Cole Camp is the location of one of America's greatest towns
The city web site can be found at http://www.cityofcolecamp.com which describes the city services and administration. The community web site that is hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and Community Betterment Association can be found at http://www.colecampmissouri.com. Please visit them for much more information and additional links to area businesses, organizations and information.
Cole Camp is located far enough away from the mad rush to remain a quiet and quaint little town, but close enough to good shopping and recreation to satisfy the most demanding tastes.
The town is located on Missouri Highway 52, a secondary state highway but only four miles off of US Highway 65, a major North South artery leading to Springfield (and Branson) and Sedalia (and on to Kansas City or St. Louis).
The two largest man-made lakes in Missouri, The Lake of the Ozarks and
Truman Lake, offer a world of recreational activities, shopping, and entertainment,
and both are just 15 - 20 minutes from Cole Camp. Local geography has something
to offer too, as Cole Camp is situated "Where the Ozarks and Prairies meet"
- a town slogan for over 50 years. Immediately north of town begin some
of the most beautiful prairies in Missouri, much of it set aside for public
use and/or preservation by the Missouri Department of Conservation and
the Nature Conservancy. South of town you enter the hills of the Ozarks
with it's deep valleys and clear streams. Cole Camp and the surrounding
area have much to offer - there's something for everyone.
Cole Camp Statistics
POPULATION: Cole Camp has 1,054 residents. The surrounding area has another 3,000 residents from developments along the Lake of the Ozarks north through the farming areas to the county line. Benton County, in which Cole Camp finds itself has over 13,000 Residents.
THE TOWN: Residents take great pride in the town which is reflected in the neat, well kept homes, for which the town is known. It is a historic town, one of the oldest in the west central part of the state, and dates from 1839. The town still boasts some houses dating from the Civil War period and the downtown is considered a historic district.
OUR SCHOOLS: Cole Camp boasts an excellent school system, one which has been accredited with distinction. Besides the recognized academic excellence the school boasts a strong athletic program with teams frequently moving to the final four in state competition. In addition to the public school system, the town offers an excellent Lutheran Parochial school, from K through 8th grades.
RELIGIOUS LIFE: The area having been settled by a large number of Germans, there are several Lutheran churches. Three are in town and more in the immediate outlying areas. In town there are also Methodist, Catholic, Baptist, Abundant Life and Pentecostal Churches, with additional Baptist, Church of Christ, Methodist and Pentecostal churches in the immediate outlying district.
GOVERNMENT SERVICES: The city is governed by a five man Council. Three full-time police officers provide the law enforcement and the city maintains two fine parks in addition to providing all necessary maintenance services. The community boasts one of the finest volunteer fire departments of any small town in the state and likewise there is a well equipped and efficient emergency medical service.
MEDICAL FACILITIES: The town has
a clinic with a full-time doctor and a resident dentist. Additional medical
services are found 20 miles away in Sedalia's Bothwell Hospital. Other
excellent medical facilities are within 100 miles at Columbia, Kansas City
Even though the larger, neighboring cities and the big super stores have come to provide for much of the basic shopping, Cole Camp, and the surrounding area still offer all the basic business services. These include:
Although Cole Camp can not be considered an industrial town there are two small manufacturing plants a short distance out of town. Both manufacture steel products.
Clubs and Organizations
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: This organization meets the second Tuesday of each month and sponsors a number of special events. Their web site can be found at http://www.colecampmissouri.com.
COMMUNITY BETTERMENT ASSOCIATION: This is an arm of the Chamber of Commerce and continually seeks ways of improving the community from creating parks to recruiting businesses. Their web site can be found at http://www.colecampmissouri.com.
JAYCEES: This organization sponsors a number of events such as gun shows and provide funds for community based projects.
PRAIRIE JAYCEES: This is a group of ladies who also sponsor events and support community development.
COLE CAMP LIONS CLUB: This organization meets the second Tuesday of each month to pursue the goals of that organization and support local programs for the betterment of the community.
AMERICAN LEGION POST 305: The American Legion Post consists of veterans from this area. They are an active group in the community.
COLE CAMP HISTORICAL SOCIETY: A group dedicated to preserving the history of the community. They have established one of the best genealogical research libraries in this part of the state.
