democrat gazette http://visitmyarkansas.com/ Wed, 16 Mar 2022 01:37:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://visitmyarkansas.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/icon.png democrat gazette http://visitmyarkansas.com/ 32 32 Romance Post Office lives up to its name https://visitmyarkansas.com/romance-post-office-lives-up-to-its-name/ Tue, 08 Feb 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/romance-post-office-lives-up-to-its-name/ ROMANCE — In the 1880s, a new town in White County needed a name. The settlers were former Kentucky residents, so they wanted to call themselves Kentucky Village. But the American post refused them for fear of confusion with the State of Kentucky. Then someone suggested a second choice, or at least that’s the story. […]]]>

ROMANCE — In the 1880s, a new town in White County needed a name. The settlers were former Kentucky residents, so they wanted to call themselves Kentucky Village. But the American post refused them for fear of confusion with the State of Kentucky.

Then someone suggested a second choice, or at least that’s the story. The alternative was inspired by a nearby shady spring that attracted young couples coming together to court, perhaps to hug and kiss. The idea caught on, which is why a flood of sealed and stamped Valentine’s Day cards pours into the Romance Post Office at the beginning of every February.

“I believe we’re the only city in the world to be called Romance, and that’s quite a distinction,” says John Parham, postmaster of the office, which serves about 400 scattered addresses. “So we’re having a lot of fun putting the Romance stamp on Valentine’s Day cards and wedding invitations.”

The Natural State’s Romance is likely the only entry on the US Postal Service’s online list of 37 nationwide postmarks that evoke Valentine’s Day. They go alphabetically from two cities called Bliss (in Idaho and New York) to three called Venus (in Florida, Pennsylvania and Texas). The punderful Kissimmee is also listed for Florida.

Romance’s ties to Valentine’s Day date back at least half a century. Its stature as a love-related post office was highlighted in 1990 when it was chosen by the Postal Service as the location for the first Love Stamp issue of that year. Among the dignitaries present at the ceremony was US Senator David Pryor.

In 2020, just before the covid-19 pandemic took hold, the Romance cancellation stamp was applied to approximately 12,000 Valentine’s Day cards. The number fell by about half in 2021 but is increasing this year.

Most cancellation requests come from the Arkansans. But some are sent from elsewhere in the United States. A few came from overseas, including a letter sent last year from Japan. It was sent by 84-year-old Shintarau Aoki, who began with the greeting “Konnichiwa!” (“Hello!”).

Aoki wrote, “I am very interested in all kinds of postmarks. Would you do me a big favor.” She sent several US stamps to pay for the return postage. According to Parham, “this may be the furthest we’ve ever sent our special stamp.”

A special undo adorns the Valentine’s Day cards sent by Romance. (Special for the Democrat-Gazette/Marcia Schnedler) Parham knew about the annulment process long before he became postmaster in 2015. He had it postmarked in 2007 on the approximately 200 wedding invitations sent by his future wife, Kristen.

“A lot of people told us they thought the stamping was neat,” he says. “It was a talking point at the reception. I send Kristen a Valentine every year with the Romance stamp. It’s a personal touch that has become a family tradition.”

romantic post office

  • Address: 292 Arkansas 31, Romance, AR 72136.
  • Hours: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday to Friday and 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday
  • Information: (501) 556-5911. Also available at Rose Bud Post Office, (501) 556-5126. The US Postal Service website is usps.com.
  • Romantic cancellation: Cards intended for Romance cancellation should be placed in sealed envelopes bearing first class stamps. They can be dropped off during office hours, but should not be dropped off in the outside collection box. They can also be mailed in a larger envelope to: Valentine’s Day Postmark, 292 Arkansas 31, Romance, AR 72136.
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ESSE Purse Museum showcases the female experience with accessories https://visitmyarkansas.com/esse-purse-museum-showcases-the-female-experience-with-accessories/ Tue, 01 Feb 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/esse-purse-museum-showcases-the-female-experience-with-accessories/ The ESSE Purse Museum in the SoMa neighborhood of Little Rock gives visitors the chance to check their weight, but not on their own. In a red-painted alcove, a scale hangs from the ceiling next to a large-print invitation: “Weigh your bag.” An information board asks: “Is your bag too heavy?” In addition to this […]]]>

The ESSE Purse Museum in the SoMa neighborhood of Little Rock gives visitors the chance to check their weight, but not on their own. In a red-painted alcove, a scale hangs from the ceiling next to a large-print invitation: “Weigh your bag.”

