The Missouri Department of Transportation will hold a
dedication ceremony later this month to name the new Osage Beach expressway
in memory of Lee Mace, one of the lake area’s most well-known and respected
entrepreneurs. Mace died in 1985 in a plane crash.
Lee Mace was a businessman and entertainer, who along with his wife Joyce,
founded Ozark Opry, the lake’s longest running family entertainment venue.
The opry opened in 1953 near Bagnell Dam. In 1957, the opry packed up and
moved down the road to its current location on Highway 54 in Osage Beach.
After more than 50 years in the entertainment industry, Joyce Mace closed
the opry after the 2005 season.
Well-known for his showmanship, bass fiddle and passion for flying,
Lee Mace was considered by many to be something of a legend
in the lake area. He was a mentor to performers and, along with Joyce,
a trailblazer in the entertainment and tourism industry at Lake of the Ozarks.
When completed in 2010, the $130 million expressway will wind around Osage
Beach and reconnect with the existing Highway 54 past state Route KK.
Once the expressway project is completed, the city will assume responsibility
for the 8-mile stretch of highway that cuts through Osage Beach.
The dedication will he held on Oct. 23 at 10:30 a.m. at Osage Beach City Hall.
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