Silver Dollar City is one of the most visited family theme parks in the United States. It is situated right in the heart of Branson, Missouri. According to history, the original purpose of the legendary Silver Dollar City was to serve as the main accent to the Marble Cave.

The hole found on the grounds of Branson was first called the Marble Cave when the discoverers thought that the stones inside the cave were marbles when those were in fact limestones. This cave opened the way to the foundation of the famous Silver Dollar City, where millions of tourists travel to every year.


A Historical Timeline of The Silver Dollar City


The Osage Indians discovered a deep hole hidden beneath the hills somewhere in Missouri, a place which today is called Branson.


Geologists described that the hole is a cave.


There was a group of adventurers who explored the Marble cave and climbed 200 feet down to the main chamber. A newspaper publisher was a part of that team and published writings about the wonders of the Marble Cave.

A mining company was formed by a group of Civil War veterans to mine the resources found in the Marble Cave. They were able to dig up tons of nitrogen-rich bat guano. However, no marbles were ever found.


Through the Scientific American magazine, the whole continent was informed of the natural beauty of the Marble Cave.


Without seeing the cave with his own eyes, William Henry Lynch read the piece published by the magazine and purchased the land. He traveled to the Ozarks with his two daughters to open the cave to the public. They began touring the cave with tourists from different places.


Marvel Cave

Inside look at the Marvel Cave

The cave was then called as the Marvel Cave.

The daughters of William Henry Lynch planned to retire from managing the cave tours. This was also the time when Chicagoans Hugo and Mary Herschend took a vacation on the Ozarks and were looking for a new family business. The Lynch sisters offered a  99-year lease on Marvel Cave to the couple.


The Herschend family, Hugo, Mary, and their teenage sons Jack and Pete were handed the opportunity to manage the cave tours from then on. The summer of 1950 was filled with thousands of tourists visiting the Marvel Cave.


Charlie Sullivan, a traveling salesman, came to the cave to visit the Herschends. He presented the idea of recreating an 1880s mining town where he was born into. Hugo and Mary pursued the business venture, even after the death of the husband the following year. Mary, Jack, and Pete continued to build the 1880s Ozark village while preserving the genuine aura of the area.


In May 1960, the Herschends introduced the reconstructed mining village to the public and named it the Silver Dollar City. This was a strategic marketing idea that they came up with to drive tourists into the mini-city.


The Silver Dollar City Today

As of the present, the Silver Dollar City is a sitting 100-acre park that has plenty of amenities and activities for the tourists from all corners of the world. It has stage venues, over 40 rides and attractions, award-winning restaurants, and shops. It employs 1500 people, including 100 resident craftsmen. It is a grand destination for a family vacation if you want to experience a famously unique theme park adventure.