Damming the Osage
Published: October 21, 2013
Presentation by authors and publishers Crystal and Leland Payton, Lens and Pen Press.
The Osage River is one of two major Ozark tributaries to the Missouri River, historically serving as a river highway into southwestern Missouri for a few steamboats, logging rafts and spawning paddlefish. It’s history is deep and largely ignored, from its importance to the Osage Nation to the convoluted stories of the building of Truman and Bagnell Dams.
Leland and Crystal Payton have been digging up and chasing down this complex story for many years. The result is a beautiful and comprehensive book called “Damming the Osage – The Conflicted Story of Lake of the Ozarks and Truman Reservoir”. The book recently won the silver medal in Best Regional Non-Fiction Mid-West in the 2013 Independent Publishers Book Awards.
Leland Payton played in important role in a ill-fated attempt to stop Truman Dam from being completed in the 1970’s. His perspective on those events is invaluable, but his deeper interest in the troubled Osage River enables him and his wife to craft a thorough and surprising history of that event as well as the longer story of how corruption, politics and hubris reshaped the river itself.
The Paytons shared the story of the Osage River, and how their lives have been woven into that story.
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The Big Muddy Speakers Series in St. Charles
generally takes place the second Wednesday of every month. It is hosted by Missouri River Relief, Friends of Big Muddy, Greenway Network, Big Muddy Adventures, the Big Muddy National Fish & Wildlife Refuge and the Columbia Fish & Wildlife Conservation Office (USFWS) . All speakers are presenting for free and Big A’s is sharing the space for free! Thank you for sharing your knowledge with all of us!
Resources and Links
Find out more about this fascinating topic:
- “Damming the Osage” – website
- “Damming the Osage” Blog
- Video about the book and authors
- Q and A about the book
- Lens and Pen Press – find out how to purchase copies of other great books by the Paytons.
- “Tangled History of Osage River” – a St. Louis Post-Dispatch review of the book by Steve Wiegenstein