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Memories Worth Repeating



“Memories Worth Repeating”
Silver Dollar City® ~ 50th Anniversary
by Jack E. Dawson



Click on the image above to zoom in and find all 50 of the "Memories" listed below.

     “Memories Worth Repeating” by Jack E. Dawson remembers the past, celebrates the present and entrusts the future to the legacy and values that the Herschend family many years ago imprinted on the living canvas called Silver Dollar City.

     Welcome to a parade of “Memories Worth Repeating.”  Stroll through the great past you have ahead of you and join the festivities as we celebrate 50 years of past, present and future rooted in family values and creativity.   The celebration of “Memories Worth Repeating” began over 50 years ago and shows no sign of ending.  It began as a vision to cherish and preserve the time-honored traditions of the Ozark people’s love for life and family, Godly faith and respect for each other, rich heritage of arts and crafts, and joyful imagination and creativity.  Identify the 50 memories through four seasons, six festivals, many handcrafted specialties, and the sights and sounds of the people.  Examine the past depicted in the clouds. Join people traversing a swinging bridge into the streets of Silver Dollar City and experience the present - alive with characters and artists from all over the world.  Watch the parade grow as citizens from every facet of SDC life enter the procession. 

     Can you hear the music?  Smell the aroma of food cooking over open fires?  See the craftsmen creating their wares with great love and devotion?  Relish the sounds of fiddles filling the air, or a story teller weaving a yarn?  Do you see the weather-worn features of experienced crafts folk eager to share their story and love for people?  Do you hear the children laugh with their excitement at water rides, roller coasters and fairy-tale play areas?  Can you hear the Good News proclaimed in word and song from the Wilderness Church?  A gospel group praising God?  Have you noticed the ring of a black smith’s hammer?  Or an axe hewing a giant oak log for a new home place?

     Here are just a few of the Silver Dollar City “citizens” who invite us to join them in celebrating life and faith in the One who gives us life.  The celebration continues to grow.  As the crowd exits the scene, it passes a review stand of those who have gone before.  Shad invites us to join the dream set in motion by their vision and continued by those who follow.   Hugo and Mary, Marvel Cave and SDC visionaries, look on the parade with favor and point to the future with anticipation. 



1. Marvel Cave, from inside looking out, was previously known as "Marble Cave" and "Devils Den." This is the original site of Marmaros, an early-day Ozark village where prospect mining was done.

2. William Henry Lynch was patriarch of the Lynch family who ran Marble Cave as a "show cave" for over 50 years.

3. Marvel Cave Lodge was run by the Lynch Sisters, Genevieve and Miriam, the daughters of William Henry Lynch.

4. Hugo and Mary Herschend purchased Marvel Cave and, with their sons, developed Silver Dollar City.

5. Early buildings:

A. The McHaffie Homestead - built in 1843.

B. The Wilderness Log Church and hewing of the log pulpit from a native sycamore tree.

C. Man’s Land - Ozark sportswear shop

D. Original Old General Store

E. Stagecoach Inn

F. Sullivan’s Burr Mill

6. The Blacksmith demonstration has turned "smithing" into a performance art, preserving this craft for generations to follow.

7. The "Marshal" is one of many Silver Dollar City characters.

8. The Frisco Silver Dollar Line train delights passengers of all ages.

9. Many visitors have enjoyed the unique experience of walking across the Swinging Bridge.

10. A growing number of people, craftsmen, musicians and visitors enjoy the Parade - celebrating the Silver Dollar City story as it grows from past to present and into the future.

11. The Parade enters the street in the Homestead Area and passes by the McHaffie Homestead, a reconstructed log building. Here, 1800’s home life is portrayed and meals are still cooked on an authentic wood cook stove. The porch is still a regular site of old-time music and fun.

12. In spring the "city" comes to life. The first of the six festivals, "World Fest" brings international performers from around the world to Silver Dollar City.

13. SDC Volunteer Fire Department Tower.

14. In the early days guests were invited to take rides on the old stagecoach of the Butterfield Stage Line-Silver Dollar City.

15. Wilderness Church is a log building, originally from "up on Bear Creek," where weddings, worship services, and "singin’s" are still held.

16. Every day the city pauses at the flag pole on Main Street to honor veterans, pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to sing The Star Spangled Banner.

17. The horse-drawn steam-powered fire engine that once patrolled the streets now rests in retirement under the Fire Department Tower.

18. Two unpainted images invite YOU to take part in the celebration and fun by creating your own memories worth repeating and passing on to others. Notice the blank banner being brought into the parade, representing those who will carry on the traditions and values that have made Silver Dollar City great.

19. Breath-taking rides for all ages are part of Silver Dollar City. Whether a float trip or roller coaster, "the experience of a lifetime" keeps us coming back for memories worth repeating.


20. Memories and imagination take flight with the Hot Air Balloon, lifting higher and higher the dreams and creativity of generations of children, like the rides in the children’s areas over the years.

21. The original "Man’s Land" building is now the General Store and Silver Dollar Post Office.

22. The Feed Store

23. The second festival, "Bluegrass and BBQ," arrives with summer, where outstanding bluegrass performances by top name artists combine with samplings of the nation’s top BBQ recipes.

