Table Rock Dam Part of Branson’s History

You don’t have to be an architecture buff to appreciate the size and importance of Table Rock Dam.

Positioned southwest of downtown Branson on the White River, Table Rock Dam created one of the area’s most prominent features, Table Rock Lake, and it provides hydroelectric power and flood-control protections for area residents.

Here are a few cool facts about Table Rock Dam and Lake:

  • Construction of the dam began in October 1954 
  • The dam is more than 6,400 feet long, with a 1,600-foot concrete section
  • The dam includes more than 1.2 million cubic yards of concrete
  • The top of the dam is 947 feet above mean sea level
  • Table Rock Lake’s surface area is more than 52,000 acres
  • The lake has more than 857 miles of shoreline - to help put that in perspective, consider it’s an 812-mile drive from Branson to Denver, Colo.

One of the best ways to learn these kinds of facts, and more, is by checking out the Dewey Short Visitors Center, which is located on the dam’s south side.

Inside the center are exhibits focusing on everything from the dam’s construction to local habitats and water safety. There’s also an observation platform that gives visitors an amazing look at Table Rock Lake, the dam and nearby Lake Taneycomo.

Accessible from Highways 165 and 265 by car, the Dewey Short Visitor Center also is accessible by water and there’s a courtesy dock for boaters to use. The area around the center has walking trails and it’s just a short drive to Moonshine Beach.

Also near Table Rock Dam are attractions such as Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery, Showboat Branson Belle and the Chateau on the Lake Resort Spa and Convention Center.

From March through December, the Dewey Short Visitor Center is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. In January in February, the center is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.