Saturday, July 26, 2008

Black facts online

Frederick Douglass was the only male to play a prominent role at the first Woman's Rights Convention at Seneca Falls, New York. He seconded the woman's suffrage motion introduced by Elizabeth Cady Stanton. That happened 160 years ago on July 26, 1848.

That information comes from a site I found out about today, Black Facts Online. It's an online database of African-American historical facts. You can search by date, as I did to find the Frederick Douglass fact, or by name.

Douglass was one of my favorite historical characters.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Saturday Night Fish Fry!

There's going to be a "Saturday Night Fish Fry" this weekend in honor of Brinkley musician Louis Jordan this weekend!

The Arkansas Times gives all the details on this weekend's festivities in honor of the famed musician, who would have been 100 years old this month.

"Saturday Night Fish Fry" was one of his many fun-loving tunes about food and this weekend Louis Jordan fans can partake of some good down-home cooking in his honor. "Beans and Cornbread" is another, perhaps better-known, song of Jordan's about comfort food.

This weekend's festival is being overseen by Stephen Koch, a longtime fan of Jordan's and a champion of his music. In years past he spearheaded efforts to have this bust of Louis Jordan created. It is now on display in Brinkley's old train station, now the Central Delta Depot Museum.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

North Little Rock High School

North Little Rock High School is one of the community's landmarks.

Looming majestically over North Little Rock's business district, North Little Rock High School is considered a historical treasure. Built from 1928-1930, it has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1993.

The "Laying of Corner Stone" program described the new building as "unsurpassed in architectural beauty."

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Old Mill (artist's rendition)

This painting of the Old Mill is on the corner of Fifth and Main in North Little Rock.

As I was snapping photos of the historic Baker House in downtown North Little Rock, I couldn't help but notice this beautiful painting of the Old Mill. I've posted about the Old Mill before; it is one of our favorite places to visit and is the only known surviving structure filmed in the 1939 classic "Gone with the Wind."

The painting was done by Phillip Kirkpatrick but I wasn't able to find out anything else. I hope to in the near future.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Argenta Drug Company

The Argenta Drug Company is in downtown North Little Rock and is the oldest drugstore west of the Mississippi River.

Argenta Drug Company in downtown North Little Rock is a charming addition to a beautiful downtown area. It was built in 1887 and is known as the oldest continuously operating pharmacy west of the Mississippi River. It's part of the Argenta Historic District.

This building is the city's oldest commercial building and has been the home of three pharmacies -- Humphreys Drugs from 1887 to 1903, Hall Drug Company from 1903 to 1916, and Argenta Drug Company starting in 1917.

It recently underwent a face lift and now is sharper than ever. It's also busier than ever, or so it seemed the other afternoon when I stopped to take this photo one day last week.

Another interesting fact about this landmark was that U.S. Congressman Marion Berry was a pharmacist here in the 1960s.

I pass by this building frequently while taking care of business in downtown North Little Rock or heading into Little Rock.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Baker House in downtown NLR

The Baker House in downtown North Little Rock. I took this picture last week.

The beautiful Baker House in downtown North Little Rock is a Queen Anne Victorian style house that was built in 1898-99. It was restored in 1977 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Cotter Bridge

I took this photo of my sister under the Cotter Bridge in 2005.

The Cotter Bridge in Baxter County (northern Arkansas) spans Highway 62 over the White River. It's a Marsh rainbow-arch bridge that was built in 1930. It is a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

My sister and I went to the bridge three years ago so I could photograph her along the railroad tracks that run under the bridge.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Cleburne County courthouse

I took this photo of the Cleburne County courthouse in Heber Springs in 2005.

The Cleburne County Courthouse in Heber Springs is one of the many county courthouses listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Built in 1914, this courthouse was placed on the register back in 1976.

It's a building that I see often as I pass through town while in the area visiting good friends.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Campbell House recognized by NRHP

The Campbell House in Forrest City is a landmark building near downtown that is now used by the Junior Auxiliary. I took this photo when I went to the inaugural event hosted by the JA last year.

The Campbell House in Forrest City (St. Francis County in Eastern Arkansas) is very well-known building in the community. Built in 1917 for banker William Wilson Campbell, the home was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006.

Be sure to read what has to say about the home.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Century-old store building marks Woodruff County community

The old Revel General Store, built in 1907 in the Revel community in Woodruff County. I took the photo in March of 2006. In looking back at the photos I took of the store, I noticed that it had snowed a few days previously!

The old Revel General Store building is over 100 years old and is still standing in the tiny community of Revel, in Woodruff County. I visited with John W. Revel back in 2006 and he told me quite a bit about the community named for his family. Here is part of the story I wrote for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Three Rivers Edition:

The small farming community of Revel in Woodruff County, located on Highway 260 south of the larger cities of McCrory and Augusta, was founded by John W. “J.W.” Revel, grandfather of John W. Revel who still lives there on the Revel farm. The community carries on its farming roots and is marked by a historical building that has been there nearly a century.

John Revel, who was born in Woodruff County and raised in Memphis and Revel, made his home in Revel as a young adult to operate the family farm that had been started by his grandfather, J.W. Revel. He recalls hearing many of his grandfather’s stories, including the one where his grandfather walked to Arkansas from Illinois after the Civil War.

“My grandfather said he remembers walking home from the war,” Revel said with a chuckle. That wouldn’t be an experience one would quickly forget, especially considering the one that preceded it. A North Carolina native who moved to Shelby County, Tennessee with his family, Revel, who then spelled his name Revell, enlisted in the Confederate Army along with three of his brothers. He was captured by the Union and was held as a prisoner of war for nearly two years at the Alton Federal Military Prison in Illinois, according to Woodruff County Historical Society publications.

“When they turned him loose he walked back to Arkansas,” his grandson John Revel said. It was after J.W. Revel’s release in 1865 that he walked back to the South and settled the land that came to be known as the Revel community. He first rented farmland and then purchased it, a total of about 1,800 acres.

“He homesteaded 1,800 acres of land,” Revel, who now lives on what remains of this property, said.


Mr. Revel was full of memories and I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with him and seeing his model train station he built himself.

The website has a piece about the old Revel store and several other historical buildings in Woodruff County.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Cotton Plant water tower now an official historic structure

The water tower in Cotton Plant (in Woodruff County in Eastern Arkansas and just a few miles from my hometown of Brinkley) has been recognized as a historic structure.

It has just been named to the National Register of Historic Places.

It was built in 1935 with assistance from the Public Works Administration (PWA), a federal relief program in existence in the Great Depression times.

I'll be writing about the water tower pretty soon for the Three Rivers Edition of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. In the meantime, take a look at what has to say about it.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Weldon structures named to NRHP

The Weldon Gin Company Historic District in southern Jackson County has just been named to the National Register of Historic Places.

The old depot building, which sits right along Highway 17 in the tiny farming community, has been listed for years.

There are actually several old buildings still standing in town.

I wrote about the community for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Three Rivers Edition back in the summer of 2004. In fact, it was the first piece I wrote for the section. Here is a small part of the story:

The community is a mere shadow of what it was in years past, with all its stores, mills, cotton gin, brick kiln, church and school.

But its charm remains with many of the old buildings that still stand, some in surprisingly good shape.

"It has a little bit of character because of the old buildings," Ralph McDonald, a native now living in nearby Newport, noted.

One of its buildings, the train depot, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Another, the old cotton gin, still houses all the machinery used to gin cotton.


I'm getting ready to write about the gin company being placed on the historic register for the Three Rivers Edition.

In the meantime, take a look at what has to say about the gin company.