32819 Highway 87
California MO 65018
As most family businesses, Burgers’ Smokehouse started small. The company’s roots go back to 1927 when E. M. Burger, a Moniteau county farmer, cured and sold six hams. Today the family-owned corporation is run by third-generation members on the family farm three miles south of California, a small town located in Central Missouri. Remaining faithful to Grandpa and Dad’s standards for quality and service, the company has grown to become the largest specialty purveyor of smoked and cured meats and poultry in the United States. Grandpa’s little Ham House now produces over 650,000 hams annually as well as a wide variety of other meats and poultry products
It would take ten pages of copy to do justice to the entire list of “one of a kind” entrees offered by this unique meat company. Take for example their tender St. Louis Style Ribs. Burgers’ Smokehouse uses just the right amount of steam, laden with hickory smoke, and smothered with one of Kansas City’s most popular sauces to create this exceptionally tender, juicy rib.
Another favorite is their Country Cured Bacon. Carefully selected sides of bacon are dry cured using Burger’s old-fashioned sugar-cured recipe (salt, brown sugar, and black pepper). After the slabs are slowly smoked with natural hickory, they are hand trimmed and cut 6-8 slices per inch. Center slices are vacuum packaged in one- and two-pound sizes. Unopened packages of bacon store for months in the freezer, so you can stock up and save when the bacon goes on sale in the fall of the year.
Burgers’ cured and smoked Canadian Style Bacon turns an all-time breakfast favorite from simple good to exquisite. This product can be purchased in one-pound chunk or sliced and it also comes pepper coated.
Beef can also be purchased from the smokehouse. Their Filet Mignons are carefully carved and individually hand trimmed from the center of the finest aged tenderloin. They are flash frozen to maintain their freshness and individually packaged. Every shipment contains a complimentary package of steak seasoning and steak baste. Bacon-wrapped filets are also available.
Burger’s Boneless Prime Rib Roast is tender, juicy and absolutely delicious. The roast is very easy to prepare as it comes with a cook-in roasting bag to keep all the juices around the meat as it cooks, a view-temp cooking timer, and instructions. The roasts are available to two sizes and shipped frozen.
At Burgers’ you are sure to find the perfect selection. Choose from the extensive menu on line at (www.smokehouse.com) or from their Early Autumn catalog that can be ordered on line or by phone (1-800-624-5426). For quick and easy meals, all you have to do is make the selection:
country ham, city ham, Italian ham, and German ham
country bacon, city bacon, Canadian bacon, and cured jowl
breakfast sausage and Polish sausage
beef, venison, buffalo and beef/pork summer sausage
turkey, chicken, duck, pheasant, quail
Pork: ribs, pulled pork, roasts, chops and loins
Beef: filet, strip, T-bone, porterhouse, rib eye, veal and brisket
Beef Roasts: Prime Rib and Chateaubriand
lamb, veal, brisket, and fish/seafood
cheese, desserts, and sweets
gift assortments – samplers – monthly plans
Only the finest and freshest meats and ingredients are used in every preparation.
When you want “a cut above the rest,” whether you dine alone or with guests, call on Burgers’ Smokehouse. You and your guests deserve the very best.
GUESTS ARE WELCOME. The Visitors’ Center located on the premises features dioramas depicting the sessions of the year in the Missouri Ozarks. The free video, that includes family and company history, also gives the visitor insight into the production of country-cured meats. Sliced meats and sandwiches are available at the Snack Bar. Most on line and catalog items are available for sale at the door as well as gift assortments and gift certificates. Visit Burgers’ Smokehouse and do your Christmas shopping early this year.
Burgers’ Smokehouse is open to the public Monday-Friday (except for holidays) from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. During the fall of the year from the third Saturday in September until Christmas, the smokehouse is open on Saturday as well from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The smokehouse is located three miles south of California on Highway 87.
BAGNELL DAM – THE ELECTRIC DREAM©
In 1912, Kansas City attorney Ralph W. Street conceived a plan for building a hydro-electric dam on the Osage River near the village of Bagnell in Miller County, Missouri, but it wasn’t until 1924 that the project began. Street teamed up with Walter Cravens, president of the Kansas City Joint Stock Land Bank, to form the Missouri Hydro-Electric Power Company (MHEPC). Their goal was to generate cheap electricity for Kansas City and create a recreational playground where hunting, fishing and boating opportunities would attract tourists.
