Tuesday, August 20, 2019


An exciting new class is being offered at the Historium next month! Vicky York, Certified Master Porcelain Artist, will teach a beginner's china painting series in which participants will learn to paint a hummingbird on a china saucer. The cost is $100 for three painting sessions, three firings, all paint and supplies. Plus, Vicky will be conducting a tour of her home studio and firing room for those taking the class. Dates for the classes are Sept 4, 11 and 18, from 10-12, at the Historium.

Vicky began learning this beautiful craft at age 19, and she has become a Master, teaching all over the country and in Europe for many years. Her works have been featured on the covers of professional publications and she has won many awards at competitions and shows.

When Vicky and her husband retired to Ozark County two years ago, she decided she was not going to travel to teach any longer. But she paints every day and is now ready to do a few classes at the local level

You may sign up at the Historium or call there at 417-679-2400; or you can email at ozarkco1@ozarkcountyhistory.org. Classes must be prepaid, and a minimum of six participants is needed.

Many fine examples of Vicky's work are also now on display at the Historium and may be viewed during regular hours of operation -- 10-2, Monday through Friday. The exhibit will be in place through September 18. There is no charge to see these beautiful works of art.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Jim Tindall, noted artist from Mtn. View, Arkansas, will return to the Ozark County Historium on July 16 to teach another painting class!
Those participating in the class will be led, step by step, to paint this lovely picture of roses. The cost is $50, payable to the Ozark County Historium; all supplies are included. The class will begin at 5:00 p.m. and run about two hours or slightly more. Jim is wonderful at giving lots of hands-on help and is a delightful and informative teacher. His classes are always fun as well as productive. Join us by calling the Historium to sign up at 417-679-2400. Or mail a check (right away!) to OCGHS, PO Box 4, Gainesville, MO, 65655. Class size is limited so don't delay!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Blacksmiths were essential members of early Ozarks communities, performing necessary tasks vital to the daily life of settlers. Using anvil, hammer and forge, their skills in heating and shaping metal allowed them to build and repair tools such as plows, wagon wheels, knives and other implements that were essential to the life of people who were settling a new country.
   Today, blacksmiths, while fewer in number, still work with metal, heating and shaping it in much the same way. But because of the ready availability of mass-produced tools, the products produced are often quite different. There is a still a demand for high-quality, handmade metal objects, but now blacksmiths are able to focus on specialty items -- and in the case of one Ozark County man, the end result is art.
   Jim Davis of Thornfield is reluctant to allow his creations to be called art because he doesn’t consider himself an artist. However, when examples of Davis’s work are displayed at the Ozark County Historium for the next several weeks, those who see it are going to know that this is not the work of an ordinary metalworker. Davis is a metal sculptor whose pieces reflect creativity, ornamentation and whimsy, all hallmarks of true art.
   While many artists have moved to the Ozarks seeking inspiration, that was not the case for Jim and his wife, Carol, who came to Ozark County in 1975. They were, instead, looking for a small farm where they could introduce their children to a country life. Jim grew up in eastern Oregon, and Carol hailed from Florida. They met and married in California, and later lived in Colorado where they owned a motel. Yet they longed for a quiet, rural place where they could have some animals and teach their children about a more nature-connected lifestyle. While passing through Ava, they fell in love with the area and found their acreage near Thornfield.
   The pair of non-farmers had to figure out a way to make a living for themselves and their son and daughter, so they determinedly taught themselves skills, such as raising feeder pigs and then early weaners, cows and even cats. Jim also collected and traded antique tools, a hobby that turned into a profitable side business. They remodeled the small circa-1939 farmhouse, and Carol gardened and planted flowers, creating a haven of tranquility near the headwaters of the Little North Fork of the White River.  
   Ten years ago, a frightening accident was the impetus for a life change for Jim. He fell from a tree while hanging a swing for his granddaughter and broke his back, and the forced recuperation gave him time to think about what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. Jim drew and sketched as a child and had always enjoyed building and designing things, so working with metal seemed like a natural progression. Once he was back on his feet, metal working began in earnest, and according to Jim, it continues to be “the thing that gives me the most satisfaction.”
Jim, whose website www.ornametalthings.com shows fine examples of his creations, uses a traditional, coal-fired forge, as well as a propane-fueled one, depending upon the need. He has three treasured antique anvils, all with a story to tell.
   “This one is really special,” he notes of a beauty weighing upwards of 450 lbs. “It was made for railroad work.” As Jim taps each in turn, he notes the different sounds created by metal on metal. It is music to this sculptor’s ears.
   Jim enjoys making things, from farm gates to furniture to kaleidoscopes, for his family members, neighbors and customers who seek him out from far and near. He holds membership in ABANA (Artist-Blacksmith’s Association of North America), BAM (Blacksmiths Association of Missouri), the Ava Art Guild, and the Area Art Club in Mtn. Home and regularly participates in shows and exhibits.
   Jim Davis’s metal sculptures, which will appeal to children as well as adults of all ages, will be on display at the Historium from May 24 through June. The exhibit is free and open to all. The Historium, located on the west side of the square in Gainesville, is open from 10-2, Monday through Friday. For more information, call the Historium at 417-679-2400, or email at ozarkco1@ozarkcountyhistory.org.

