The Branson Hobby Center wasn't on my list of places to go in the Branson area. We were staying at an RV park in Hollister, MO. I was out for a walk, and went in when I saw the model railroad sign.
There are all sorts of things to see when you travel. Sometimes you head to a destination to see a specific thing or engage in a certain activity. Other times someone tells you about something after you arrive. I think it is especially fun when you just discover something by chance.
You happen upon something by chance and you think, “Wow, this is neat." It is usually something you might ordinarily pass by, or not even notice. But, chance gets you in the door, and you get to enjoy another piece of the world that you would otherwise miss.
This happened to me while Coleen and I were at Turkey Creek Campground in Hollister, Missouri.
I do a lot of walking. I had figured if I went up highway BB, I could cut over on a side road, and come to either South Highway Business 65, or over to Downing St., making a circle back to the campground. Highway BB was not a pleasant walk. There weren’t any shoulders, and there was plenty of traffic. I got off the roadway as soon as I could. I was glad when I reached St. James Street, which would cut over to Business 65.
On the corner was a big building with blue trim. A sign in the corner of the lot read, "BHC, Branson Hobby Center." I had been walking fast, trying to get off the highway, and was ready for a rest, so I approached the building to go in. The one door was marked, "Model Railroad," and the sign indicated it operated Wednesday through Saturday. It was Tuesday.
The other door was the hobby shop. I went in. Upon entering, I was met with a long set of stairs. I reluctantly climbed to the top. There, I found a brightly lit shop, with thousands of hobby related items.
As I walked around the store, I saw car, boat, plane, and ship models, from quite small to four-feet long or larger. There were 2-cycle, 4-cycle, and electric motors for planes. They had train engines, cars, track, switches, running gear, controls, and more for several gauges of model railroads. There were kits for structures, along with dimensional wood, plastic, metals, and styrene for scratch building. They had radio controlled boats, cars, planes, trucks and drones. There was a selection of games and jig saw puzzles, too. My favorite section was the tool area. There were small precision tools, carving tools, and specialty tools that aren't easy to find. At the end of that isle was a large selection of glues and adhesives. It was a very complete hobby shop.
The Branson Hobby Center store is open Monday - Saturday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. The store phone number is 417-335 6624.
The working model train layout is on the lower floor of the building, at the St. James Depot. The model railroad runs Wednesday through Saturday, limited hours. I didn't get to see it run this trip. I'd like to go back there and see it in action the next time we are in the Branson area. Finding a place like this by chance is always fun. In future travels, it can become a destination.
Editor's note: My husband, Bob Nilles, wrote this article. He finds all sorts of interesting places as he is out walking. They provide a good break. And, depending on what he finds, he comes home with a purchase, something he learned, or an interesting story. At the Branson Hobby Center, which is really in Hollister, Missouri -- not Branson -- he came back to the RV with all three.