From the 1880's...
...Fordland was a dynamic, bustling town... Tomatoes were grown, brought to town, then shipped aboard Frisco Rail Road trains to distant markets.
In fact J S Ford, a Rail Road official founded the town. And a post office has been opened here since 1882!
Fordland has a rich history... the Hanson Orchard, a feed and flour mill, a local paper the Fordland Monitor (displayed at the Worlds Fair in 1903), the KOLR 10 tower (one of the tallest in the USA, and recently fallen), Devils Den (a sink hole), the elephant man of Fordland, Kindalls 100 year old store and now a castle, Chateau Charmant!
It was in 2009 that the Fordland Community Betterment Assoc. was established as a not-for-profit the goal of promoting Fordland and the surrounding area. The FCBA hosts events to help promote the area each year, its first was a car show "Cruzin' Thru Time". A little bit later I delved in to help with our next annual event...
..."Wild West Days", a Heritage Event, 3rd Sat of Oct (so this year Oct 20th)... it commences with a Parade thru History, including Native Americans, wagon trains, hand carts, penny farthing, and Model T's and A's! Quite the parade for a small town. It's a great family event which incorporates in the days activities FREE Games for children, I noticed children racing from Panning for Gold, to Santa Fe Sling Shot, where they received penny candies for their efforts or off to Jump Rope, Tug of War, or Egg in Spoon Race and much more. Local Churches help with the games adding to the friendliness of this festival.
But it doesn't just entertain the children, there are terrific Old Time Vendors, with Demonstrations of spinning or carving wood, and great buys. I always seem to pick up one trinket or another, and one I'm longing to buy are handmade dolls with yarn hair and the cutest expressions you've ever seen... I guess I'll never grow up! Then there's the aroma as you walk the old tent town circle of Delicious Western Foods. In fact, my favorite is Mama Mary's Navajo Tacos, mouthwatering, in fact even now, I am drooling just thinking of it!
Then the day culminates with the State Wide Youth Competitions, such as Best Country Voice (winner sings in Branson Shows). Mallory Griffin said of her experience: "I loved the opportunities that the Wild West Days gave me in Branson. They were unforgettable experiences and I was treated so well." Mallory has had a lot of other great opportunities come her way after the event. She won the Missouri State Fair Idol in 2016 so this year she was able to open for the 2017 State Fair Idol and then sing on the Grand Stage opening for Sawyer Brown.
Then they have the Best Country Artist (wins a $500. art scholarship). Julia Mason said of her experience "It was really good for me, it got me exposure and I was happy to see others works and the scholarship was generous and helpful.” Julia is using her scholarship at Drury... I have been amazed at the quality of the youth in our state.
The association also has sponsored youth sports leagues at the park, has been active in obtaining a very generous grant from Webster Electric Foundation for a new pavilion to aid in all of the events held in Fordland. They have helped to sponsor Fordland Care To Learn, and I've heard very pleased residents mention how friendly Fordland is, when they receive a gift basket when moving in to our area. FCBA was also instrumental in conceiving and organizing Ozarks South Central Tourism!
I'm so very grateful to live in a Small Town, with a Big Heart! The FCBA hosts monthly networking meetings. Contact Susan Brewer for more information on how to become involved and enjoy the friendships we form as we serve one another! 417 616 1482...