The unique structure
of the institute make it a wonderful destination as well as a
place to learn. The college has its own inn, restaurant,
gristmill, farmer's market, museums and other places of interest
you can enjoy touring. The 1,000 acre campus overlooks Lake
Taneycomo at Point Lookout, Missouri. Most of the attractions
are free of charge and all are staffed and operated with student
The Keeter Center
is an impressive lodge style inn for visitors. There is a huge
fireplace in the lobby with a tree made from Jupiter wood
besides it. The lobby soars three stories high and is supported
by thick logs brought in from Montana. They were all already
down so none were cut to build the Keeter Center.
|Accommodations at Keeter Center
The building was constructed to replace the
original State of Maine Hunting and Fishing Camp that once
housed the school. That building burned in 1930.
In 2004, this
magnificent new building arose. Two hundred and fifty students
worked on the project doing about 70% of the work.
Right near the front you can browse the gift shop that
specializes in college made products like milled grains,
fruitcake, pottery and other items made on campus by the
|Keeter Center Lobby
I took the opportunity to speak to one of
the student staff, Kitty, who was tending the cash register in
the gift shop. She is a nursing student and is working over
spring break. She informed me, "I work just forty hours for two
weeks and it covers all my room and board next semester."
in one corner of the lobby is Nettie Marie’s Homemade Ice
Cream Shop. It's totally a campus project beginning with
students milking the 60 or so Holstein, Guernsey, and Jersey
cows at the W. Alton Jones Campus Dairy.
The milk is then pasteurized, bottled, and delivered it
to the ice cream parlor, where those working students turn it
into ice cream. I enjoyed a delicious chocolate cone.
We then took a tour of the lodge with Lin, a sophomore public
relations major with a minor in music. He took us to see one of
the 15 rooms and suites.
|Meeting Chef Robert at Dobyn's
The one we visited was spacious and
well appointed. Lin told us it was very
popular with brides
having their wedding here. We visited their conference center
and viewed an impressive array of celebrities who have spoken
here for their Community Convocation Series including, Lady
Margaret Thatcher, Colen Powell, President Gerald Ford, and
others of that caliber.
The 275-seat Dobyn’s Dining Room and
student dining room gets much of their food from the campus
garden, diary, bakery, mill and hog farm. The Sunday brunch in a
huge event with three different seating to accommodate all the
garden provided 8500 pounds of vegetables for the campus dining
facilities this year is expected to double that next year.
University of the Ozarks offer a four year accredited culinary
program headed by Chef Robert Stricklin who is also executive
chef for the dining room. After we were all well stuffed we
headed over to tour the museum.
|Beverly Hillbillies car at
Ralph Foster Museum
has been called the “Smithsonian of the Ozarks.” It preserves
the heritage of the area.
My favorite item was the 1921 Model 46
Roadster Beverly Hillbillies truck. It has a place of honor in
the museum reminding people of the visit by the cast and crew of
the classic comedy. It was donated to the museum by series
creator/producer, Paul Henning, who hailed from Missouri and
drew the original inspiration for the show from a Boy Scout
camping trip he took to the Ozarks. For a few bucks, you can
have your picture taken behind the wheel with the picture of the
cast behind you as one of our group did.
I was surprised to learn that Rose O'Neill
, the creator of the Kewpie doll, had a very dark side to her.
Her doll collection is impressive: lots of dolls besides
the Kewpie Doll.
|Weaving loom at the mill
The museum is eclectic
and has something for everyone from gun collections to
Star Schoolhouse is an vintage one room school located right
next to the museum. It was built in 1910 and later move here to
preserve it. Stop in
and see the schoolmarm costume and those old McGuffey’s Readers
Gaetz Tractor Museum is another museum on campus which takes
you back in time. It is filled with tractors and farm equipment
from earlier eras. We viewed it on our way to see one of my
favorite attractions on the campus, the mill.
Edwards Mill built in
1973, was constructed using timber salvaged from former Missouri
mills which give it a authentic look. When you set into this
working grist mill powered by a 12-foot water wheel, you feel
like you stepped into the past'
Michael showed us how to ground some yellow
corn meal. He put it into the hopper and ran it through the
grinding wheels. Tyler bagged as it emerged. They are students
who grind the corn and wheat into whole-grain meal and flour. I
had to buy a package of freshly ground grits. Love the stuff. It
tastes much better than the store bought kind. Interesting the
job choices that students make often have nothing to do with
their curriculum choices. Tyler was a criminal justice major
with a minor in music.
We also toured the mill's weaving studio, where students design
and weave rugs, and other items on traditional looms. We watched
some students creating
hand woven baskets. The basement provided us with an exhibit of
antique milling equipment. These young people are learning
something they would never find at a traditional college.
|Michael explans the workings of
was our next stop. This is the newest project
at the College of the Ozarks. It was opened in summer of
2013 and is doing well.
Aside from the beautiful produce, there was fresh meat from the
farm, potting plants and flowers. fruit cakes and jellies, milk
from the colleges' dairy barn and a cooking exhibit done by
student chef Joy Hunt who has a double major, Culinary Arts and
Hotel Restaurant Management with a minor in Business
young lady should go far. She created a Cider Braised Cabbage
with Kielbasa Sausage that we all got to sample. The cabbage
came for the college garden and the pork from the college hog
College of the Ozark Greenhouses that house the orchid
collection are right next to the mill. McDade Orchid Collection.
|Farmer's Market at University of
When alumnus Clint McDade donated his
collection to the college in 1972, the school build three
greenhouses to tend them. The collection has grown to over 7,000
plants tended by students workers. You can visit and even buy an
orchid plant there..
Fruitcake and Jelly Kitchen
is a great place to stop buy and
purchase a fruitcake for yourself or as a present. If you don't
like fruitcakes, this kitchen will convert you to a fruitcake
|Greenhouses at University of the
Williams Memorial Chapel
is the heart of
the campus. It was built by student labor out of
local limestone and dedicated in May of 1958. If you are on
campus at noon or 6pm, you will hear the bells ring out.
We had to take a quick drive by Lookout
Point from which the town got its name. What a view! What
memories I took with me as I left this special school. I will be
back and hope you will too.
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