Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Scenes From Bagnell Dam Strip

I know I said I'd have pictures of Bagnell Dam today, but I got caught up in revising some things on the page layout and the map on the sidebar. The history of Lake of the Ozarks is really interesting, and i want to put a little more effort into telling you about it, so this week we have some vintage tourism instead. I hadn't been to this area since I was around 12-14, and Francis had never been. It has seen better days, for sure, but there is still a lot to do in this area. Plus, the newer, shinier Osage Beach is a short drive from the Strip.

This abandoned arcade/fun spot was the saddest of all. The night before we left, some friends had been telling us all about this exact spot. We couldn't believe that we were able to walk right in and poke around.

No Missouri tourist attraction is complete without a Jesse James Hideout, amiright?

I remember taking a cruise on the Captain Larry Don more than 20 years ago, as well as this trolley that took people down to the dock.

The Tom Sawyer boat may or may not be running these days. It looks pretty bad, and none of the property was protected from people just wandering onto the dock or boat, but the sign said there was a Sunday cruise scheduled. Odd that there was no Saturday cruise, if it does still run.

The Strip isn't entirely abandoned, of course. The Haunted Hotel is still in business, though there was a sign on the door that said that the people in charge were across the street at the Old Time Photos store, but you could call their cell phone and they'd come right over to open the haunted house. We didn't call.

If memory serves, there used to be a lot more motels on the strip, but this seems to be the last one standing. I didn't book this one because the reviews said that motorcycles on the strip could be bothersome, and then Francis pointed out that we live on a busy street in the city and are totally used to bikes at all hours. Touche.

The oldest store on the strip, Dogpatch (its windows are reflecting the FUDGE sign), is still up and running, as are a dozen other tshirt shops. Dogpatch has an arcade next door that has TONS of old games. They are oddly crammed together, though.

 I'm not sure when the storm that did all this damage blew through, but there was more than one flattened building and several with roof damage. This looked to be the remains of a barn. I saw a deer on an overgrown lot, too.

Of course, it wouldn't be central Missouri without a fireworks stand. Have a fun and relatively safe 4th of July, y'all! I'll have a special and patriotic Phoenix Wearing Hats for you on Thursday.


  1. great post. for some reason i find abandoned fun parks to be really creepy. still, it looks like am interesting place

  2. I love the old stuff at the Lake; Of course I remember when that was all that was there pretty much.

  3. Regarding the haunted hotel: We called the number and after a few minutes, the guy came over.

    He creeped us out right off the bat but we figured it was part of the act. We were hoping for an old style hotel with rooms of neat or funny halloween type scenes. It was just my girlfriend and I.

    Once inside, he locked the door behind us, which will make anyone uncomfortable. Then we were handed some dollar store flashlights with tape covering up the lens so it's just barely light enough to see in the dark. He makes you stand in a pitch black room for like 30 seconds before proceeding.

    Once released you get like one hallway to walk down and there are weird plywood walls and stuff set up for this guy to hide behind and throw stuffed animals and various cheesy props over and pull them back with strings. There wasn't a single hotel room in this haunted hotel. You go down a hallway or two but it was all contained by a bunch of fake walls and stuff, so there was nothing about it that resembled a hotel on the inside.

    It wasn't creepy for any of the reasons that haunted houses usually are, it was creepy because it was so bad... And we were locked in this place with this guy. It was so cluttered and dingy that it would be scary even with the lights on. Also, did you see the dead cat in the window? Yeah, it's real.

    If any children go missing in that area, I'm looking at you, haunted hotel owner guy.

  4. that funny and interesting.. im moving there soon. i think i check it out and see uf it creeps me out too!

  5. I don't know what made me think of this place, after close to 30 years, but it looks like nothing ever evolved. I remember being a kid and getting like 5 tee shirts for 10 bucks and all the little tourist traps. As well as eating at a place that had hundreds of Carp along the waterside, with candy machines of food for them. My parents fell in love, bought several acres and then we never returned. Shame they sold the land some years later

    1. That is the Clown restaurant I do believe!

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