Friday, June 12, 2009

Shepherd of the Hills - by Harold Bell Wright

I was walking though the Silver Dollar City giftshop one day, maybe...oh, 8 or 10 years ago when I spied this book. I had NO idea who Harold Bell Wright was...and I only knew a little about Shepherd of the Hills being a tourist attraction that I had never been to just outside of Branson.
As I curiously handled the book my Dad wandered up and said "I remember that book, it was required reading in school for us." I can't remember now if he had any particular thoughts on it, (ie. boring or not) but I seemed intrigued enough at the time to go ahead and purchase it.

I read it...and it has been my all-time favorite book ever since. (The book has since been made into a movie starring John Wayne and the Shepherd of the Hills attraction outside of Branson has many original buildings that are true to the story. But, all of these will be stories for another day.)

Here is a teaser:

In the hills of life there are two trails. One lies along the higher sunlit fields where those who journey see afar, and the light lingers even when the sun is down; and one leads to the lower ground, where those who travel, as they go, look always over their shoulders with eyes of dread, and gloomy shadows gather long before the day is done.

This, my story, is the story of a man who took the trail that leads to the lower ground, and of a woman, and how she found her way to the higher sunlit fields.

In the story, it all happened in the Ozark Mountains, many miles from what we call civilization. In life, it has all happened many, many times before, in many, many places. The two trails lead afar. The story, so very old, is still in the telling....

So if you love Ozarks history (like I do) you will most likely love this book. If you have already read it, leave a comment and let me know what you thought of it!

By the Way, you can read the book entirely online for free by clicking here.


  1. Hey, maybe I'm one of the first dots on your map!

    Did you take that header photo? That's amazing.

  2. Did you know that the church at Shephard of the Hills was once in Rader I believe and that we had family members on Grandma Long's side that went there? I believe that is what my mom told me, but I'm sure she will correct me if I'm wrong. If you let them know that you had a family member that attended the church when it was in Rader they will let you look at the church for free. I remember mom taking Grandma Long to see the church and taking pictures.

  3. I chose this book for a project in my English class and was suprised by how much I enjoyed it. This book is amazing and I was highly impressed with Howard Bell Wright's writing. This book always had me hooked and I am glad my dad introduced me to it. It was an amazing story and I enjoyed it immensley.