THE COLE CAMP MUSEUM: Cole Camp boasts one of the finest small town museums in the state. They too sponsor a number of special events, such as a historic cemetery walk.
ANTIQUE STEAM AND TRACTOR CLUB: This group is dedicated to preserving the agrarian heritage of the community and each year they sponsor an antique tractor pull and a two days of demonstrating old fashioned farming methods. They have a web site at http://tractorclub.artheimsoth.com.
COLE CAMP ART CLUB: An organization of local artists dedicated to developing the arts in the community.
COLE CAMP PHOTOGRAPHY CLUB: An organization dedicated to developing the art of photography in the community.
IRIS GARDEN CLUB: A group dedicated
to beautification through the use of flowers.
BOATING AND FISHING: The proximity of the Lake of the Ozarks (15 miles) and Truman Lake (20 miles) offer great opportunities for boating and some excellent fishing. All sorts of fish are sought by avid fishermen to include walleye, catfish some weighting up to 60 pounds, bass, crappie and bream. Cole Camp Creek also offers good fishing, as do other smaller streams.
HUNTING: The area is alive with deer and wild turkey, and there is also good quail and squirrel hunting. Game is so plentiful that one must drive with caution when traveling the area roads because of the deer and wild turkey.
GOLF: While there are no local courses, excellent courses are available within 20 miles of Cole Camp, and many more a few more miles distant. Jefferson City, the area around Osage Beach, Whiteman Air Force Base and Versailles boast some of the best courses in the state. Cole Camp has a large number of avid golfers who continuously use (and abuse) these courses.
ATHLETICS: The excellent teams repeatedly fielded by Cole Camp High School provide great excitement throughout the school year. There are a number of major programs for youth athletics, to include soccer, baseball and basket ball.
SPECIAL EVENTS: The large number of special events sponsored by various town organizations will keep a person busy through most of the year. Some of these are listed below.
Special Events and Happenings
There is always something going on in Cole Camp. The following is a list, and brief description of the major events in sequence of scheduling.
CITYWIDE GARAGE SALE: In May the City sponsors a city wide garage sale where local residents set up shop either at the City Park or in their front yards offering items for sale.
TOUR OF HOMES: Also in May the Chamber of Commerce offers a tour of homes, to include a many historic homes in the area and newer ones of special interest.
LOW GERMAN SINGERS FESTIVAL (Sängerfest): An annual event featuring local talent of a German Men's Choir (Männerchor), a German Ladies Choir (Damenchor), and a German Children's Choir (Kinderchor). Additionally, German music and singers from other areas participate in an evening of Een goode Tied (A good time). Usually held during a weekend in July.
THE COLE CAMP FAIR: One of the largest and oldest continuous small town fairs in the state - it lasts three days, Thursday, Friday and Saturday of the first weekend following Labor Day. The highlight is the parade of floats which are beautifully crafted, usually with thousands of hand made flowers. There are the usual exhibits from local artists to culinary arts. There is cattle judging and games reflecting the agricultural heritage.
LOW GERMAN THEATER: Reflecting the heritage of the community, the Low German Club puts on an evening and an afternoon of Low German comedy theater. This is in the first part of October.
CEMETERY WALK: Also early in October, the Museum offers a historic cemetery walk through some of the oldest and most historic cemeteries in the area. Here actors portray interesting or important people who are buried there. Dressed in period costumes they tell about their lives.
CHRISTBAUM FEST (Christmas Tree Festival): This is a craft show that takes place during the latter part of November, with craftsmen from all over the state offering their crafts for sale. A main feature of this event is an exhibit of specially decorated Christmas trees.
CHRISTMAS WALK AND LIVING NATIVITY:
On alternating years, the Low German Club will provide an evening of Christmas
carols, sung in German, performed in one of the churches and in and around
town. On the other years the Mt. Hulda Lutheran Church, south of town,
presents a living story of the nativity. These events draw visitors from
a wide area.
These are the major community events but there are many more. In January
the Chamber of Commerce sponsors a Kraut Supper and the Museum
offers a Wild Game Dinner. The American Legion and Lion's Club
have their own special fund raising dinners or BBQs. The Jaycees
sponsor a gun show or two and beer garden dances throughout the summer.
Church Ice Cream Socials are fun events with excellent entertainment and
there are several of them throughout the summer and fall months.