An information board asks: “Is your bag too heavy?” In addition to this question, you will find six suggestions for easing the burden of a Little Rock chiropractor. They include multiple compartments to help with weight distribution and the carrying of a wide strap on the shoulder opposite the handbag.

A piece of advice might call for using a bathroom scale later: “Keep the weight of your purse between 5% and 10% of your body weight.”

Weighing the handbags is part of the main mission of the SSE, stated on its website, to tell “the evolution of the woman of the twentieth century through the bags she carried and their contents”. The staff is led by founder and owner Anita Davis and manager Ally Short Weaver. The online flyer conveys a feminist tone:

“We don’t just showcase props, but rather make HERstory tangible and familiar. It’s often the minute details, the scribbled notes in the margins of our story that truly encompass the female experience. As our museum takes you on the journey of the 20th-century woman, it is not only the sense of nostalgia but also the sense of togetherness that you will feel.”

The permanent exhibit “honors and celebrates the progression of the 20th century American woman – decade by decade – through the lens of her handbag and its contents. Through the artful collection and display of this material culture , as well as with the help of photography and ephemeral, ESSE provides a contemplative portrait of the struggles, achievements and, more broadly, of the times in which she lived.

Visitors are spared these didactic messages from the exhibits themselves, in what is said to be America’s only scholarship museum. Updated during a post-covid-19 closure in 2020, the permanent collection does a playful job of providing a wider social and cultural context. Handbags of various sizes and shapes play the starring role, but many other objects tell fuller stories as 10 glass display cases travel through the 20th century.

The ESSE is further enhancing its offer of temporary exhibitions. The latest, which opened on January 25 and runs through February 20, is “Miniature Couture.” The latest in the museum’s three-part “Collector’s Series”, it features dolls belonging to Little Rock collector Marsha Stone.

Handbags from the Roaring Twenties are on display at the ESSE Purse Museum. (Special for the Democrat-Gazette/Marcia Schnedler) According to the museum’s account, the new exhibit “offers visitors a window into the world of high-end fashion dolls. With bodies sculpted to mimic those of top models, fashion dolls are a convenient medium for many designers to test out outlandish new styles. Although they average just 14 inches tall, these dolls look like they could pop out of the case and onto a runway.”

Visitors old enough to have attended high school when Latin was still widely taught can correctly guess that the museum’s name is borrowed from the ancient verb “esse,” which means “to be.” In the website’s formulation, “the concept of being, the process and the potential of existence – these serve as catalysts to honor the feminine”.

It might sound like overkill, but ESSE’s exhibits offer plenty of down-to-earth fun as well as cultural lessons. Visitors might even be inspired to buy a handbag from the well-stocked boutique associated with the museum.

ESSE Fellowship Museum

  • Address: 1510 S. Main Street, Little Rock
  • Hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
  • Admission: $10 for visitors 7-59, $8 for students and 60+, free for children under 6.
  • Information: (501) 916-9022; essepursemuseum.com
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Murals depict bees, strawberries and images of Arkansas on the Cabot Art Walk https://visitmyarkansas.com/murals-depict-bees-strawberries-and-images-of-arkansas-on-the-cabot-art-walk/ Tue, 25 Jan 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/murals-depict-bees-strawberries-and-images-of-arkansas-on-the-cabot-art-walk/ POOCH — Downtown Cabot had its first public mural just two years ago. Today, an array of outdoor art adorns County Lonoke’s largest town. The paintings provide a new example of a trend that continues to spread across Arkansas and other states. A downtown strip of 22 panels are collectively labeled “Mini-Murals”. Stretching along a […]]]>

POOCH — Downtown Cabot had its first public mural just two years ago. Today, an array of outdoor art adorns County Lonoke’s largest town.

