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Family stories from the Southern Missouri Ozarks, Part 1

Updated on February 19, 2016
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Dr. Bill's first passion is family history. His second is a passion for creating family saga, historical fiction stories that share it.

Sunset over the water
Sunset over the water | Source

Introduction to Part 1

When we say "Southern Missouri Ozarks" do you think of "hillbillies?"

Well, that is reasonable to consider. But the good folks who did create the towns and businesses we know today in the region were not "hillbillies." Mountain folks did live off in the mountains, for sure, but these stories here are generally not about them, although one may slip in, now and then. These stories are about people like you and me, who were insightful, smart, and entrepreneurial who decided, at their time and place, that this would be a fine place to raise a family, start a farm or business, and grow old around what they cared for and who they loved.

The fictional place, actually all part of a forest in the real word, is located in the northwest corner of Shannon County, Missouri, should you want to know.

"The Homeplace Saga" series of stories is a growing collection, we like to call it a Family Saga, covering over 150 years in a particular fictional valley in this region from initial settlement in 1833 to the present day. Each story is based in research and first-hand knowledge of events in the area and each story is based on events similar to those that actually took place in that time, nearby.

The first novel, "Back to the Homeplace," and the novella, "Murder by the Homeplace," are set, one after the other, in time, during 1987. "The Homeplace Revisited," set nine years later, in 1996, focuses on the young folks (high school age) from 1987 returning from college as young professionals to the Oak Creek valley and the town of Oak Springs to find their place in the family and the family businesses being run by their parents. Might there be some conflict there? Of course there is... that is what makes good stories fun to read. You may even see yourself in there, somewhere. "Christmas at the Homeplace," released in Oct 2013, is set in the last quarter of 1996, immediately following "The Homeplace Revisited," in time.

In 2014, a collection of short stories surrounding the Founding of this valley community and the town, from 1833 to 1876 will be published as "American Centennial at the Homeplace." Some of the short stories have been published in local anthologies as well as on the home blog of the series - see the link, below. These are continuing in serial format every week, on Fridays.

We invite you to join us in reading, and perhaps participating in, creating and growing the stories that have been started by our author and founder, William Leverne Smith.

Were you inspired by the "Little House on the Prairie" series? We were!

Over the years, a number of Family Sagas have become popular, but none of them have been based in the central USA in a single location. "The Homeplace Saga" series of historical fiction is.

The "Little House on the Prairie" stories of Laura Ingalls Wilder came close, but actually covered the family stories in locations in several states, and, were based on real-life. Her stories are loved by all.

The Homeplace Saga stories are set in a fictional valley a few miles east of Laura's home and museum.

"Roots" was a Family Saga

"Roots" was a Family Saga, also based on real-life, and also was located in many different and diverse locations. It was a fascinating story, and was inspirational to each of us.

Telling a family history through several generations is one thing The Homeplace Saga has in common with the "Roots" stories. Some of our stories involve our characters in searching out their family history, much as Alex Haley did.

Do you have the "Roots" DVD set?

Did you see The Thorn Bird mini-series or read the book?

The Thorn Birds was a family saga set in Australia that many of us loved for the fine family stories. Richard Chamberlain starred in the series on television. It is the first mini-series I can recall. Did you see it? Did you find it inspirational in any way?

Have your read the book?

Which U.K. based Family Saga is your favorite?

Several Family Sagas have been written and set in the U.K., including The Forsyte Saga and Brideshead Revisited.

These are also mostly historical, which many people love. The stories are based on familiar family relationships and activities, as we each see in our lives. We like to live out some of these as fantasies in the lives of our favorite fictional characters.

We invite you to get to know the characters in The Homeplace Saga.

Have you read the complete The Forsyte Saga?

Had you thought of The Godfather Series as a Family Saga?

The Godfather Series of books and movies is a family saga, following a crime family through their trials and tribulations, through multiple generations of the family.

Inter-generational conflict is at the heart of most family sagas, and it certainly was in this series. Did you have a favorite book or movie from the series?

Which was your favorite movie of this Family Saga?

Did you know Dune is classified as a Family Saga?

Dune is one of several Family Sagas created in the science fiction genre with a large following. Would you have considered that a science fiction story could be a family saga? I hadn't, but, now I know it is true. There are also several others, I'm sure. Leave a note in the comments on your favorite.

Have you seen Dune?

The Homeplace family farmhouse

This house represents the farmhome at the "homeplace" farm in The Homeplace Series stories.
This house represents the farmhome at the "homeplace" farm in The Homeplace Series stories. | Source

"Back to the Homeplace" begins "The Homeplace Series"

"The Homeplace Saga" series began with a novel set in 1987, "Back to the Homeplace." It was well received but did not receive wide distribution, so you have probably not read it. It is as fresh a story today as when it was first published a couple of years ago. If it were a movie, it would be rated PG-13 for a bit of violence and sexual-related content. It is a great place to start, and I hope you consider reading it.

