Located at the junction of State Highways 76 and Business 13 in Stone County, Missouri, not far from the shores of Table Rock Lake. But it is not an old town, as such, nor has it always been known as Branson West. Just after the American Civil War, a group of farmers and entrepreneurs decided that a passable road would be important and very profitable, connecting the prosperous farms and ranches of the White River Valley with the growing town of Berryville, to the south – and more importantly, the then brand new railroad yards on the far side of Springfield, to the North. The Wilderness Road of the Ozarks was built to serve that purpose and it was a common sight to see two hundred freight and passenger wagons each day traveling north and south, vitally serving the area and its growth, just as those early pioneers had planned.
The route required about a week’s travel time between the two towns. Therefore, campgrounds sprang up along the Road’s route for overnight rest and accommodations. Lynchpin Campground was one of the more prominent ones and thrived for many years. It was located on the Road, on the north side of the present city. Just after Table Rock Lake was constructed in the late 1950’s, a well to do merchant in Reeds Spring decided that his bank and his large Chevrolet agency would do much better closer to the lake and at a busy highway intersection. Howard Claybough acquired the ground at the junction of 76 and 13, where he began building his concept of a new little town, starting with his Bank of Table Rock Lake and his Claybough Chevrolet Agency. He chose to call his town Lakeview, though the lake could not actually be seen from the highway intersection at that time.
Some time later, in the early 1990’s, when Branson had become so prominent and tourist attractive, another businessman decided that the growing little town would be more noted if the name were changed to suit the times. He somehow managed to change it to Branson West and got the State and the U. S. Post Office to recognize his choice. By then Mr. Claybough had created an even larger shopping center across the highway from his earlier one. Then came the ubiquitous super-center, Wal-Mart. Which, at that time, had more checkout registers than the town had actual residents. The Stone County cash flow generated by the burgeoning Silver Dollar City and the new Wal-Mart soon caused the little burg of Branson West MO to become incorporated, build a city hall, create a police force and its very own little political group. Now it has pretty well grown up, as small towns sometimes do. It has a very nice small airport, a lot of prosperous modern stores and businesses, traffic signals, street lights, sewer and water systems – as well as a growing, friendly population – who always gladly welcome visitors, travelers and customers – such as you folks.
Visitors to Silver Dollar City will fine that coming thru Branson West can be the easiest and quickest way to get to SDC during the season. Especially on Fridays and Saturdays mornings during peak tourist traffic. From Branson West to Indian Point road it is now two lanes all of the way.