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home | Locations | FACTS & FIGURES FOR LAKE OF THE OZAR . . .

Ivan Gillis
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The Lake of the Ozarks/Osage  Beach, Missouri


The Lake of the Ozarks is surronded by numerous small towns, we have chosen Osage Beach to researh, as it is the dam end of the lake.


The Lake of the Ozarks is a large man-made reservoir created by impounding the Osage River in central Missouri in the northern part of The Ozarks.


The lake has a surface area of 55,000 acres, over 1,150 miles of shoreline, and the main channel of the Osage Arm stretches 92 miles from end to end


The lake was created by the construction of the 2,543 foot (775 m) long (775 m) Bagnell Dam by Union Electric Company of St. Louis, Missouri (named for Bagnell, Missouri by the dam site which had been platted in 1883). The principal engineering firm was Stone and Webster. Construction began August 6, 1929, and was completed in April 1931. The dam is operated and maintained by AmerenUE (formerly Union Electric Company), under the authority of a permit issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).


During construction the lake was referred to as Osage Reservoir or Lake Osage. The Missouri General Assembly officially named it Lake Benton -- after the former Senator Thomas Hart Benton (whose name is also applied to Benton County, Missouri in which part of the lake lies. None of the names took as it was popularly referred to as its location in the Ozark Mountains. The electric generating station is still referred to by its utility as the Osage Hydroelectric Plant.


At the time of construction, it was one of the largest man-made lakes in the world and the largest in the United States. Although originally built to provide hydroelectric power for customers of Union Electric, the lake quickly became a significant tourist destination for the Midwest. There are over 70,000 homes existing along the lake, many of which are vacation homes. Spectacular scenery characteristic of the Ozarks has also helped to transform the lake into a major resort area. More than 3 million people visit the lake annually.


The Lake of the Ozarks is unique in the fact that it is the largest man-made, non-flood control lake in the United States. The lake rarely varies in surface elevation by more than 5 feet (2 m), with normal pool elevation of 660.0 feet (201.2 m) above mean sea level. Most of the adjacent shoreline on the Lake of the Ozarks is privately owned, and the relatively stable surface elevation has created ideal conditions for private development within a few feet of the shoreline. The lake is promoted as the "Midwest Coast".


During the process of land acquisition for the lake during the 1920s, 17,500 acres (71 km²) of land along the Grand Glaize Arm of the lake was set aside for a National Park. In 1946, this land was acquired by the State of Missouri for Lake of the Ozarks State Park, the largest State Park in Missouri. Other State Parks on the shores of the lake include Ha Ha Tonka State Park which is located on the Niangua Arm of the lake.


Following data is for Osage Beach, Missouri.




Population (year 2000): 3,662. Estimated population in July 2006: 4,454 (+21.6% change)


Males                          1,801                          49.2%

Females                     1,861                          50.8%

Median Age--44.8 Years

Ancestries: German (23.2%), English (14.9%), Irish (13.2%), United States (12.0%), Scotch-Irish (3.4%), Italian (3.2%).

Races in Osage Beach:

  • White Non-Hispanic (96.3%)
  • Hispanic (1.2%)
  • American Indian (1.0%)
  • Two or more races (0.8%)
  • Black (0.8%)

Income & Housing Costs Numbers:

Estimated median household income in 2005: $40,700 (it was $38,448 in 2000)

Estimated median house/condo value in 2005: $162,400 (it was $133,800 in 2000)


Elevation: 895 feet

Land area: 9.40 square miles.

Population density--452 per square mile--low.

Osage Beach-area historical tornado activity is slightly below Missouri state average. It is 32% greater than the overall U.S. average.

On 5/4/2003, a category 3 (max. wind speeds 158-206 mph) tornado 12.2 miles away from the Osage Beach city center killed 4 people and injured 27 people and caused $5 million in damages.

On 9/26/1959, a category 4 (max. wind speeds 207-260 mph) tornado 49.3 miles away from the city center caused between $50,000 and $500,000 in damages.

In-Depth Facts and Figures as listed below, plus other information:

·        Climate Charts

1.     Average Temperature

2.     Precipitation (Rain)

3.     Humidity

4.     Wind Speed (MPH)

5.     Snowfall

6.     Sunshine

7.     Cloudy Days

·        Tornado Activity History

·        Hospitals & Medical

·        Airports

·        Colleges/Universities

·        High Schools

·        Locations of Interest

·        Shopping Centers

·        Churches

·        Lakes/Streams/Rivers/Creeks/Parks

·        Tourist Attractions

·        Banks

·        Housing Costs Information

·        Crime Statistics

·        Radio Stations AM/FM

·        TV Broadcast Stations

·        Discussion Forums


For the above information and photos, click this link:


Total Tax Burden--Data for Calculation


See article on Branson, Missouri.

Cost of Living Calculators Links:;x=36&y=3

Wikipedia Information Link:,_Missouri









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