We think this uncommon George Hall postcard shows a portrait of Hall himself (on the left) holding a very fine postcard camera.
Most of his river photographs were of the James River around Galena, but he did obviously make the classic float from Galena on the James to Branson on the White.
We used this image in our new book, “James Fork of the White: Transformation of an Ozark River.”
This image is reproduced, but not credited to Hall, in a 1920 Ozark Playgrounds Association Annual. The Playgrounds Association was organized in Joplin in 1919, so the issue is either the first or second annual edition they put out.
That makes it one of the earliest publications of the tourism cooperative that promoted the region as a vacation destination. Their motto, “Land of a Million Smiles,” was ‘borrowed’ by numerous businesses and civic organizations.
George Hall’s photographs are an invaluable record of life in the Branson-Galena area during the early decades of the 1900s.
In an article on the Hall Photo Collection for the Winter 1995 White River Valley Historical Quarterly, historians Linda Myers-Phinney and Lynn Morrow said of Hall: “… photographer George Edward Hall created perhaps the single most important body of historic images documenting the beginnings of southwest Missouri’s commercial tourism.”
(This feature is courtesy of Leland and Crystal Payton at Lens & Pen Press, publishers of all-color books on the Ozarks. Their new book, “James Fork of the White: Transformation of an Ozark River,” 354 all-color pages, has been published and is available at www.beautifulozarks.com ($35,postage paid) and on www.amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. Their earlier river book, “Damming the Osage,” can be at seen www.dammingtheosage.com.)