OZARK, Ark. (KFSM) — Welcome to Ozark 'Where it all begins.'
It's the place former geology teacher Andrea Romo calls home.
“When you live in your hometown you have roots, and my roots in this county go back five generations," Romo said.
Many of the structures in downtown Ozark were built at the beginning of the 20th century. Locally quarried sandstone was used and still stands today.
Highway 23, or the Pig Trail Scenic Highway, is known for steep drops, sharp curves, and scenic views.
“It became a mecca for motorcyclists and people in sports cars who wanted to take those curves as fast as they could," Romo said.
The city is experiencing some growth.
“I see buildings that I grew up with, and I know what they use to be, and I’ve seen what they’ve become now, and it’s kind of exciting," Romo said.
Bank OZK which the mayor says has been an asset to the community is expanding.
“When the facility is completed we expect to add about 200 employees over the next five to seven years depending on other factors," Eddie Melton with Bank OZK said.
An internship program gives high school students work experience.
“Our hope is we get them great work experience, we get them interested in banking, or the business field. At the very least we set them on a path for a great career," Melton said.
Romo says in some ways Ozark is just like any small town, but in others, it’s not.
“It’s probably the people that keep me here more than anything else because I have moved away. I’ve lived other places, and I'm staying back here," Romo said.
French explorers named the area Ozark because of where it sits on the river.
It’s a French word meaning 'at the bend.'
You can find it on any map of rivers because of its location.