The paintings provide a new example of a trend that continues to spread across Arkansas and other states.

A downtown strip of 22 panels are collectively labeled “Mini-Murals”. Stretching along a concrete wall less than a meter high, the small images make up the Cabot Art Walk. Six freestanding murals are much bigger and even more eye-catching. All locations, within several blocks, are marked on a printable map at cabotart.com.

The first major mural, “The Postcard”, was completed in June 2020 near the northeast end of the Art Walk. He touts the community as the “Strawberry Capital of Arkansas.” Each of the city’s five capital letters contains an image: an Air Force cargo plane, ripe strawberries and their blossoms, the school’s panther mascot, a diesel engine, an Arkansas flag.

“Some of the smaller murals were painted earlier in 2020,” says Rebecca Williams, vice president of the nonprofit Cabot Foundation for Arts and Culture. “Due to the pandemic, the completion of all Art Walk images has been somewhat delayed this first year. But we have accomplished a lot so far.”

Many “Mini-Murals” artists offer brief commentaries on their paintings to cabotart.com. Sarah Wells, from nearby Austin, describes her portrait of a black hand and a white hand with linked little fingers as “designed to be bold and whimsical. The pinky promise here is between night and day It’s a very light depiction but could easily be interpreted as something more serious.”

Glenda Krauss, who created “The Postcard”, is a nationally acclaimed muralist based in Indiana. His painting at 114 W. Pine St., near one end of the Cabot Art Walk, decorates an old fire station on space donated by the city of Cabot. Funds for his work and the other large murals were provided by the Cabot Advertising and Promotions Commission.

The happiest of the great works, titled “Community,” was painted by Jason White on the McGue Law Firm building at 301 W. Main St. It depicts objects that resonate locally, including a strawberry as big as the panther mascot posed alongside. . An impending touch in the background is the funnel of a tornado.

A wall in the Cabot Meat Market, 119 N. Adams St., displays a major Wells mural. At the request of the owners of the shop, the painting “Milk and Honey” shows a dairy cow as well as several honeycombs and scattered bees.

“I had to do something modern and fun that would make people want to come here and see it,” Wells told a Democrat-Gazette reporter after completing the mural. His family owned a dairy farm in County Lonoke in the 1950s, “and I thought adding the bees was a cool way to get a new twist.”

A human heart is at the center of the Jessica Jones mural on a wall of the Melikian Building across from “The Postcard” at one end of the Art Walk. Intertwining the Heart is a floral bouquet meant to symbolize the tragedy that blossoms into inheritance. A co-sponsor of the painting is Walk for Wheezy, a non-profit organization created to raise money and awareness for Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

“We’re always looking for opportunities for more public art, including more murals,” said Williams of the Cabot Foundation for Arts and Culture. “Although there are none underway at the moment, we hope that next year will bring two or three more large-scale murals to Cabot.”

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A reminder of the good old days at the Plantation Agriculture Museum https://visitmyarkansas.com/a-reminder-of-the-good-old-days-at-the-plantation-agriculture-museum/ Tue, 18 Jan 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/a-reminder-of-the-good-old-days-at-the-plantation-agriculture-museum/ SCOTT “A century ago, five out of six Arkansans lived in rural areas. Today, the state’s rural population has fallen to two in five. This continued decline lends an aura of nostalgia to the Plantation Agriculture Museum. Operated as a state park in Scott, 15 miles southeast of downtown Little Rock, the museum’s three buildings […]]]>

SCOTT “A century ago, five out of six Arkansans lived in rural areas. Today, the state’s rural population has fallen to two in five. This continued decline lends an aura of nostalgia to the Plantation Agriculture Museum.

Operated as a state park in Scott, 15 miles southeast of downtown Little Rock, the museum’s three buildings along with outdoor exhibits recall a time sometimes more fondly than its realities have always been. . Exhibits focus on growing cotton, Arkansas’ No. 1 crop for acres planted in 1920 and fourth today behind soybeans, rice, and corn.

