A Day Excursion: “A Step Back in Time” at Bo’s Hollow
By Christy Porter, Managing Editor
Bo’s Hollow is truly a step back in time and is fun and informative for those of all ages. Watch for the Burma-Shave roadside signs, an early form of advertising, when arriving from the east.
The small 1930s village is interactive and prompts questions to which the answers may be found during exploration, or that the family is well prepared to answer.
In 2003 the Borel’s, Bracy and Lynne, with their sons, Dale and his wife Charla, and David and his wife Ellena, relocated to the Hollow from Texas. The hollow, just two miles from Montauk State Park, would become Bo’s Hollow, “A Step Back in Time.”
The Borels are committed to “restoring the past – preserving the future.” A Civil War-era log cabin originating on the property has been relocated up on the hill and is the residence of Bracy and Lynne.
The family, including granddaughter Bethannie, open for business Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., May through October.
All newer modes of transportation are conveniently parked across from the village, and only 1930s circa Model As are driven in the village or on the tours.
Let It B offers a tempting and tasty array of pork rinds, brownies, pies and other delights at the Bo’s Hollow Trucking barn located across from the parking area.
Your first stop might be at the all-service gas station, where the Model As are still gassed up on the property from Conoco gas pumps that still work. The fuel truck and shop is behind the service station. Then, as now, the service station is a shaded respite and a chance to visit. While there and viewing the bridge, one might ask, “Why was the Bridge to Nowhere built, and does it still go nowhere?”
What is the miniature wringer washer in front used for? For the younger visitors the question may well be, “What is it?”
The soda pop machine still requires a dime, but due to inflation in the last 60 years, be sure and leave an additional dollar at the 1914 National cash register. A rotary pay phone and rotary phones show communication authentic to the time period. (Advanced technology expedites making reservations and getting information much easier.)
While signing the guest book look closely at Aunt Phyllis’s portrait, you may see her again during your excursion.
A trip to the Feed and Hardware Store showcases items from yesteryear; some stock that today’s farmer or rural landowners might still use. Making it fun for the children of yesteryear, Sandy, the coin operated horse ride, sits on the front porch.
Take the opportunity to shell and grind corn, pump water at the well beneath the windmill and feed the chickens.
Bullet holes are clearly seen in the rear window of a Model A moonshine or gangster vehicle in the front area of the hollow. The interior makes it feasible for one to imagine it being used for illegal enterprise.
Walking over the low water crossing will take you to the rest of the village shops and businesses. See a telegraph office, the rural post office, complete with “Wanted” posters, and Floyd’s Barber Shop, where you could get your shoes shined. The General Store has gifts, unique items and Bo’s Hollow t-shirts for purchase. Out back were the necessities of the day, including Hoose Gaw jail and the outhouse. Further up the hill is a lone miner, still hoping to strike it big at the Lost Cause Mine.
A definite lunchtime stop is Granny’s Pit BBQ where Ellena, who has 30 years of experience, serves up delicious beef and pork BBQ. It is made with a special rub, smoked at Bo’s Hollow and topped with their very own BBQ sauce. She also prepares the picnic lunches that are enjoyed on site or are available for a Model A picnic ride beside Ashley Creek. Beef jerky, BBQ sauce, salsa, apple butter and sweet treats are available for take-home purchases.
Bo’s Hollow was built with the Model A Ford enthusiast in mind, so the excursion wouldn’t be complete without a scenic ride in a Model A automobile.
Photos by Christy Porter
Photos by Winter Murray
The lower ride and the upper ride begin at the village in a Model A of your choice.
While on the lower ride you will meander through the local countryside on a winding road, watch for the wildlife of the area and enjoy the scenery.
The upper ride will take you to the hilltop; on the way you will circle the log cabin, the Restoration Barn and the Stable. While touring watch for farm equipment and the remains of an old historic truck. The hair sheep and the donkeys are of a friendly and inquisitive sort. You might inquire why Model As were sometimes driven up the hill in reverse.
It is highly recommended calling ahead and making a reservation to tour the Restoration Barn and Museum with Grumpy Uncle Bones. There you can see a miniature diorama of Bo’s Hollow, complete with service station, stores, proprietors, jailhouse and the outhouse.
Coveralls are hanging close to the antique wooden tool chest ready to be used when restoration begins on the next Model A. A repair kit sent with a new 1928 – 1931 Model A vehicle and more antiques line the walls and are located throughout the museum. A life-size scarecrow guards the old office and an old safe that sits in the corner, which once belonged to a stoneworker from the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis.
Touring the Restoration Barn is an education in Model A construction and restoration. Restoration of the historic vehicle comprises woodwork, metal work, upholstery and mechanical, with all work done on site except the Babbitt bearings. A prized restoration of a 1931 Model A wrecker is showcased in the shop.
Photos by Christy Porter
What would a summertime day excursion be without an ice cream treat? Bo’s Hollow offers a nice selection of the novelty bars to finish your day.
Bo’s Hollow, located at 22516 Bo’s Hollow Lane, Salem, Mo., has enjoyed visitors from all 50 states and from 42 countries.
For more information, pricing, or to make reservations call 573-548-2429 or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org. To see more go to: www.BoHollow.com or find them on Facebook.
Please call ahead if there has been lots of rain; the hollow may be inaccessible due to high water.