Friday, March 8, 2019

We are so excited about a new opportunity coming to the Ozark County Historium! On Thursday evening, April 18, 2019, artist/teacher Jim Tindall of Mtn. Home, Ark., will be at our place to teach YOU how to create this beautiful scene! Jim is well known throughout the area and teaches numerous classes, which always fill up. The cost to participate is $45, and that covers instruction and all supplies. All you do is show up and learn and have fun! The class will start at 5:30, but come a bit early to claim your place. At the end of the evening, you'll take home a beautiful painting to display with your very own signature on it. We do need to know in advance if you would like to be part of this class, and we are asking that you pay in advance. To sign up, email ozarkco1@ozarkcountyhistory.org, or just go ahead and mail you check or money order to The Ozark County Historium, PO Box 4, Gainesville MO 65655. Or you can drop your payment at the Historium; we're open 10-2, Monday through Friday. We anticipate that this will be a very popular event, so don't wait -- save your place now!

Jim Tindall

Sunday, March 3, 2019

We are very excited about a special guest who will visit the Ozark County Historium on Thursday morning, March 7 ... none other than famous Missourian Mark Twain! Please plan to join us at 10:00 a.m., for this special presentation. Don Nicholson, who lives in Hannibal as did his inspiring muse, will be in character and in costume to share some of the author's wit and wisdom. This event is free to everyone, so plan now to join us! The Historium is easy to find on the west side of the square in Gainesville, with convenient parking and handicapped access.

Monday, February 11, 2019

The Ozark County Historium is excited to be hosting Dr. Phillip Howerton on Thursday, February 21, 2019, at 10:00. Dr. Howerton will be speaking about his newly-published book,  The Literature of the Ozarks: An Anthology. The anthology includes varied writers such as an Osage priest, a Pulitzer-prize-winning poet and African Americans, as well as native-born writers. Howerton is a poet, editor and professor of English at MSU-WP, and is an Ozarker with an interesting and inspiring life story of his own. Come and hear Dr. Howerton talk about Ozarks literature. Perhaps he can also be persuaded to read some of his wonderful poetry! This event is free and open to all.

On February 26, Michelle Werther and Sis Green will teach an advanced basket-weaving class. Cost is $60 for instruction and all supplies; contact the Historium to sign up at 417-679-2400 or email ozarkco1@ozarkcountyhistory.org.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

2019 -- A Year of Good Things at the Historium!

Happy New Year! It is always exciting to have a new calendar, to turn those inviting blank pages and to begin to add events and important dates. The same is true for the Ozark County Historium, as we begin to plan for 2019. And we aren't being hesitant -- right away we have something coming up!

On Thursday, January 24, 2019, at 10:00, we will host our first event of this new year. We have invited a group of folks from the Theodosia area to join us for a morning of remembering, laughing and sharing. These folks are of a "certain vintage," and they have lots to share! Among those planning to join this discussion are H.K. Silvey, Estel and Sue Robirds, Kermit Schofield and others. We'll make a bit pot of coffee, pass a plate of cookies and enjoy hearing these delightful folks reminisce and remind us of how things used to be in those good ole days.

Please plan to join us! If the weather should be too wintry to meet, we'll have a snow date of the following Thursday, January 31. And if it is successful, we will be planning some more Coffee and Conversation events, focusing on different areas in the county.

In recognition of the centennial of the passing of our constitution's 19th amendment, which finally gave women the right to vote in 1919, we have declared our theme for 2019 to be The Year of the Woman. Some of our events will be planned around this theme. We would like to identify as many women with ties to Ozark County as possible who have made some sort of contribution to areas like politics, education or business. However, this is not a complete list. For example, we've met a woman who was a "Rosie the Riveter" who is the inspiration for our theme.

We need your help in identifying women who deserve to be in the spotlight for a moment in time. If you know of a woman who has done something notable, please contact us via email at ozarkco1@ozarkcountyhistory.org, by phone at 417-679-2400 or send us a real letter to Ozark County Historium, PO Box 4, Gainesville, MO, 65655. We'd like to have photos and a small story. 

The first issue of the Old Mill Run for 2019 will be coming out soon, so if you haven't already paid your dues, please take a moment and do so now! It is $20 per year, and you'll receive four issues of our popular newsletter. Mail dues to Ozark County Historium, PO Box 4, Gainesville MO 65655. If we have not received payment, you will not be mailed the newsletter.