring and early fall festivals center mostly around music, entertainment, food, and art. Summer’s festivals focus on highenergy shows and activities for kids and families. Christmas? That’s its own story!

Fiddle maker Violet Hensley will celebrate her 50th fall festival as she turns 100 in 2016.

Violet Hensley

Echo Hollow Concerts


An Old Time Christmas has been twice named at the top of USA Today’s 10 Best Poll for “Best Theme Park Holiday Event.” The Travel Channel, Good Morning America, The Weather Channel, CNN Travel, Fodor’s Travel, Huffingt Post, Yahoo Travel, and MSN.com have all included the festival on lists for the best lights and holiday events.


Rudolph’s Holly JollyTM Christmas Light Parade

THE TRADITIONAL SEASON in the City, as well as Branson, was Memorial day to Labor Day. Many in the business community began asking: Would a Christmas festival work? Would people come when it was cold? In 1988, Silver Dollar City was the first to take the risk and start a Christmas festival called The Twelve Days of Christmas, later changed to An Old Time Christmas. Key finding: If it is spectacular enough, they will come! The community joined in with area-wide lighting and shows, calling the entire season Ozark Mountain Christmas. Now one of Silver Dollar City’s fastest growing and most notable festivals, An Old Time Christmas blazes with five million lights. There’s a five-sto y special effects tree, special holiday foods, a Christmas light parade, over a thousand decorated trees, and two original Broadway-style musical productions, A Dickens’ Christmas Carol and It’s A Wonderful Life.

A Dickens’ Christmas Carol

A tree with

its own light

and sound sh


at the American Plunge, d wn fi e stories. Or shes spla that traditional log flume ride re raft riders floa whe st, take part in Tom & Huck’s RiverBla area’s genuine the of ce blan sem a or r, down the White Rive and raft-toaft to-r raftkers river. They battle with supersoa pshooters. shar eline shor ging dod e whil e shor

TODAY: On a hot day, cool off


The Flooded Mine

Fire In The Ho


RIDES AND ATTRACTIONS added adventure to the growing City. But true to the goal of bringing history to life, along with Mary Herschend’s mandate of keeping all the trees possible, every attraction was placed in a natural setting—tucked in among the trees and hills—with details and a story line rooted in real Ozarks’ history. Long-time popular citizen Terry Sanders In the Flooded Mine, added in 1968, guests floated in an ore cart through a flooding county prison mine where the prisoners were escaping, and the walk through Grandfather’s Mansion had mysterious effects. Fire In The Hole, the City’s first roller coaster, opened TODAY: in 1972 with a dark indoor Hugo and Mary’s setting rooted in a local legend: carousel, with 24 the story of the Baldknobbers, vigilantes who burned down the hand-carved horses, town. Water rides were portrayed as float trips and whitewater bears, and mules, was rafting, and the clever Rube Dugan’s Diving Bell was the entire designed in 1983 by renowned woodcarver amusement industry’s first simulator attraction Pete Engler.


designed around central mod is n themes. The Grand Expositio 10 family rides, and Fireman’s expositions of a century ago, with ity volunteer firefighter mun com of t spiri Landing salutes the play zones. and s with 10 more family ride

s are SILVER LINING: Whole area eled after world’s fairs and


Outlaw Run

DO YOU DARE to fl , loop, and drop? The turn of the century brought big rides with increasingly big thrills: the mine train coaster Thunderation with an 81-foot spiraling drop into a tunnel; the Rolls Royce of coasters WildFire, a multilooping steel coaster, which takes you through the treetops at 66 miles per hour and then drops you vertically for 15 stories; the explosive launch coaster Powder Keg, which launches you to a speed of 53 miles WildFire per hour in just 2.8 seconds; and the Giant Barn Swing, which sends you seven stories in the air and nearly upside down at 45 miles per hour! Then in 2013, the park opened Outlaw Run, the wood coaster that put Silver Dollar City at the forefront in the international thrill ride arena. Outlaw Run was honored as Best New Ride of 2013 worldwide and included in Guinness World Records 2015. It features the world’s first and only double barrel roll on a wood coaster, has a record-breaking three inversions, and at its 2013 debut, held the record steepest drop of 81 degrees on a wood coaster. Coaster lovers come from around the world to ride! Masco

t Luck

y at Fir


’s Lan


The Herschends, from left, Pete

and JoDee, Jack and Sherry

T in the future. What is what we will look like ctly exa say e of our to y wa “There is no t the values and cultur cess of tomorrow is tha rschend He of en om and important to the suc n reflected in the me be to ll, then ue we tin ne con do ay t’s tod tha company come. If—together— to es cad hend de rsc He for t e en r tomorrow.” —Pet Family Entertainm ay, with an even bette tod are we t tha all be we will





THIS BOOK was created in tribute to the Herschend Family as part of the First Annual Founders’ Weekend at Silver Dollar City, May 6-8, 2016. We hope you’ve seen how the culture evolved, emanating from the hearts and souls of thousands of citizens over the decades— people who contributed to each step of the journey. The love is shared with the millions of guests who have visited this special place and who hold pieces, in their own hearts, of this 1880s Ozark village called Silver Dollar City.

To God be the Glory! “We have a bright future built on our core values, nurturing one another with respect, encouragement, unde rstanding, and praise; all within Christian values and ethics. Our core values are not merely words— they serve to differentiate us from other organizations. Pr viding fun experiences, taking care of our gues ts, and treating others with respect and honesty are as much a critical part of our history as they are esse ntial to ensuring our future.” —Jack Hers chend

May 2016

Early promotion

Mary Rinker Herschend died in 1983. While she was alive, she received many accolades, including a Missouri House resolution for her contribution to tourism and being honored by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce as the “Leading Lady of Missouri Tourism.� Her legacy lives on within the hearts of many Silver Dollar Citizens. This tribute book was produced in partnership with Missouri Life magazine Editor D anita Allen Wood and Creative Director Sarah Herrera and Silver Dollar City Publicity Team Lisa Rau and Martha Hoy Bohner. Additional research thanks go to Crystal Payton, author of The Story of Silver Dollar City, and contributors Courtney Goff, LaDonna Jett, Nancy Henderson, Judy Miller, and Janet Oller of Silver Dollar City. We especially recognize Silver Dollar City General Manager Brad Thomas, who carries forward the culture and spirit of the Founders.

Profile for Missouri Life Magazine

Silver Dollar City Heart & Soul  

Silver Dollar City Heart & Soul  


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