The Ozarks Johnboat - Big Springs National Park - Van Buren, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 36° 57.336 W 090° 59.501
15S E 678806 N 4091831
Quick Description: On display in the park as part of the National Scenic River
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 10/29/2014 3:39:10 AM
Waymark Code: WMMRBX
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Queens Blessing
Views: 0

Long Description:

County of boat: Carter County
Location of boat: Pea Vine Rd. & Big Spring Lane, Big Springs National Park, Van Buren
Marker erected by: Ozark Riverrats

Marker text:
These long (24-30 foot) and narrow boats were introduced into the Ozarks during the advent of the logging industry in the 1890s.

The boats were powered by the use of a pole or set paddle to push the boat upriver and to guide it downriver.

In the early to mid 1900s the johnboat was known as the "cadillac" of the Ozarks. It was used to transport people and goods between river farms and towns, as well as for recreation.

The modern johnboat is made of aluminum and powered by a jet unit. Used for recreation, today's boats are wider and shorter to provide greater stability.


"If you google Jon Boat you’ll find a good amount of information on these boats, building plans, stories and information. Looking through it all I began to notice references to Ozarks Jon Boats and many different articles with authors claims as to where it originated. Stating they came from Arkansas to Pennsylvania but in almost every instance the word “Ozarks” is used. I imagine the name Ozarks Jon Boat is named Ozarks Jon Boat for a reason and it would have to be because it was originated right here in the Ozarks. At least that’s what I am going with because I want to believe that to be true. Whether it is or it isn’t really doesn’t matter the White and James Rivers were the hot bed and that’s a fact.

"No one was more responsible for popularizing the Jon Boat and float fishing than the Jefferson City newspaper advertising manager Jim Owen who visited the Ozarks in 1933 and built a thriving guide business from the mid 1930’s through the fifties. Owens publicized his business all over the nation and attracted wealthy business men and famous folks. He brought in reporters from Life, Look, Outdoor Life and Sports Afield who wrote articles about their adventures and spread the fishing gospel to the masses. Owens was smart enough to hire local colorful guides to shuttle those people down the White River on eight day floats. The floats were quite the elaborate set up including expensive equipment and provisions and of course the famous, custom made “Ozarks Jon Boats”. The guided trips generally had what is known as a commissary boat that would accompany the trip and float ahead of the fishermen to the next camp site and set up tents and prepared for the evening meal. Owens guides had $2.00 a day rates when they started around 1935 with a fleet of six boats and a truck to haul them. At it’s peak Owens had 40 boats and 35 guides which made a whopping $10 a day. His last float trip was in 1958. A Cotter, AR, trout dock bought his equipment soon afterward. Owen suffered a stroke in 1966 and died in 1972." ~ hootentown - wordpress

Is there a tour: any time you like

If boat is a garden what was planted in it: Not listed

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