Tours begin in the former Steele-Dortch General Store, where exhibits show old-fashioned cotton growing “from field to gin.” Before mechanization took hold in the 1940s, the annual rhythm of plowing, planting, growing and picking required intensive human labor, much of it tedious and some of it exhausting.

On the grounds, two large buildings provide insight into cotton processing. The Dortch Gin building contains a restored ginning system as well as photographs showing how it all worked. Seed Warehouse No. 5, from which processed cotton was loaded for shipment, entered through the boxcars of the Cotton Belt Railway.

In prewar Arkansas, most plantation workers were owned by their owners, like mules and horses. A panel reports that the 1860 US census, on the eve of the Civil War, counted 111,115 slaves in Arkansas. This represented 26% of the state’s population, with slaves being the majority in some Delta counties.

Silhouettes of mules salute the value of this hybrid animal before agricultural mechanization. (Special for the Democrat-Gazette/Marcia Schnedler) Sharecropping mostly replaced slavery after 1865, but land conditions remained onerous. Pickers, in black and white, described their working hours as ‘can to can’t’ – from when they could see the sun for the first time at dawn to when they couldn’t at sunset. Cotton picking was particularly strenuous, with manual labor only being replaced by machines in the 1940s and 1950s.

Johnny Cash, born in 1932 to sharecroppers in Cleveland County, described the pain of picking cotton in his 2003 autobiography:

“The work exhausted you, hurt your back badly and cut your hands. That’s what I hated the most. The capsules were sharp, and unless you really concentrated when you grabbed them, they had you .After a week or two, your fingers were covered in small red sores, some of which were quite painful.”

Cotton became the main cash crop on Southern Plains farms after Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin in 1793. His device extracted unwanted seeds from picked cotton, a vital task that had previously been incredibly slow. The museum houses a small model gin that visitors can operate by turning a crank.

Photo A glove could ease the pain of picking cotton in the years when it was handmade. (Special for the Democrat-Gazette/Marcia Schnedler) Women sometimes worked in the cotton fields, mostly picking. But exhibits in a second gallery in the museum show that their endless toil revolved around household chores.

“A Woman’s Work Is Never Done” focuses on the family’s laundry, which could take an entire day (often Mondays) before the electricity reached rural Arkansas. It features washboards, laundry tubs and wringers – necessities then, but now antique curios.

A few museum panels add a touch of whimsy. One lists the amount of products that can be made from a standard 500 pound bale of cotton. The most striking sum is the money: 313,600 $100 bills (containing 75% cotton and the rest linen). Other amounts include 215 pairs of jeans, 1,217 T-shirts, 8,347 handkerchiefs. That last item is a lot to sneeze at.

Museum of Plantation Agriculture

  • Location: At the junction of US 165 and Arkansas 161 in Scott
  • Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.
  • Admission: Free, paying for some guided tours and other activities.
  • Information: ArkansasStateParks.com or call (501) 961-1409.
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Hot Springs sports horse racing, drinks of all kinds https://visitmyarkansas.com/hot-springs-sports-horse-racing-drinks-of-all-kinds/ Tue, 11 Jan 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/hot-springs-sports-horse-racing-drinks-of-all-kinds/ HOT SPRINGS — Now that Oaklawn’s venerable track has been transformed into the Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort, it’s possible to spend an entire day at the multipurpose venues. In the process, you can also spend a lot of money. You can bet on horses here and at other US tracks. Without leaving the complex, you […]]]>

HOT SPRINGS — Now that Oaklawn’s venerable track has been transformed into the Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort, it’s possible to spend an entire day at the multipurpose venues.

In the process, you can also spend a lot of money. You can bet on horses here and at other US tracks. Without leaving the complex, you can play slot machines as well as blackjack, craps, poker, roulette and can bet on live sports. You can even bed down at the 198-room Oaklawn Resort Hotel, where January rates for a deluxe runway view room range from $175 to $390 per night.

