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Owen Enclave house, photo courtesy Jerry Adams
Owen Enclave house, photo courtesy Jerry Adams

Branson purchases last piece of Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area

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The city of Branson on Sept. 3 purchased the 7.4-acre Owen Enclave, a tract of land left out of the city's purchase of the Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area in 1998, said Jerry Adams, public information director for the city.

The city purchased the tract from the Owen Family Trust for $231,000, which came from the city's Tree Fund - comprised of forfeited deposits from people who removed trees on their properties but did not replace them, a city code violation, according to a city news release.

The enclave includes the home of Lyle Owen, a partially constructed barn and stone walls. Since its purchase of the Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area, the city of Branson has communicated with the Owen family about purchasing the tract, with the clause that the city would keep the property as a natural preserve and eventually restore the buildings in honor of Owen, who died several years ago, the release said.

Adams said the city wanted to purchase the land to fully complete the wilderness area, noting its naturally built trails and lookout points over Lake Taneycomo.

"It adds to the wilderness area, and it gives it more of a historical value," he said, adding that the house on the tract was built in 1911 and bought by Owen in the 1930s. "It connects people and their lifestyle to the lakeside forest."

In 1937, Owen built 340 stone steps extending down the bluff from his house to the lake, the release said. The steps were already part of the Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area, but the city wanted to complete the transaction to preserve an area where a man lived a simple, sustainable life, Adams said.

At the Sept. 14 Branson Board of Aldermen meeting, aldermen will consider a resolution concerning the city's intent to preserve and restore the Owen Enclave, the release said.

The Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area, on Fall Creek Road south of Highway 76, is comprised of 130 acres and used for outdoor recreation and wildlife habitat.[[In-content Ad]]

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