Oasis, Missouri

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Coordinates: 36°33′53″N 93°17′46″W / 36.5647858°N 93.296016°W / 36.5647858; -93.296016 Oasis was a village in Taney County, Missouri, in the Ozark Mountains. Originally it was named Cedar Valley. Oasis currently rests under 100 feet of water near the bottom of Table Rock Lake. The underwater village is a popular technical dive for scuba divers.

History[change | change source]

Oasis was a small outpost located on Long Creek south of Branson, Missouri.[1] It had dirt roads and fewer than 10 buildings in the whole village.[1] Oasis also had a three story mill with a mill dam, and a general store.[2] The store was also the local polling place for the surrounding community.[2]

The village was originally named Cedar Valley.[2] Is not certain when the name was changed to Oasis. But the the name Oasis reflected the picturesque ("pretty as a picture") scene of a small farming community.[2] In 1935 Oasis had all of 21 residents.[3] From the big red mill there were roads going south into Arkansas. Other roads went north into other parts of Missouri. Originally Long creek had two fords nearby. Taney county built a bridge near the mill at a cost of several thousand dollars. But the bridge didn't go anywhere. One end had no access road. The other end was built up against a steep hill. There were no funds to build a road to the bridge. Nor were there funds to blast out a road from the rock on the other side. So it remained unused for 10 years,[2]until the roads were finally built. The one-lane bridge was connected to Highway 86.[2]

In the 1930s and 1940s, the idea came up to dam the White River (Arkansas).[4] This was to generate hydroelectric power.[4] The reservoir created by the dam would serve also for flood control on the White River.[4] The dam was authorized under the Flood Control Act of 1941. But World War II and the Korean War delayed construction until 1954.[4] Construction on the Table Rock dam was completed in 1958.[1] It created an impoundment that flooded nearly 79 miles of the White River. It created a lake of over 50,000 acres.[1] Oasis now sits under 100 feet (30m) of water.[5] The church, mill, and other buildings were covered by the lake. The church cemetery was moved to the new Cedar Valley Church on U.S. Route 65.[2]

Diving Table Rock[change | change source]

Advanced divers can dive down to Oasis and swim up and down the main street. Parts of the old wood church are still there as are foundations of several buildings.[5] While Table Rock is deep, it is not murky like typical lakes. Underwater visibility is good, making scuba diving a popular sport in the lake.[6] Table Rock State Park has a Dive shop at the marina.[7] Table Rock is also used for dive training by over 15 area dive shops. Other attractions in the lake include the 'Enchanted Forest', a forest of submerged oak trees full of very large bass.[5] There are shipwrecks that are frequently dived on. One is the the 'General Pike', a barge used for staging passengers for the Zebulon Pike a popular dinner cruise boat in the 70s and 80s, currently dry docked behind the Bass Pro Shops warehouse in Nixa, Mo.[a] Not far from the dock of the Branson Belle, lies a 40-foot (12 m) cruiser.[5] There are numerous smaller wrecks throughout the lake. Classes for search and recovery divers are also held here.[5]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. The 'Zebulon Pike' was originally named the 'Branson Belle'. To avoid confusion with the current Branson Belle, it was renamed when it was sunk. It was placed on the bottom to create a man-made reef and as an attraction for scuba divers.[5]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Wes Johnson (Mar. 1, 2008). "Flooded town of Oasis lives up to its name". News-Leader.com, Springfield, MO. Retrieved 14 May 2014. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Phyllis Rossiter, A Living History of the Ozarks (Gretna: Pelican Publishing, 1992), p. 192
  3. Beth H. Garfrerick, 'Before bloggers there were ploggers (print loggers): Community journalism correspondents, Grassroots Editors, volume 53, no. 3-4 {fall/winter 2012), p. 14
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Richard S. Kirkendall, A History of Missouri, Vo. 5 (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2004), p. 363
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Greg Laslo (ND). "Table Rock lake Diving an Ozark Oasis". Dive Training Magazine. Retrieved 14 May 2014. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. Wes Johnson (May 1, 2013). "Divers flock to Table Rock Lake, now clearest in nearly 30 years". News Leader.com, Springfield, MO. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  7. "State Park Dive Shop: Go Scuba". Missouri State Parks. ND. Retrieved 14 May 2014. Check date values in: |date= (help)

Other websites[change | change source]