After a morning at the Titanic Museum and then a quick lunch we headed over to the Shepherd of the Hills where we would spend the rest of the day. First on the agenda was the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead Tour.
We arrived in plenty of time to walk around the beautiful grounds before the tour started.
People kept accusing us of bringing the Texas heat with us and on this day I believed them. It was incredibly hot and would you believe that everything was outside? There wasn’t even much of a breeze.
This man stopped and took the time to show the kids how he makes knives. It was very interesting. Little Jason even got to hold the knife! I probably should have taken a photo, but I guess I can’t hold my breath and click at the same time. 🙂
Then it was time for the tour. We climbed aboard the tram that took us around the property. I highly recommend reading the book BEFORE the tour. We had great intentions of doing just that. We purchased the audio book and were going to listen to it on the way to Branson until my husband ended up with a migraine…so we had only listened to a little bit of the story before we got there. The tour would have been so much more meaningful to the children had they read more of the book in advance.
Being able to tour Old Matt’s Cabin was especially interesting to me with all of the antiques. The tour guide was very knowledgeable about the items in the house and which ones were original and how they were acquired.
When the book became popular people began coming to Branson to see the property. It is said that Shepherd of the Hills is what probably began the tourism in Branson.
A behind the scenes look of the Old Mill Theater was part of the tour.
They explained to us how many of the stunts in the play are done. I had fun looking for them when we watched the show.
We learned quite a bit of the history of the area including about the baldknobbers. There was even a surprise hold up and explosion, and by surprise I mean I screamed like a crazy person, yes I did!
I enjoyed the tour. If possible, I would leave children 5 and under at home for this tour. Older children should (unlike what we did) read the book ahead of time for the tour to be more meaningful. And if possible, go on a day when the weather is agreeable!
Team Southerland says
I read that book after visiting Branson! 🙂 I think it’s in the public domain so I got it for free for my Kindle. 🙂 Next time we will have to go check this place out! You guys really packed in the activities, didn’t you? How fun! I now know all the cool places to hit in Branson next time we go.
We didn’t get to go on this tour. The day we were there, it was FREEZING cold! And it was so windy that the zipline was even closed. (Which didn’t hurt my feelings any since I had absolutely zero intention of doing that.)
I told Dave that you’re making me want to go to Branson. He said, “Maybe she can go with you.” I said, “Ok. Are you then going to go down to Texas to babysit her 5 kids while she’s away?” I really don’t know which sounded more appealing to him because he hated Branson (because he’s the pooper at every party), but suffice it to say….I don’t get to go to Branson with Dave nor with Esther 🙁
But I’d be ok with going all by myself. Yes…I would. And I just might.
I read the book when I was about 12–found it in the library of the school for missionaries’ children in Guatemala. I don’t know how long ago it was published, but this would have been about 1950. I saw the play at Branson with our sister and brother-in-law years ago. I don’t remember how long, but I think you were still in college if not high school.