We will share more about this and other individual stories in subsequent Hubs. Stay tuned! ;-)

Available in both print and kindle edition!

See the Book Trailer and learn more...

Poll on Family Sagas

Which is your favorite Family Saga, to date?

See results

A Palomino mare in the pasture

One of our central characters rides a Palomino mare like this one. I just love this image.
One of our central characters rides a Palomino mare like this one. I just love this image. | Source

Poll on The Homeplace Series

Will you consider reading a book from The Homeplace Series?

See results

Will you rate this Hub for me, please? Thanks!

4.6 out of 5 stars from 13 ratings of This Hub

We very much appreciate each comment!

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    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      A wonderful hub; so glad I came across this gem today as I now look forward to so many more.

      Have a wonderful day.

      Eddy.

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      You are my first commenter. Thank you, so much! I look forward to an interesting and useful experience on HubPages. ;-)

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 3 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      This sure shows you have been busy. Wow! Writing a whole saga, piece by piece, shows too what a love you have for history and people and traditions.

      One of my all-time favorite sagas is Road to Avonlea which is based on the writings and memoirs of Lucy Maud Montgomery of Prince Edward Island, Canada.

      Voting up, awesome, interesting and Sharing.

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, Pamela! The Road to Avonlea looks interesting... I must check it out. I love the fictional world I have created. There are so many options, it is hard to decide where to go and explore, and write, next. What fun! ;-) Right now, I'm in the mode of: "how can I best share my passion with others that might find it interesting..." ;-)

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Ah... just visited: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Road_to_Avonlea to learn more... very inspirational, to me. I think would be very much at home, there, as well. This is the kind of world I had in mind when I created the developmental wiki, see link, above. Maybe there is hope for my characters and story. Just keep on, keeping on. Thanks, Pamela! ;-)

    • Bettyoverstreet10 profile image

      Betty (Alawine) Overstreet 3 years ago from Vacaville, Ca.

      I am so looking forward to your writings, as my mom was born in the Ozarks of Arkansas. I have written some short stories about my papas farm and my moms life, however, they are what I call True Life Fiction. I write events I remember mama sharing and then embellished on her stories.

      Thanks for the note you sent me after reading some of my little stories. My books are available at www.lulu.com.

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      I publish my non-fiction on lulu.com, my fiction on CreateSpace with Amazon.com... Best wishes...

      http://thehomeplaceseries.blogspot.com/

      http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/drbillshares

      ;-)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      This sounds interesting, especially since I'm an Arkansas girl, so I'm familiar with the Ozarks for sure! Neat hub. I may have to check out more!

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you for your visit, neighbor Victoria Lynn. These hubs are all set in the Ozarks. In my other series, under my real name, the recent Lx episodes are in the Ozarks, as well: http://hubpages.com/@drbill-wml-smith

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is an interesting introduction to The Homeplace Saga. I'm looking forward to reading more!

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you for stopping by, AliciaC, I look forward to your comments on what you read. I like to share my work.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I was very familiar with just about all of the other family stories you mentioned but had never heard of The Homeplace Saga. Thanks for this introduction!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      William, this sounds interesting. My mother is one of 10 children born and raised in Kennett, MO - down in the 'boot heel'.

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, Peggy. Hope you do become familiar with The Homeplace Saga, as well. ;-)

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thanks for stopping by, bravewarrior. Many of my Ozarks stories will ring true with you, I suspect! ;-)

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      This was great! I could not answer your first one about which was my best one for I love the Little House and also Dune. I will go read your stories. I never knew your were here until you read one of mine. Thank you for that.

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      That is how it works around here, isn't it. I do ( and must ) support each other in order to gain recognition ourselves. I like the concept! ;-) Hope you enjoy my family saga stories! ;-)

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      After reading this hub, I'm hooked. I look forward to reading The Homeplace Saga.

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you. I appreciate your interest. Comments are very much appreciated in this corner!! ;-)

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 2 years ago from Iowa

      I do enjoy historical fiction. Looking forward to reading more of your work.

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      I like to have folks read my work, of course. Thanks for the visit and the comment. Much appreciated! ;-)

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      An interesting family saga, great hub. Looking forward to reading more .

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Please do, Vellur. They are there for your pleasure... as well as the pleasure I had in writing and sharing them!! Thanks for the visit and the comment! ;-)

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      If they were considered family sagas I liked to watch "Bonanza" and "The Rifleman". This Hub was interesting since I had already read part 2 (unknowingly). This introduced me to the story, I became more interested. I voted this up and shared it.

