Branson is Incorporated: April 1, 1912

Historic photo of Branson, Missouri
Branson/Lakes Area CVB

Branson was officially incorporated on this date in 1882.

The area that would become Branson was first settled in the early 19th century by pioneers who were attracted by the region’s natural beauty and, in some cases, its remoteness. On April 1, 1912, the town was officially incorporated and named after Rueben Branson, a local store owner and postmaster.

The arrival of the White River Railway in the early 20th century marked a turning point for Branson, as it provided easier access to the area and encouraged tourism. The construction of the Powersite Dam in 1913 created Lake Taneycomo, further boosting the region’s appeal as a fishing and recreational destination.

As most Missourians are aware, it was the entertainment industry that truly put Branson on the map. In 1959, the Mabe family opened the Baldknobbers Jamboree, the first live music show in Branson. This paved the way for other performers and shows, and by the 1980s and 1990s, Branson had become a hub for country music and family entertainment, with numerous theaters and attractions lining the famous Highway 76 Strip.

Today, Branson continues to thrive as a tourist destination, offering a wide range of entertainment options, including live music shows, theme parks, museums, and outdoor activities. It’s often referred to as the “Live Music Show Capital of the World,” with millions of visitors each year coming to experience its unique blend of natural beauty and entertainment.