Ralph Foster Museum in Pointe Lookout, MO

College of the OzarksPoint Lookout, MO 65726
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Overview

One of the Midwest’s foremost institutions of historical preservation located just 2 miles south of Branson, the Ralph Foster Museum located on the campus of the College of the Ozarks offers an intriguing and educational experience for guests of many ages to enjoy. Visitors can explore exhibits and artifacts of the Ozarks region, including antiques, weapons, toys, an art gallery, and more.

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our Point Lookout Travel Experts
  • The original vehicle from "The Beverly Hillbillies."
  • Affordable family fun.
  • Butterfly exhibit, stuffed animals, original music exhibit and gun exhibits.
  • Artifacts of the Ozark region.
  • Located on the exquisite College of the Ozarks Campus.
  • Short drive south of Branson.

Description

from Ralph Foster Museum at College of the Ozarks®
The Ralph Foster Museum, on the campus of the College of the Ozarks, grew from humble beginnings in the 1920s to become one of the Midwest’s foremost institutions of historical preservation.

Dr. Robert M. Good, the President of the school, took an interest in the idea of a museum on campus. Subsequently, he made space available for the display of items in the basement of Abernathy Hall, a boy’s dormitory. When the dorm was later vacated, funds were provided to convert the entire building into a museum.

The primary focus of the Ralph Foster Museum today is to collect, preserve, interpret and exhibit items relating to the Ozarks region. One of the more famous exhibits is the original vehicle used in the television series "The Beverly Hillbillies." In addition, visitors will find antiques, weapons, dolls, natural history and other items from around the world.

After your visit to the museum, be sure to check out the many other activities and points of interest College of the Ozarks has to offer.

The Keeter Center - Whether you're looking for a casual lunch or an intimate dinner for two, our culinary staff of students at Dobyn's Dining Room offers an exceptional dining experience and something for every taste.

Patriots Park - The park sits near the entrance of campus and contains The Missouri Vietnam Veterans Memorial which bears the names of the 1,410 men and women from Missouri who gave their lives in Vietnam. Patriots Park is also home to The Missouri Gold Star Families Memorial which honors Gold Star Families (those who have lost immediate family members in their service to the country), preserves the memory of the fallen, and stands as a stark reminder that freedom is not free.

Fruitcake & Jelly Kitchen - Since 1934, College of the Ozarks has produced its famous fruitcakes on campus, and today student workers, along with supervisors, bake more than 25,000 cakes a year. Visitors are welcome in the kitchen where a variety of jellies and the College's delicious apple butter are also made and sold. The Kitchen is open for public tours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Edwards Mill - Built with funds provided by the late Mr. and Mrs. Hubert C. Edwards, is powered by a twelve-foot water wheel turned by runoff water from nearby Lake Honor. Student workers grind whole-grain meal and flour, available for purchase inside the building. Upstairs is a weaving studio, where students design and produce rugs, shawls, placemats and other items on traditional looms. Downstairs, students hand-weave baskets.

Williams Memorial Chapel - The Chapel is an outstanding example of neo-Gothic architecture. The structure, dedicated in 1956, measures 150 feet long and 80 feet wide, with an 80-foot-high vaulted ceiling and impressive stained glass windows. Attached to the chapel is the Hyer Bell Tower. Sunday services beginning at 11 a.m. are open to the public.

The Gaetz Tractor Museum - The museum features a variety of antique tractors and farm equipment. Noteworthy items include a gray Wallis from 1918 and a reaper produced in 1910.

The Hoge Greenhouses - Located east of Edwards Mill, the greenhouses are home to the Clint McDade orchid collection. Mr. McDade, one of the School's first students, donated the nucleus of the collection, which today numbers more than 7,000 plants. Individual orchids and other houseplants are for sale at the greenhouse.

Reserve Branson Customer Reviews

Have you been to Ralph Foster Museum at College of the Ozarks®? Share your knowledge and be the first to review this.
TripAdvisor Reviews
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kathymc123
West Yarmouth, Massachusetts
"Small but interesting"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed December 10, 2018 NEW
This museum focuses on the collection of Ralph Foster with an emphasis on things that have to do with Mo. They have the original car from the show Beverly Hillbillies.
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greergj51
Tulsa, Oklahoma
"Extensive Museum and Great Views"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed November 19, 2018 NEW
Known as Hard Work U the College of the Ozarks is just 4 miles south of Hiway 76. Beautiful grounds and lots of things to see. The Tractor Museum was very cool. The nursery is a great place to buy plants that are grown by the students. The culinary students make a great Fruit Cake and wonderful Apple Butter and other yummy things. You can spend the day driving from place to place or get out and walk. The mill is a place to explore and be sure to check out the stained glass workshop. Great view of Lake Taneycomo off the back side of the museum. Speaking of which it really would take 2 days to fully appreciate the scope of the collections there. Be sure to check out the lodge and have an ice cream or make a reservation in the restaurant. The Vietnam Memorial on the grounds is also inspiring. If you are there when the students are putting on a play in lodge, don't miss it.
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ronsus
Ottawa, Kansas
"Could spend 3-4 hours."
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed November 19, 2018 NEW
What a great museum. 3 floors of displays and we got thru 1st floor and some of second floor in 90 minutes. Will return at a later date to finish tour.
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Craig & Linda K
Liberty, Missouri
"Museum was great /Ralph Foster"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed November 12, 2018
We wish we had more time in the museum. We had no idea it was such a wonderful museum and plan to come back on a subsequent visit. It entertained men and women alike and we were impressed by the variety of exhibits.
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Jim R
Branson, Missouri
"Hidden Nugget"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed November 12, 2018
Probably one of the most under visited places. It's located on the campus of College of the Ozarks. A terrific museum of Roy Rodgers gun collection and WW1 & WW2 armament. You will really enjoy this place but please take your whole family and your camera.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Ralph Foster Museum at College of the Ozarks®

What are the hours of operation?
The museum is open during the following hours:

  • Monday — 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday — 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday — 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Thursday — 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Friday — 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Saturday — 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Sunday — Closed
The Ralph Foster Museum is closed to the public the following times:
  • The month of January
  • Thanksgiving week including the weekend before and after Thanksgiving
  • Mid-December through the end of December (call for specific dates)
Where is the museum located?
The museum is located at 1 Cultural Court, P.O. Box 17, Point Lookout, MO 65726.