An Agriculturalist from Southern Missouri

When my kids were little, I would take them to the George Washington Carver Park about 45 minutes away. It is close to Joplin in Diamond, Missouri. There at the park, you can visit the home of George Washington Carver and see the surrounding beauty of the Ozarks. George Washington Carver was a brilliant scientist.

He was born a slave in Missouri in 1864. He was taught reading and writing by his mother. He later became a world-famous agriculturalist. He is most known for his work on peanuts. We can credit to this man a better version of the peanut butter enjoyed by many in their lunch sandwiches every day.

He became the first African-American student at Iowa State Agricultural College. Carver also happened to be an instructor at the Tuskegee Institute. While Carver is most known for his work with peanuts, he specialized in developing methods of crop rotation particularly for the cotton farmers of the southern region of the United States. He developed hundreds of inventions through plant pathology research. Carver also was an agricultural advisor to such well-known leaders as Gandhi and Theodore Roosevelt.

George Washington Carver passed away in 1943 at the age of 78. His epitaph reads, “He could have added fortune to fame, but caring for neither, he found happiness and honor in being helpful to the world.”

Red Ferns

Where the Red Fern Grows was written in 1961 by Wilson Rawls.    According to the book, if you see a red fern in the wilderness, it was planted by an angel.

In 1974, the children’s book was turned into a movie and portions of the movie were filmed in the Ozarks region of Arkansas and into Oklahoma.   These pictures are from Natural Falls State Park near Siloam Springs.

This beautiful waterfall location was filmed for Where the Red Fern Grows, a book about rural life in the Ozarks and a boy hunter with his two dogs, Old Dan and Little Ann. We had the chance a while ago to visit Natural Falls State Park and we captured these pictures.

Near Siloam Springs, there are lots of other interesting tourist attractions like this one in Gentry, Arkansas.

You can drive through the wilderness park and view the many animals or stop and feed some of them like these cute baby goats and the kangaroos.

There are other fascinating tourism attractions in this area of Arkansas that I love like Crystal Bridges Art Museum owned by the Walton Family, Petit Jean State Park, Eureka Springs’ spooky haunted Crescent Hotel on the hill, and my personal favorite is Hot Springs bathhouse row and downtown. The best time to visit the Ozark Mountains is in October when all the tree leaves turn brilliant shades of orange, yellow, and red. It’s truly breathtaking. And if you come this way, best stop off in Branson, home of some great music, fantastic caves, and the Silver Dollar City theme park.