NEOSHO, Mo. —
The Newton County Tourism Council has dug up what could be a stocking stuffer just in time for the holidays.
“Ozark Uplift,” a documentary about lead, zinc and coal mining in the Tri-State Area of Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma is going on sale at several area museums and other sites beginning today. The cost is $15.
The documentary was written, produced and filmed by Paul Wannenmacher, of Springfield, who set out to capture mining’s impact on the area.
“It has already aired twice on Ozarks Public Television,” Steve Roark, president of the Newton County Tourism Council, said of the film.
The filmmakers conducted interviews with some of those who mined, had family members who mined or were connected with museums in the Kansas communities of Baxter Springs, Franklin, West Mineral and Pittsburg, in the Missouri communities of Seneca, Carthage, Granby and Joplin, and in Miami, Okla. The crew also gathered thousands of photos and historic documents.
“Everybody is excited about the movie and they are just amazed by the old photographs and they are just excited we have been able to find so many miners to tell the story,” said Roark.
The documentary will be available at the Joplin Museum Complex in Schifferdecker Park in Joplin, the National Fish Hatchery in Neosho, the Crawford County Historical Museum in Pittsburg, the Franklin Miners Hall Museum in Franklin and the Heritage Center and Museum Complex in Baxter Springs. Community Bank and Trust in Galena, Kan., also will sell the documentary on behalf of the museum in Galena.
Copies also will be available later at museums in Webb City, Carthage and Miami.
Proceeds from the sales will be split between the museums and the Newton County Tourism Council.
“These museums operate on such shoestring budget that this is going to be a very nice little fundraiser for them,” Roark said.
“What is so important to us is that this involves all three borders, all three states. Any time we can do something that promotes all three states, we all win.”
SPRINGFIELD DOCUMENTARY MAKER Paul Wannenmacher has three previous credits in conjunction with the tourism council: a documentary on Thomas Hart Benton, a native of Neosho, Mo.; a documentary on noted Western artist Charles Banks Wilson, of Oklahoma; and a documentary on the Newtonia Civil War battlefields, also in Newton County.