Highland plateau region in south-central USA in southern Missouri, northern Arkansas, northeastern Oklahoma, southern Illinois, and southeastern Kansas, with ridges, valleys, …and streams; area 130,000 sq km/50,000 sq mi. The Ozark Plateau is bounded on the southwest by the Neosho River, on the south by the Arkansas River, on the north by the Missouri and Osage rivers, and on the east by the Black River. The peaks lie at an altitude of 370-550 m/1,200-1,800 ft. The plateau was traditionally a poor area of subsistence farming, but has latterly attracted tourists (to the lakes created by dams on the rivers here) and people seeking retirement homes..
History The area was settled in the early 19th century by Tennessee and Kentucky migrants accustomed to isolated hill farming. Lead mining was once important in the southeast of Missouri, in the region around Viburnum. In the 1830s, Cherokee people driven westward on the Trail of Tears settled areas on the eastern fringes of the plateau. (MORE)