Yet another vestige of Branson’s past disappears as the backhoe destroy the Sammy Lane Pirate Cruise Riverboat

After the damming of the White River by the Power Site Dam in 1912, and the formation of Lake Taneycomo, it became feasible to operate a riverboat between Branson and the dam. For decades, prior to the construction of the Branson Landing, the Sammy Lane Pirate Cruise was an attraction that took Branson visitors on a leisurely hour an a half cruise along that portion of the White River that lies beneath Lake Taneycomo. Leaving from its dock at the lake front the cruise included a narration of Branson’s history, the birds and wildlife seen on the cruise, and the set up for the visit to the gold mine and the pirate cannon attack near the end of the voyage.

Some say that the riverboat tradition of the Sammy Lane Pirate Cruise dates back to 1917 and that it was the longest continually running riverboat operation in the Branson Region. Whatever it was, it is, in reality no more.

As the pictures taken by local resort owner and fishing guide, Phil Lilly, testify, the backhoe and progress have irrevocably and silently claimed yet another piece of Branson’s history and tradition. These pictures were taken on the evening of Mar. 19, 2007 off of Roark Creek.

another piece of Branson History disappears.

The dock and Lake Taneycomo lakefront that the Sammy Lane Pirate Cruise operated was part of the Branson Landing Redevelopment Project that opened in the late spring of 2006. It has quickly become a favorite place for locals and visitors alike to shop, be entertained, and dine. The sounds of the fire balls coming out of the new fountain during the fire and light show have replaced the sound of the pirate galleons small cannon and the new Branson Landing development shares the Lake Taneycomo lakefront with hundreds of thousands more than ever before. Yet, it is sad that the price of such progress is the destruction of the icons, history, and tradition that helped make Branson what it is today.

Photos furnished by Phil Lilly of Lilly’s Landing Resort.

The backhoe goes for the stern and…

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