Audio Tour Stop 5

Clarence and Ruth Wells' house is an excellent example of a native stone house. Ozarkers built log houses when they settled the land and, in fact, were still building them in the 1930s. Early businesses along Route 66 were often log buildings, too, because that is what Ozarkers knew how to build. Native stone structures, which succeeded log, were built for the same reason. The stone was readily available. The sandstone for the Wells' house came from a hollow across the road. It is still occupied.
The Wells' workshop was not a separate building like that of the Childers. The workshop was the yard. Here Clarence and Ruth work on baskets, assisted by a relative (seated). The Wells made 38 styles of baskets. Their largest sale was to a towel company during the 1939 New York World's Fair: 3,000 small baskets with no handles for which they were paid 10 cents each.
The white oak strips used in the basketmaking process were cut from the white oak trees that cover the Ozark hills. They were everywhere around Hooker and the Wells' home. Here Clarence is sitting at a shave horse. It held the white oak stock while the craftsman used a draw knife to shave off a white oak strip.

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