24. The Old General Store is now Cowboy Jepps

25. Many well known cartoon characters have been seen at SDC.

26. The third festival, mid-summer’s Kids Fest, brings alive kids’ dreams and imaginations through rides, shows and special inter-active exhibits.

27. The compassionate heart of Silver Dollar City is memorialized by the man pushing a child in a wheel chair. It is said that during the early years, a tenderhearted employee would greet children in wheelchairs and, to make them feel very special, give them a silver dollar from his own money. When the owners found out, they provided the silver dollars and encouraged him to continue expressing this love and compassion. The story is just one example of a true servant’s heart that could be told about the dedicated "citizens" of Silver Dollar City.

28. The late summer fourth festival, Southern Gospel Picnic, has become one of the largest gatherings of famous Southern Gospel groups from around the nation.

29. The presence of Marlin Perkins reminds us that the Marlin Perkins Zoo enchanted "kids" of all ages while waiting for tours of Marvel Cave in the early 1950’s.

30. In fall, the fifth festival of the year transforms the city. The Harvest Festival invites hundreds of craftsmen to demonstrate their crafts and not only provide a history lesson in "how things were," but offer an incredible shopping experience of unique and meaningful gifts.

31. The suggestion of Jack and Pete Herschend, with their wives Sherry and JoDee, reminds us these sons of the founders are responsible for developing and keeping the spirit of SDC alive. In Jack’s hands is a reminder of the time he got in "big trouble" with his mother for cutting down a dogwood tree. Pete, an avid bicyclist, has used his hobby to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis.

32. Creating "Memories Worth Repeating," the title of this painting, is the mission of Silver Dollar City

33. Where Copper Kettle Candies and the Old Stage Coach Inn once stood, the Ice Cream Parlor is a welcome refuge on warm Ozark days.

34. Blacksmith Shad Heller extends his arm as if to say, "Come on in," while behind him, wife Mollie models one of her early costumes. An icon of the City, Shad represents the well-known craftsmen of the past as well as those who now work at SDC.

35. Founders Hugo and Mary Herschend leave a legacy that benefits and encourages those who come behind and invites us to look to the future, honor their values and traditions, and encourage others to join in serving and modeling lives of Christ-like attitudes.

36. Could this be Granny Clampett of the Beverly Hillbillies? Yes! Granny represents a large group of national and international actors, artists and entertainers who have participated in the Silver Dollar experience over the years.

37. For a while, a "puppet horse" was seen roaming the streets.

38. The memory of the fun feud between the Hatfields and McCoys is depicted by the ghost images of a Hatfield on the lookout for Pa McCoy. Can you find them both?

39. Lester represents the early craftsmen who helped shape Marvel Cave and Silver Dollar City. A nine-year-old when he was hired to help build the road to Marvel Cave in the 1920’s, he worked for the Lynch and Herschend families until he retired. It is said he hewed the log pulpit for the Wilderness Log Church.

40. An American flag flies alongside the Christian flag, representing the great examples of American patriotism and Christian faith found at Silver Dollar City.

41. The legendary dogwood displays the four seasons: spring blossoms, summer leaves, fall berries and winter "rest"… a reminder of God’s faithfulness.

42. The Marvel Cave Mining Company reflects Silver Dollar City’s history. Miners who ventured into Marvel Cave helped create a breath-taking experience, allowing visitors to see God’s magnificent creation in the world below earth’s surface. Here were the Huck Finn/Tom Sawyer adventures of young Jack and Peter Herschend.

43. As fall leaves give way to approaching winter, the sixth and final festival, "An Old Time Christmas," turns this joyful time of year into a memorable celebration.

44. A highlight of the season is the whimsical train that leads the Christmas Light Parade through the streets of Silver Dollar City.

45. The magnificent five-story Christmas Tree lifts the festivities to a grand crescendo with spectacular lighting and magnificent music celebrating the real meaning of Christmas, bringing praise and honor to Jesus Christ, the One whose birth we celebrate.

46. Did you notice all the crafts depicted on the tree? Throughout the painting you can find over "50" crafts depicted or suggested. Here are a few to look for:

Quilts, rocking chairs, baskets, woodcarving, furniture making, pottery, glass blowing, cut glass, blacksmithing, knife making, leather working, candle making, treenware, barrel making, fiddle making, candy, bakery, brooms, sewing, dolls, special foods, wagons and log structures.

47. The Gazebo has always been a gathering place and showcase for some of the most talented musicians and entertainers. Clogging, square dancing and barn dances are a vital part of the SDC experience.

48. The 1880 silver dollar embedded on Main Street is the City’s icon. "In God We Trust," our national motto and the underlying philosophy of SDC, is displayed around it. A large letter "S," starts to the right of the Wilderness Log Church and encircles the silver dollar.

49. Though they enhance the unique experience, Silver Dollar City is not about rides and buildings – it is about people. SDC "citizens" parade past the review stand, representing the thousands who make up this growing number: craftsmen, entertainers, executives, maintenance, house and grounds, carpenters, electricians, designers, and administration, just to name a few. Guests and citizens alike find that a day at Silver Dollar City makes "Memories Worth Repeating."

50. The "50 Years" logo on the banner celebrates five decades of making "Memories Worth Repeating." 1960-2010


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