We headed to Bagnell Dam at the Lake of the Ozarks in search of Eagles to watch.In the midst of the Great Depression, the creation of Bagnell Dam in 1929 was the only major construction project in the nation, drawing workers from all over the country.
Bagnell Dam from Conservation Lookout Point
It was very thoughtful of the Department of Conservation to construct resting boxes, but it would have been nicer if the big guys would have been using them.
We couldn’t decide about these two. The photo does not come close to showing the enormous size of these birds. We’re pretty sure they are not vultures. We finally decided they could maybe be juvenile Eagles. That is probably just wishful thinking.
As we drove the back hills of the Ozarks, we happened onto a rustic lodge area. It turned out to be Willmore Lodge, owned by the Lake of the Ozarks Chamber of Commerce. Dating back to the early 1900’s, it had been beautifully restored.
Inside we were greeted by a charming, white haired, elderly lady. What a wealth of information. She told us stories about how the nearest town during the building of Bagnell Dam was Eldon and that workers were often known to work from dawn to dusk and then walk the 8 miles it took to get to Eldon. The irony of the contrast between this kind of work ethics and the work ethics of today was not lost on any of us.
After an hour of laughing and chatting, we headed back out to check on some swinging bridges in Brumley that she told us about. Who can pass up a little history?
Swinging bridges are amazing. According to our sweet old lady back at the Lodge, the bridges were designed and constructed by an individual who had no formal education. He just did what made sense to him.
After a few twists and turns and a bridge closed sign, we finally came to the first bridge. This bridge was not closed, so we bravely headed across to our next destination.
According to a local who happened to be out walking, this bridge will be reopened next month. They are restoring it, reinforcing the platform. He said it was originally built to provide a means of transporting goods to build Bagnell Dam. The weight limit say 5 tons. And here I was scared to walk on it. I am such a wimp.
Our Lodge lady friend (why didn’t I ask her what her name was?), told us that up until recently the school bus would stop at one end of the bridge and let the kids off, then drive across. The children would then walk across the bridge and get back on the bus. She wouldn’t make something like that up, now, would she? I believe her.
One of these days I WILL overcome my acrophobia!