White River ‘River Rat’ Program at WRVHS

Paddlefish Drawing
A paddlefish makes an unscheduled landing in Jim Fortune’s john boat in the middle of the night on Taylor Bay. Drawing by Elizabeth Engholm.

Tales ranging from a spoonbill that made a surprise visit in a john boat to encounters with Big Foot and the White River Monster will take center stage at the White River Valley Historical Society on Sunday, March 10. Author-photographer Chris Engholm will premier the “White River Radio Show” at the White River Valley Historical Society’s quarterly presentation. Social time with refreshments begins at 1:00, with a membership meeting approximately 1:45, followed immediately by the program. There is no charge for the event, which is open to the public.

“This first episode of The White River Radio Show will focus on ‘river rats’—who they are, what they know, and the stories they tell. We’ll have a collection of prints and paintings on display and multimedia clips from the canoe journey down the White River. River rats Gayne Preller Schmidt of Augusta and Jim Fortune of Searcy will be our featured guests,” stated Chris Engholm. “There will also be a summary of an interview conducted recently with Keith Weaver (the manager of the White River Refuge) regarding the Blueway designation, and an opportunity to share some reminisces of life in Taney County along the White River.”

Engholm, in conjunction with the Shiloh Museum of Ozarks History, is the creator of the exhibit, “White River Memoirs”, which will be on display at both the WRVHS and the Branson Centennial Museum from March 18 through April 27.

Visitors during the social time will be able to view the WRVHS’ current exhibit, “The Creative Ozarks”, which features an in-depth look at several authors and artists, including John Neihardt, Mary Elizabeth Mahnkey, Rose O’Neill, Silas Turnbo, and Vance Randolph.

About White River Valley Historical Society

The WRVHS exists to preserve, protect, and promote the cultural history of Taney County, Missouri, and the upper White River Valley region through public programs and educational events.

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