Feb 132013

Bluffs on Osage

Real photo postcard, Osceola Missouri, 1913

The bluffs along the Osage may not have been as spectacular as the larger bluffs along New York’s Hudson, but they excited a similar esthetic appreciation in the writer of an 1888-something booklet extolling the unappreciated beauties of southwest Missouri:

How grand are thy works, O Master Divine! The Osage and the Sac Rivers vie with each other in their natural beauty. Here their river banks o’er hung with drooping elm or giant sycamore, there long reaches of pebbled, gravelly beach, on and further on great walls of rock and bluff stand boldly forth with the hoar of a thousand ages on their face, and check the waters of the ever flowing streams which bathe their rocky feet as if in conciliation and with peaceful curvette pass onward on the journey to the sea. . . .  A coming generation of scenic artists will find, that after the beautiful scenery of Colorado, Utah and the Sierras have been made familiar to the public, they can turn to the hitherto neglected scenery of the Osage and Sac rivers and find gems of surpassing beauty.

We noted that it sort of took, but the painters didn’t come. There was no Osage River Valley School of painting.

Every week we post an unpublished image that relates to the Osage River, its ecology, history and development. None of these have been used in Damming the Osage, but they relate to the themes of the book. A brief caption identifies the location and our thoughts on its significance and meaning. Feel free to use these images for personal use if you credit “Collection of Leland and Crystal Payton.”  For commercial use, email us for details and a modest fee for a higher resolution image. We have thousands of historic photographs and brochures as well as our own contemporary photos.

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