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Situated along the shores of the White River in southern Missouri, the city of Rockaway Beach is in Taney County. Plans for the community began when Willard Merriam learned of plans for a dam to be built in Taney County. He developed the area as a summer resort on six hundred acres, with Rockaway Beach as its focal point, and the resulting town eventually took the name of the beach. A post office was established in 1919, with the name of Taneycomo, but the postmaster changed the name to Rockaway Beach, believing that the original name was duplicated elsewhere. Tourists traveled on the Missouri Pacific Railroad to Branson or Hollister, then by boat to Rockaway Beach and before long, there were hotels, cottages, and permanent homes. A dance pavilion was built at the east end of the bathing island. A store was operated by Jacob Mueller. When the town was platted so that there were no more than two blocks to a well, although some of these well have since been capped and covered. Nearby communities include Forsyth, Merriam Woods, and Walnut Shade.


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