Filed under: Activities & Attractions, Amusement & Theme Parks, Destination Camping & RV Resorts, Kid-Friendly Trips
The Unique Craftsmen of Silver Dollar City
Following up on my previous post about Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO I would like to take time to profile the fabulous craftsmen and women who populate the park. Their workmanship is excellent, the materials, of first quality, and the products, unequaled in quality and craftsmanship. On every visit, we plan to purchase birthday, Mother and Father’s Day gifts and a number of special treats for ourselves.
Upon entrance to the park, our first visit is always to the bladesmith, who is making first quality knives for purchase in the park. It was always our first stop due to our son’s fascination with knives, and to his location in the park. During our visits, Ray Johnson was the craftsman in charge of the knives and we loved to stop as we were wandering down the beautifully landscaped tree-lined pathways of the park. It was fascinating to watch him forge his knives over an open flame with sufficient heat to turn the metal into an excellent serviceable knife.
We have also seen the most beautiful quilts in the park. Shirley Clark and Jan Cole were the quilt makers charged with accomplishing this craft on our visits. Their work was exceptional and unequaled. Close by, markets are selling all manner of lace doilies and dresser coverings. We purchased an entire set of these for our bedroom and bath areas due to their large selection
One of our most regular purchases when visiting the park was the woven baskets. We have come home with numerous baskets that adorn various rooms of our home, as well as numerous gifts for family members. Baskets are made on the grounds of the park, from strips of ash, as they have been made in this area for many generations.
The silversmith is another craftsman we enjoyed visiting at Silver Dollar City. A large array of items are available for purchase and guests can watch silversmiths work making the products. Jim Strait was the silversmith during our visits to the park. Belt buckles, jewelry, cups and the like are available at Silver Dollar City.
There is a large stable area in the park and various wooden items are crafted there. One of the most amazing was the horse drawn wagons available for purchase. Not your run-of-the-mill gift shop here. Silver Dollar City has an actual wagon maker on staff. Gary Stull was the wagon maker on duty when we visited and he could talk at length about the finer points of wagon making with tourists interested in talking about woodworking and wagon construction.
There is a great deal of pottery available for purchase in Silver dollar city, much of which has accompanied us home from our trip. One of our favorite souvenirs is a pottery angel, in which you may insert a lighted votive candle to illuminate her face. Very pretty and simple. An inexpensive memento of our trip. You can see from the photo that this dear angel suffered an injury after a fall from a shelf, but I have been unable to bring myself to throw her away before I can go back and replace her.
Other craftspeople are demonstrating wood carving (they have some of the most fabulous wooden walking canes), corn grinding, sorghum making, apple butter, stained glass, barrel making, candy making and creation of hand-woven clothing. Some of the unique wooden items we have purchased are a biscuit cutter and lovely wooden tablespoon, each of which has a special place in our kitchen.
Silver Dollar City woodcarvers and carpenters can make you anything from an custom wooden door or massive mantel for over your fireplace or something as small as these inexpensive kitchen items. They do provide shipping to the location of your choice, which is especially convenient for those larger items purchased. Each of the items being made on the grounds during your visit is available for purchase and the food items here, especially the candy and the apple butter, a specialty, are delicious. Not to be missed.
Again, the link to the Silver Dollar City website is www.silverdollarcity.com.
For more information about RV parks in the Branson, MO area, check out Woodall’s listings of Missouri camping.