Saturday, March 25, 2017


April 2017
“Table Rock Dam will be built across the big sandbar.” 
Real photo postcard, 1920s, by Payne Johnson, Branson, Mo.

Shortly after Empire District Electric built Powersite Dam across the White River, creating Lake Taneycomo, the big electric company announced plans to build a 200-foot dam upriver at Table Rock Bluff.

Most bluffs along Ozark rivers are named. Table Rock Bluff had a relatively flat top and was accessible by road. A visit to this overlook was on many vacationers’ itinerary.  For decades locals anticipated seeing machinery in the valley below building a huge dam.  That this never occurred frustrated dam supporters and led them to question if the utility really intended to proceed. They didn’t.
The Army Corps would build Table Rock Dam many years later but the Corps didn’t build it at Table Rock. They moved the location two miles upstream to a more stable geological site, but kept the name.  Table Rock Bluff remains a popular scenic overlook, but is now fenced for safety – unlike the past as shown here.

COMING IN 2017: JAMES FORK OF THE WHITE: Transformation of an Ozark River.  
Sample pages from this new book can be seen at 
Our earlier 'river book,' DAMMING THE OSAGE, can be seen at

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