      Kevin

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, so much, Examiner... ;-)

    • ubanichijioke profile image

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 2 years ago from Lagos

      This sounds very interesting. I do like to buy a little of it and get lost in its thrills. Sounds like it's gonna be a thrilling saga. I will definitely find it. Thanks for the useful info. Much grateful.

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you for your comment, my new friend from Africa. I look forward to sharing more information about each of our cultures!! ;-)

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 2 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I love to read Family Sagas so just downloaded the Kindle Version of Back to the Homeplace and am looking forward to reading it.

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      How wonderful, OhMe. I'd love to hear your reactions. Hope you let me know, good or bad. Thank you! ;-)

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 2 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      What a great way to show examples of family sagas. This has piqued my interest in your story.

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Scarlett, I hope you'll read more of my stories. Thanks for the visit, and the comment! ;-) I'd love to know what you think of them!! ;-)

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I think I am really going to enjoy your stories; I love anything like this to do with people in the past. Especially hardworking; good people. Sounds like a winner; marking up and sharing and will follow to remind me to get back as soon as I can!

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, Jackie. Those are my people, "hardworking, good people!" They are who I write about, in all three of my accounts. Here, DrBill-WmL-Smith and DrBillSmithWriter (also my Hub Transfer account). Thank you for your interest.

    • askformore lm profile image

      askformore lm 2 years ago

      Thank you for a great hub.

      Your hub inspired me to "go back" and read some of those family stories again. The first one will be "Roots".

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you for the visit and the follow. There many more of those stories, now, right here. Hope you read and comment on them, as well! ;-)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      What an interesting introduction. Family sagas are always interesting because they give you enough to really sink your teeth into. All the family members and family drama certainly make you want to know more.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, so much!! ;-)

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 2 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      To be truthful, I have never given much thought to family sagas. Little house on the Prairies was on TV when my kids were growing up, so I saw much of the TV series and liked it. My sister did a self published family history and I found some interesting materiel that I used for hubs, especially some letters written home to Sweden. I have somewhat used her as a model for some of my fictional characters, as well.

      I like the hills of the ozarks. after seeing them, I became aware that there is some quite hilly landscape here in Wisconsin, as well.

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you for your visit and nice comment. Authors generally classify as something other than family saga because it has not grown much. Dune, Godfather, Thorn Birds... there have been family sagas set around the world. Few here in the USA, but they are there, if you seek a bit. If one cared, of course. I look forward to reading more of your hubs about places and people! ;-)

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan Robert Lancaster 2 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      Interesting Hub feature you've got here, Will. 'The Forsyte Saga' is due back on the box here as well as 'Downton Abbey', but that's all upper crust stuff.

      The popular ones here are 'Emmerdale', 'Corrie' ('Coronation Street') and 'East Enders' (one set in semi-rural West Yorkshire, one in urban Manchester and one in east-of-City London).

      Our equivalent of 'Little House On The Prairie' has to be 'Emmerdale', as it began a couple of decades or so ago as 'Emmerdale Farm', centred on rural life in sub-Pennine West Yorkshire, roughly in the same area as Bronte country. It might have been a modern version of 'Wuthering Heights', with all the elements of the 'kitchen sink dramas' of the 1950s.

      (By the way your Amazon link under the title of 'Little House...' is 'Anne of Green Gables' - I don't suppose that was meant).

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Fascinating information, Alan, thank you so much! I'd really like to check those out. I'll fix that link, too. Appreciated! ;-)

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Such an enjoyable read! Kind of reminds me of the old "Little House on The Prarie" TV series. I love family stories. Will share this and voted up and across except for funny.

      Audrey

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      There is no doubt a "Little House" influence, along with other sagas, in all my stories. I consider that a compliment. Thank you! ;-)

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      You need to link Pt 2 here, I am having trouble finding it.

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Glad you did. I appreciate your visit, Jackie... ;-)

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan Robert Lancaster 22 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      Hello again Bill, I always thought of Hillbillies as being from Kentucky, Tennessee and generally around the Appalachians (as in the 'Beverly Hill Billies'). Having seen my fair share of Westerns and Civil War films ('The Outlaw Josie Wales') I think I'm almost as familiar with your geography as ours.

      Never really went in for family sagas on the 'Box', some my own is still shrouded in mystery.

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 22 months ago from Hollister, MO

      The Ozarks, here in the heartland, is actually where the Beverly Hill Billies was filmed, just a few miles from our little cabin here. Both coasts get the publicity, but live is still much better out here in the middle of America, the Heartland. Thank you, very much. Studying my own family history, the westward movement, over 2, 3, 4 centuries, has inspired my family saga stories. Good reading. Thanks, again, for the visit, Alan!! ;-)

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