Osage Beach

Zebra was soon flooded out during the construction of the Bagnell Dam, which created one of the North America’s largest man-made lakes — the Lake of the Ozarks. The post office was rebuilt on the top of a nearby cliff at the heart of the brand new lake. In 1935, residents of the city changed the post office designation to Osage Beach, but no official boundaries were formulated until the early 1960s.

Osage Beach was officially incorporated on May 22, 1959. However, due to political upheaval and discontent among some in the new town, a petition for disincorporation was filed. On May 17, 1960, voters approved legal disincorporation in a special election. But the battle wasn’t over yet. In late 1963, a group interested in re-incorporation began organizing and planning a strategy for change. The group lobbied for incorporation stating that with a growing community certain services could only be afforded to the people through local government organization; for instance, sanitation, fire and police protection, street development, sewer and water service, and even the right to serve liquor-by-the-drink through city liquor licensing. Tourists were becoming more common to the area as entertainment and lake activities grew in popularity, many residents were moving in permanently, new businesses were forming, and the group feared without incorporation Osage Beach did not progress and ultimately would lose its identity as the Lake’s largest and most progressive recreational area. The group met publicly to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of incorporation and directly confronted the issues that dealt with the disincorporation of 1960. The public was eventually called to another special election in 1965.

In the spring of 1965, voters approved the second and final incorporation of the City of Osage Beach and a fourth class city was created or more appropriately stated — re-created. Official boundaries of the city were established, four wards were formed (two on each side of the Grand Glaize bridge) and two aldermen per ward, a mayor, and a marshall were to be elected at large.

Osage Beach is split between two television markets. While Camden County is part of the Springfield television market, Miller County is part of the Columbia/Jefferson City market. Charter Communications’ cable system carries stations from both cities. DirecTV and Dish Network subscribers in the city receive Springfield stations, mainly because the bulk of the city is in Camden County.