Sunday, September 30, 2012

YouTube channel for Lens & Pen

As the publication date approaches for our newest book - DAMMING THE OSAGE: The Conflicted Story of lake of the Ozarks and Truman Reservoir - we're producing and posting new videos to the Lens & Pen YouTube channel ... take a look!

This has inspired us as well to renew the stories of the Irish Wilderness, tourism in the Ozarks and Leland's own vision of the Beautiful and Enduring Ozarks. Watch for videos on these subjects as Lens & Pen celebrates this remarkable region.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Jacks Fork and Current Rivers - and the Irish Wilderness

The Jack's Fork River (on the left) flows into the Current, marked by a stream of blue in the Current's channel. These National Scenic Rivers are favorites of floaters, but this early fall Sunday afternoon, canoe traffic was light. We were visiting some of the sites Father John Joseph Hogan spoke of in his memoirs of life as a frontier priest before the Civil War. From Mystery of the Irish Wilderness:

On Hogan's second trip to the Ozarks in late November, 1857, he was accompanied by Father James Fox. They forded the Current River on horseback at this spot where the Current's principal tributary, the Jacks Fork River, enters.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Just north and west of Schell City, Missouri, down the old “River Road” are the ruins of an iron truss bridge that for a hundred years spanned the Osage River, connecting Schell City and Rockville. It’s not far from where the Bates County Ditch (which has its own interesting and little known history) enters the Osage. Closed traffic for many years, it fell into the river in February of this year. Sadly each year there are fewer and fewer of these wonderful iron truss bridges. The usual cause of their demise is obsolescence and lack of maintenance. They are replaced by architecturally uninteresting steel and concrete girder bridges. This 317 foot iron bridge became structurally deficient when maintenance stopped.

We have posted here on our website and on YouTube a video tribute and mini history of this iron bridge.