After nearly five years of work and millions of dollars in expenditures, which produced the infrastructure needed to build the dam but did not produce the actual dam itself, the MHEPC was deeply in debt and the project came to a halt. Debt and the inability to raise more funds forced MHEPC to sell the project. Union Electric Light & Power Company of St. Louis bought the project and with the help of Stone & Webster Engineering began dam construction in August of 1929. Bagnell Dam’s superstructure was complete by the spring of 1931. By October of 1931 its hydro-electric generators were on line producing electricity.
Completion of the Dam created Lake of the Ozarks. At the time of its creation, the reservoir was the largest artificial lake in North America and was ready to fulfill its purposes – to provide additional electrical power for Union Electric’s vast distribution system, power the mining industry in southeast Missouri, and create a recreational playground in the northern Ozarks. Union Electric Light and Power Company, like its Kansas City predecessor, wanted to stimulate tourism for the northern Ozarks as well as generate power.
To accomplish its tourism goals, it created a subsidiary known as the Union Electric Land and Development Company. This entity proceeded to convert a building on top of the bluff overlooking the dam into a luxury hotel called Holiday House. They next created a nice eating establishment at the west end of the Dam known as the Lakeside Casino Restaurant. Adjacent to the restaurant and Dam they installed the Union Electric Bathing Pavilion and Excursion Boat Dock where fast, powerful, mahogany-trimmed boats gave early visitors a thrilling way to see the Lake. All of this was accomplished within about three years.
The first people to enjoy the electricity produced by Bagnell Dam were the people of St. Louis and southeast Missouri, not the little town of Lake Ozark that sprang up adjacent to the incorporated area around the Dam known as Lakeside and owned by Union Electric. While the Lakeside Casino Restaurant had electricity to light its facility and run its appliances, the cafes, gift shops, service stations, hotels and lodges less than half-a-mile away from the Dam were still using small private generators to produce electricity for their individual businesses a year later. It would be several more years before Union Electric would have lines delivering electricity beyond the west end of the Grand Glaize Bridge in Osage Beach.
In 1936 while touting its success at building the Dam and creating Lake of the Ozarks, the Union Electric Magazine said: “Small wonder that this land developed so rapidly into a popular vacation country. A multitude of resorts have sprung into being – hotels, cabins and cottages, to provide pleasant accommodations for the increasing throngs who have found here in Missouri a vacation land of sport and beauty second to none. But that is not all. Having sprung almost fully grown into existence, the Lake of the Ozarks resorts have been able to take advantage of all new and modern developments in providing guests with the last word in convenience and comfort. . .it is natural that these resorts should have utilized electrical conveniences . . . hot and cold running water, modern electric ranges and hot plates . . . In the hotels and lodges, electric cookery provides appetizing food . . . Go to Lake of the Ozarks where electricity has created an electrical wonderland.”
Well, not quite. It depended on how far you were from the Dam and if you happened to be close to U. S. Highway 54. In the article the company printed six photos depicting resorts that had electricity. One of those was Holiday House in Lakeside. The others -- Pla-Port Resort, Jack Frost’s Cabin Camp, Malibu Beach Resort, Osage Beach Tavern and Golden’s Resort were along or near the highway and not far away. Most were in Osage Beach near the Grand Glaize Bridge. Many other resorts, especially those a greater distance away from Highways 54 and 5 down lengthy winding lake roads would wait several decades before electricity from the Dam reached them. In fact, many of them had to finance the building of their own lake roads from the main highway. It wasn’t until the 1950s following the Great Depression and then World War II rationing that the sprawling tourist industry of Lake of the Ozarks began to truly mature, modernize itself, and attract vacationers and tourists in vast numbers.
The electric dreams of Ralph Street and Walter Cravens finally came true but unfortunately they did not live to see it become the recreational playground that it is today.
For more information about the history of Lake of the Ozarks, see the author’s books on Lake history available at: lakeoftheozarksbooks.com
(Illustrations: Bagnell Dam nearing completion, photographer unknown, circa summer 1931. Note dredging equipment in water below powerhouse and lack of development along distant Lake shoreline; Union Electric Bathing Pavilion and Excursion Boat Dock, photographer unknown, circa 1932; Early street scene along the Bagnell Dam Strip, photography by L. L. Cook, Milwaukee, circa 1930s. )
THE MIRACLE CITY OF THE OZARKS – LINN CREEK©
By Dwight Weaver
Less than one mile northeast of Camdenton on U. S. Highway 54 is the town of Linn Creek, a community called “The Miracle City of the Ozarks” or “New Linn Creek” in the 1930s and 40s.
