The History & Heritage

Harbor Heritage

It’s more than a resort, it’s our village and it’s our home.

Welcome to Harbor. Our Home, Our Resort, Our Village.

Harbor is 69 years old and we are serving the 4th generation of families that started with us back in the mid-50’s. We are also serving those families with our family of managers many of whom have been with us for 30 or more years. We love to say “Our Family Serving Your Family”. We’re not real big and fancy, but our total dedication is to serving our friends, our customers and their families. From all of us at Harbor, we look forward to serving you.


  • Our History


    Lake Ouachita is filling and Harbor opens with four (4) boat stalls, one (1) gas pump, a small floating restaurant and store, 100 rental fishing boats, and the 10 mobile home sites. In 1958, the Lodge Restaurant and motel rooms and courtyard are constructed. Guests made their way to Harbor on a dirt road from the highway.

    • Our History


      A year of growth! Harbor now has 120 long-term boat slips, the lodge pool and “reflecting pool” – now the kiddie pool – are added. The marina restaurant was closed to allow for guests in the restaurant. New rental units have been added at the main Lodge area including poolside cabanas, studios and cottages.

      • Our History


        Bill joins his dad, Hal, full-time and assumes the role as general manager in January of 1971. The marina continues to expand and has now evolved from the “boat dock” to the marina. Cottages continue to be built around the Lodge and the Harbor Mobile Home park expands to it’s current maximum of 102 sites. As the resort continued to expand, the need for a local fire department was necessary thus the Joplin Volunteer Fire Department is formed and is run out of the maintenance yard on property. In 1979, Iron Mountain Lodge & Marina, Harbor’s sister resort, is started on DeGray Lake.

        • Our History


          Hold on to your hats! The property for Harbor East is acquired and the road for Harbor East Estates was built and the first residential lots are sold. In February of ’81, the first four-plex condo was underway on Peninsula Drive beginning Phase 1 of the Harbor East Condominiums. In 1982, the East Cove Building with the only private club license in Montgomery County is opened along with Rebecca’s at the Cove – a full-service restaurant in Harbor East. Harbor’s lease with the Corp of Engineers is expanded in the central bay to include space for M,N,O,P & Q Docks, as well as the addition of the East Basin (now R-Z Docks). S, T & U Docks, Harbor’s first big houseboat docks, are constructed in East Basin in 1985. Harbor South property is acquired and developed into 300 lots and Harbor South park is established.

          • Our History


            The Marina complex (store, slips, and gas T) are relocated to the front (North) end of Marina Cove and the East Marina Basin continues to expand and welcome the relocation of Marine Services. Harbor welcomes Tiny’s Water Toys and DreamChaser Houseboats and Ocean Extreme to the property as new water activities! In Harbor East, the Condos continue to expand to over 100 condos. The East Cove Club and Rebecca’s close and becomes the East Cove Conference Center due to high group travel demand. In the late-90’s, the planning for Harbor North is underway and the Micah’s Point Memorial is constructed. The new Facilities Management (maintenance) complex is expanded. Self Creek Lodge & Marina, Harbor’s sister-resort, lease proposal is being prepared and submitted.

            • Our History


              C7, C8 and C9, the first Harbor North Cottages are constructed in the spring of 2000, as well as, Sampley Dock, is introduced as the first dock in Harbor North Basin - Harbor’s Memorial Basin. Harbor North Cottages and the North Basin Memorial Docks continue to expand. The new Marina Complex store and Subway at the Marina is constructed and open for the guests! In Harbor East, the East Cove Park and Pavilion is constructed introducing our first outdoor pavilion for meetings and weddings. Turtle Cove Spa is established in 2000, and the Phase III Condominiums in Harbor East are completed. The Harbor Riding Stables are established, as well as the Montgomery County Military Museum which began with just one military jeep. Harbor continues to expand its lodging options by offering Harbor House and the VanGuilder Lodge. The Joplin Store is acquired and re-opened at the highway.

              At Iron Mountain, the first cottages on Skyline Ridge begin, as well as they also undergo a major marina expansion. In early 2000, the lease for Self Creek Lodge & Marina is awarded and construction of the new marina, cottages and docks begin. Throughout the decade, Self Creek’s lease has doubled in size and amenities.

              • Our History

                2010 - Present

                Continuing to grow and improve our village! In the main Lodge area, the renovation and expansion of our seven RV Sites (1-7) is complete and four all-weather safe rooms are constructed around the property. The original courtyard built in 1958 goes through an amazing renovation with the addition of a new outdoor fireplace, firepit and flagstone. Flagstone sidewalks continue to be added around the main area offering a fresher and more natural look. In Harbor North, the Harbor North Cottages continue to be built and the completion of the Memorial Guest Docks in the North Basin. Customers who have spent a consecutive 40 years at Harbor are honored: Sampley, Drum, Ard, Duncan, Paradies, Cashion and Splawn Docks are completed. In 2019, Cottage C25, Harbor’s largest cottage is completed and ready for guests! The Colonial Motel at the highway is acquired and re-opened as the Joplin Inn. The Joplin Volunteer Fire Department’s first station is built. The Montgomery County Military Museum expands to multiple buildings and vehicles. The Harbor South Carwash and dry-storage is acquired. The East Marina Basin is completed! DreamChaser Houseboats expands.

                The North Basin RV Park opens at Iron Mountain Lodge & Marina offering 17 fully-equipped sites.

                Self Creek adds Houseboat and Water Toy rentals, as well as acquires the Daisy Motel as additional rental units for the resort.

                Generations of Family Leadership

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