The story of the Shepherd of the Hills is the story of Branson. At the end of this season, October 19, the Shepherd of the Hills outdoor drama will give it's final performance. Branson's travel and tourism roots began with Shepherd of the Hills.
Interest in the Ozarks setting of Harold Bell Wright’s Shepherd of the Hills book brought the first tourists to Branson. Published in 1907, the best seller became one of the first million-selling books by an American author.
Siting decreasing attendance over the past 10 years, Shepherd of the Hills owners Gary & Pat Snadon are closing the play. For 54 years the play has drawn millions of visitors to Branson. Branson's tourism industry has highlighted the Ozarks heritage and provided a livelihood to generations of locals.
Some of the cast and crew had been with the show for years. For many vacationers, a trip to see the play was a family tradition.
“We have had an incredible run,” said Gary and Pat Snadon, park owners. They will keep open the Inspiration Tower, the Homestead, the Midnight Shepherd Super Summer Cruise http://www.supersummercruise.com/ , & the Trail of Lights.
Trail of Lights http://www.oldmatt.com/events-list/the-trail-of-lights
Drive-Thru and Christmas on the Trail Chuckwagon Dinner Show will still operate normally.
The legend of the Shepherd of the Hills
In the outdoor drama, “Old Matt” and “Aunt Mollie” are based on John and Anna Ross who homesteaded 160 acres west of Branson in 1882.
In 1898, Harold Bell Wright moved to the Ozarks on the advice of his doctor. Wright was diagnosed with tuberculosis, then known as consumption. A fisherman and nature lover, he roamed the Ozarks countryside making notes in his diary, about mountains and streams.
Wright pitched a tent near John and Anna Ross, at what is known today as Inspiration Point. Their son Charles was the inspiration for “Young Matt” in the story.
The amphitheater opened in 1960. Millions of people have seen this longest-running outdoor drama in the world. Up to 2,000 guests saw the show every night in the summer months.
Old Matt’s Cabin, is on the National Historic Registry. It will still be open during the summer. The final curtain call at the amphitheater is the end of an era in Branson.
Read the ebook. http://manybooks.net/titles/wrighthaetext03shphl10.html#
For more information about Harold Bell Wright. http://www.gchudleigh.com/
Shepherd of the Hills
Historic Homested and Old Mill Theatre
5586 W 76 Country Blvd
Branson MO 65616