The Linn Creek of today is not the original Linn Creek but a re-birth of Old Linn Creek that once sat one mile upstream in Linn Creek valley from the confluence of the creek and the Osage River. The town is now three miles from that confluence and the waters of Lake of the Ozarks fill most of the valley’s lower three miles. The original site of Old Linn Creek is now beneath 40 feet of water.
Old Linn Creek was first settled about 1841 by Benjamin R. Abbott, who operated the first store. Before that, Aaron Crain operated a ferry at the mouth of Linn Creek. A second confluence nearby was that of the Niangua River. Crain ferried passengers across both the Niangua and the Osage rivers. By the early 1850s Joseph W. McClurg had settled at this location. The settlement of Linn Creek grew and after the Civil War, McClurg became the governor of Missouri. He was Linn Creek and Camden County’s most distinguished citizen of the late nineteenth century. By the time Bagnell Dam was built and Lake of the Ozarks formed in 1931, Old Linn Creek had a population of approximately 500.
The people of Old Linn Creek had the choice of selling their house and property to Union Electric, who built the dam and formed the Lake, or they could sell their land and have their house moved to a new location. Many of the people chose to sell out and build a new home in the new town of Camdenton. A few actually had their houses moved to Camdenton while others had their houses moved a couple of miles up Linn Creek valley to the location of New Linn Creek. There are today more than a dozen occupied houses in Linn Creek that were originally located in Old Linn Creek.
“Mounting their residences on rollers and skids, wrecking and re-building other structures, moving stocks of merchandise and places of business, Linn Creek was transplanted . . .up the valley out of the reach of the rising waters,” said The Daily Capital News and Post-Tribune” newspaper in Jefferson City in 1931. “This was done virtually overnight. New values, new ideals, new visions were created, and thus the new Linn Creek gained the appellation of “The Miracle City of the Ozarks.”
Linn Creek Cove, its shores not burdened by towering bluffs and precipitously sloping hillsides, was conducive to development and hosted several of the Lake’s earliest fishing camps and resorts such as Art Luck’s Fishing and Hunting Resort. Art’s place was located right above the former site of Old Linn Creek. His guests could boast of fishing in the waters over Old Linn Creek, thus it was that fanciful myths and legends were born, stories often believed by people unfamiliar with the history of the moving of Old Linn Creek. It was said you could see the buildings of Old Linn Creek beneath the water and that when the Lake was low a church steeple jutted above the surface and the steeple’s bell could be heard ringing on dark, windy nights. The stories were completely untrue but added a lot of spark around the campfires of fishermen at night.
Among the first merchants in New Linn Creek were J. H. Bruin, J. W. Garrison, Lon King, O. H. Evers, Thomas Moulder, J. A. Bunch, J. R. Neal, R. F. Houser and E. C. Shifflett.
J. H. Bruin opened the Bear Den Grocery and is said to have carried on his back, piece by piece, all the lumber used in the building of his grocery store from a lumberyard in Old Linn Creek up to his New Linn Creek location.
J. W. Garrison opened the Green Lantern Café while Lon King, merchant and realtor, operated a jewelry store and served as the town’s undertaker.
O. H. Evers opened the Linn Creek Hotel, which was described as “a quaint, little all-stone structure” with a mantle over the dining room fireplace that was 100 years old. It was made from walnut that came from the Methodist Church parsonage in Old Linn Creek. Evers also built separate tourist cottages overlooking the Lake. The Evers stone hotel building still stands in Linn Creek and is now a private residence.
The Moulder family operated a drug store and general dry goods; J. A. Bunch operated a filling station and the Camden Motor Company; J. R. Neal operated a lumberyard; R.F. Houser had the Lakeside Barber Shop; and E. F. Shifflett had Fat’s Bar-B-Q.
The First National Bank of Linn Creek had a capital surplus of $50,000 and deposits of $450,000. The bank was organized in Old Linn Creek in 1905 and John M. Farmer was cashier when New Linn Creek was established.
These merchants and their businesses are long gone but some of their buildings survive. Houses in Linn Creek’s residential areas in the old part of town are showing their age, but southeast of U. S. Highway 54 along the banks of the North Fork of Linn Creek the commercial landscape has a newer look in the town’s industrial area.