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Old 01-01-2009, 02:56 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
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My vote on this would have to be both, at least as far as the Missouri Ozarks are concerned. I think while the landscape does have a lot of commonalities to the Upper South, the dialect and culture is heavily mixed. Farming is still very much a part of life even if crops cannot be grown..wineries are common and sweet tea isn't really prevalent until you get really far south almost into Arkansas. The religious patterns tend to be more Southern Baptist than Catholic, but the cuisine is both Midwestern and Southern, as well as the forests and tree species and the tallgrass prairie (all of which are common to the Midwest) in most of the Missouri Ozarks. Not to mention, the climate tends to be more humid continental like the Midwest, though with not quite as much snow. My dad having grown up in Joplin thinks that the Ozarks are simply the Ozarks...unique unto themselves and with a blend of the Midwest, the Great Plains, and the Upper South. And both Southern accents and Midwestern accents are very prevalent in the Missouri portion. Not to mention, the Ozarks rely on dairy farming and corn and wheat are grown in most of the Missouri parts. I would say that south of Joplin and Springfield, Southern culture becomes dominant as you get into Oklahoma and Arkansas. Briefly summed up, I think that the Ozarks are definitively Southern around the Missouri/Arkansas border and in Arkansas and Oklahoma. In most of Missouri, the Ozarks appear to draw influences from the Great Plains, the Midwest, and the South. In the most Northern parts of the Ozarks, the culture is predominantly Midwestern. Other opinions and feedback would be appreciated.
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Old 01-01-2009, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Kentucky
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My sister went to College of the Ozarks in Branson, MO for a couple of years and was made fun of because she was from Kentucky. I thought it reminded me alot of Gatlinburg though so it's hard to say.
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Old 01-01-2009, 04:56 PM
NCN
 
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
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I don't know about the people. We went to Fairfield Bay for vacation and were amazed how much their mountains were like the Blue Ridge Mountains. We felt right at home and could not have been made to feel more welcome. I found Fairfield Bay much different than Branson. It was more country. We enjoyed both places.

My husband and I discussed whether it was possible that the two mountain ranges had been together at some time. If you were to blindfold me and put me in the woods at either place, I am not sure I would know the difference.
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Old 01-01-2009, 06:39 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCN View Post
I don't know about the people. We went to Fairfield Bay for vacation and were amazed how much their mountains were like the Blue Ridge Mountains. We felt right at home and could not have been made to feel more welcome. I found Fairfield Bay much different than Branson. It was more country. We enjoyed both places.

My husband and I discussed whether it was possible that the two mountain ranges had been together at some time. If you were to blindfold me and put me in the woods at either place, I am not sure I would know the difference.
Perhaps I should have phrased this better. I agree that the Arkansas Ozarks and perhaps the Ozarks of Oklahoma are Southern because of their latitude and the fact that Southern dialect and culture is prominent in these areas. The Missouri Ozarks I think are different from the Arkansas and OKlahoma Ozarks in that they have strong Midwestern influences. I for one could tell a very big difference between the Missouri Ozarks and the Blue Ridge mountains because the forests are vastly different.
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Old 01-03-2009, 08:44 PM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf131 View Post
Perhaps I should have phrased this better. I agree that the Arkansas Ozarks and perhaps the Ozarks of Oklahoma are Southern because of their latitude and the fact that Southern dialect and culture is prominent in these areas. The Missouri Ozarks I think are different from the Arkansas and OKlahoma Ozarks in that they have strong Midwestern influences. I for one could tell a very big difference between the Missouri Ozarks and the Blue Ridge mountains because the forests are vastly different.
I know very little about the Ozarks as you rarely seen or even read anything about it. In fact there is very little coverage about anyplace outside NYC, southern California and areas with tropical beach resorts or casinos. A big pet peeve of mine.

My impression is that Missouri is a midwestern state but the southern part has a strong southern dimension to it. And I believe southern Missouri includes the Ozarks?

Last edited by LINative; 01-03-2009 at 08:58 PM..
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Old 01-03-2009, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Mark Twain referred to all of Missouri as "Southwestern", based on differences in how people there spoke, as compared to Easterners. So I guess it still is Southwestern, but there was no Arizona back in Mark Twain's time. The language difference between Missouri and states further east persist to this day. Many of the linguistic distinctions Twain applied to Missouri also occur in Louisiana. Geographically, the Ozark Plateau extends into Oklahoma, which would add to its southwestern credentials.
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Old 01-03-2009, 08:59 PM
 
Location: Southeast Missouri
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The Missouri Ozarks seem more Midwestern than Southern to me, but they've got a bit of both.
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Old 01-03-2009, 09:07 PM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STLCardsBlues1989 View Post
The Missouri Ozarks seem more Midwestern than Southern to me, but they've got a bit of both.
Because you live in the area I will certainly take your word for it.

I am just wondering why there is not more interst in these mountains in the middle of the country far away from any other mountain ranges. You would think the Federal government would open a national park there or something.
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Old 01-03-2009, 11:18 PM
 
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I haven't been there but would guess that since it's in the Missouri Ozarks are Mid-Western based mixed with some South. That seems logical to me (I could be wrong).
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Old 01-03-2009, 11:44 PM
 
Location: Road Warrior
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I wondered this as well and am still not sure ... though the Missouri Ozarks and NW Arkansas Ozarks aren't really too far off from each other I'd have to say from my experience they both have an influence of not only midwestern and southwestern but also a distinct Ozark dialect. While I met some natives in NW Arkansas who considered themselves Southern their dialect was different from that of say Arkansas natives from little rock. I also noticed there was quite a few transplants from Texas and Oklahoma who consider themselves both Southern and SouthWestern. The Missouri Ozarks meanwhile people consider themselves midwestern and transplants may mainly come from the midwest. I would have to say it's a confluence of all of the above or rather a distinct region to itself. I could be wrong as the Ozarks are a fast growing region today, maybe what I describe is not what it'll seem tommorow.
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