About This Place
Noel is a city in McDonald County, Missouri, United States, along the Elk River. The population was 1,480 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Fayetteville–Springdale–Rogers, AR-MO Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Noel is one of a few "Christmas Cities" in America, along with North Pole, Alaska, Christmas, Michigan, Santa Claus, Indiana and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Each year, tens of thousands of Christmas cards and letters are sent to the USPS Noel Post Office during the holiday season to be stamped with a postmark reading, "Noel, Mo. - 'The Christmas City in the Ozark Vacation Land.'" This practice became popular by the late 1940s when Kate Smith, a radio and television singer, began telling the "Noel Story" during her broadcasts.
In 1925 Marx Cheney bought a club house and changed the name to Shadow Lake. He brought in bands and the place blossomed with business. Shadow lake established a national reputation in 1938 when the movie "Jesse James" was filmed here in McDonald County. Shadow Lake was the headquarters for stars: Henry Fonda, Tyrone Power, Nancy Kelly and Randolph Scott.