County Museum (H.S. Wilson Home)
The Douglas County Museum was built in 1882 by Frank Wilson who built four other homes exactly like it in Douglas County about the same time. Only two are still standing. One was purchased by the Douglas County Historical & Genealogical Society in August 1988, with the aid of several businesses and individuals. Work has progressed steadily on the museum since that time.
The museum is located 1 1/2 blocks east of the Ava square on Highway 14. Antique items are on display and researchers can receive help with their genealogical queries. Museum hours are Saturdays 10-2 year round. (417) 683-5799
Ava Art Gallery & Museum
This building, with its artful murals, is located at 307 E. Washington Ave, just off the east side of the Ava square. Admission is free. Open Tuesday-Saturday 10-4 (March-December). Monthly seminars in three-dimensional paintings and artwork in all medium given by Art Guild members. Free art workshops for all ages are open to the public and held the first Saturday of each month at 1pm. For more information call (417) 683-1129. www.avaartguild.org
In the rugged, wooded country of the Ozarks, in a setting so beautiful it offers much peace and solitude there is a holy place called the Assumption Abbey Monastery. The Monastery is run by the Cistercian Monks of the Strict Observance (Trappists) and dates from 1950. The Monastery, located 20 miles southeast of Ava, offers a private guest house/retreat center for individuals, or groups who come to the monastery looking for deeper prayer. It is available to both men and women. Because of the small numbers of rooms and rapid change of availability it is necessary to call ahead for reservations. (417) 683-5110 www.trappistmonks.com
In 1868 B. V. Morris, an Ozarks pioneer, built a dam and mill on the sparkling spring fed “Spring Creek”. As the hill people for miles around brought their grain to be milled, Rockbridge, Missouri grew to include a general store, a bank, and a church. The world changed and all was abandoned until 1954, when owners Lile, Edith and Ray Amyx purchased and restored what you see today. Today, the Spring Creek is stocked with rainbow trout and the old general store now houses a modern restaurant where you can enjoy delicious down-home cooking.
This 3000+ acre resort in the heart of the Ozark Mountains is the perfect setting for a family vacation or corporate retreat! Take a picturesque step back in time. Eliminate the distractions and chaos of modern life and immerse yourself in the tranquil and relaxing atmosphere of Rockbridge, Missouri. (417) 679-3619 www.rockbridgemo.com
When settlers were looking for a place to set up a mill, they often looked at springs. Springs flowed more reliably than streams and rivers in the dry times of summer. Rivers also have higher flood peaks that could tear up a mill. Some mills, like Dawt Mill on the North Fork, were placed on rivers. However, most were set on spring branches or small streams, like the mill sites at Zanoni, Hodgson and Rockbridge in the Bryant Creek watershed, or Topaz in the North Fork watershed. Most of these mills have camping and floating opportunities. Ava is usually the “stock up” point for campers.
Ava is home to the Missouri Foxtrotting Horse Breeders Association National Head quarters. More than 83,000 horses have their names on the pages of the Official Record. Owners of the Fox Trotting Horses span the continent, as each year more and more inquires come from trail riding clubs, pleasure riding groups, showmen, 4-H groups, etc. Many horse shows throughout the country include fox trotting classes among their many others designed for spectator’s and riders’ participation. Thousands of people attend the two shows held each year in June and September, in the facility located just a few miles north of Ava . www.mfthba.com