Missouri and Ozarks History

Information and comments about historical people and events of the Ozarks region and surrounding area.

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I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written fifteen nonfiction books, two historical novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Bushwhacker Belles, Wicked Women of Missouri, and Yanked Into Eternity: Lynchings and Hangings in Missouri.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Lumber Industry in the Ozarks

A huge lumber industry arose in the Ozarks, especially the central and eastern parts of the region, during the late 1800s, and it carried over into the early 1900s. Companies like the Missouri Lumber and Mining Company and the Ozarks Land and Lumber Company built large sawmills. Railroads were built to accommodate the new industry, and booming lumber towns sprang up almost overnight.
Fremont, Grandin, and Hunter in Carter County, for example, all grew up in the 1880s when the Missouri Lumber and Mining Company came to the area. (Another Carter County community, Ellsinore, also arose as a lumber town about the same time, but its origins are tied to a different operation. In fact, about the only town of any significance in Carter County that does not owe its existence to the lumber industry is the county seat of Van Buren.)
The population of Grandin soared to almost 3,000 around 1900 at the peak of the lumber industry in the area, but the population now stands at less than 250. Similarly, Hunter once boasted a population of about 700 but declined as the lumber industry in the area died out or moved elsewhere. Now Hunter has fewer than 200 residents.

 


 

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