As Oaklawn’s longer 2021-22 Thoroughbred season continues through May 7, it’s also possible, through bad luck or bad play (or both), to find that you’ve lost all the money. planned for the day – and maybe a little more.

If your day’s betting budget has evaporated, a head-scratching option is to walk or drive north along Central Avenue to sample some of Hot Springs’ varied attractions that are free or cost only. a piffle.

A popular starting point is Bathhouse Row, a procession of eight restored buildings about two miles north of Oaklawn along Central Avenue. The public baths, some of which are ornate, evoke the spa town’s golden age as a spa resort in the first half of the 20th century.

Fordyce Bathhouse is home to the Hot Springs National Park Visitor Center. (Special for the Democrat-Gazette/Marcia Schnedler)
Fordyce Bathhouse serves as the visitor center for Hot Springs National Park, which celebrated its centennial in 2021. The Fordyce’s 23 restored showrooms provide a sense of upper-class comfort as well as spa regimes, including some are quite rigorous. Free entry.

Other public baths operate in various forms. Buckstaff and Quapaw still operate as bathhouses, with halls that can be visited for free as well as spa treatments at varying prices. Superior is home to the nation’s only craft brewery on National Park Service property. Hale is an elegant boutique hotel. Lamar serves at the park’s gift shop. Ozark is the occasional venue for art exhibits. Only Mauritius is vacant.

At the south end of Bathhouse Row, the taps offer visitors the chance to take home as much free Hot Springs mineral water as they want, as long as they bring their own bottles or carafes.

Small water samples from the Ouachita Mountains are free at the Mountain Valley Spring Company Visitor Center and Museum at 150 Central Ave. Larger quantities of the elixir, which has been mined and sold since 1871, are on sale. The museum, mostly on the second floor, depicts US presidents and other famous personalities with Mountain Valley bottles on hand. Elvis Presley is presented as a dedicated enthusiast.

A free tasting with more punch can be enjoyed at the Winery of Hot Springs outlet, 1503 Central Ave. In addition to free sips of wine, none of which is done on site, visitors can also view an exhibit on the history of Cowie Wine in Logan County.

Photo Groundwater is free in Hot Springs National Park. (Special for the Democrat-Gazette/Marcia Schnedler)
There’s a dose of nostalgia for fans of the sport that once reigned supreme as Our National Pastime. You can follow the Historic Baseball Trail, playing on the fact that Hot Springs hosted major league spring training from 1886 through the 1920s. Twenty-eight plaques are dotted around the city. They celebrate Dizzy and Daffy Dean, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Cy Young and other past stars.

Off Central Avenue and a few blocks south of Bathhouse Row, baseball is the theme of a vast mural that also salutes the sport’s post-World War II racial desegregation. Pictured are white stars Wagner, Ruth and Lefty Grove, as well as black big league frontrunners Jackie Robinson and Satchel Paige.

On the walls of the buildings opposite Bathhouse Row, a dazzling mural depicts two Quapaw warriors, while another features a pair of Native American women as well as flower arrangements. Both paintings are by Pepe Gaka, creator of several of the dozen or so Spa City murals.

The Bill Clinton Boyhood Home at 1011 Park Ave. is just a free gift. Indeed, the house where the future 42nd president lived from 8 to 15 years is a private residence. It is one of 15 Clinton-related city stops mapped in a visitor center brochure. Some of them are tangential, but all are free to the eye.

For more information on Hot Springs attractions, visit hotsprings.org or stop by to pick up assorted brochures at the city’s Visitor Center, 629 Central Ave. For more information on Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort, visit www.oaklawn.com.

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State Museums to Visit on Cold Winter Days https://visitmyarkansas.com/state-museums-to-visit-on-cold-winter-days/ Tue, 04 Jan 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/state-museums-to-visit-on-cold-winter-days/ In the wake of Arkansas’ mild holiday weather, very low temperatures are likely lurking as January unfolds. In light of this chilling prospect, natural state museums provide cozy indoor pleasures when the winter winds are blowing. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville needs no new accolades, having achieved a world-class reputation in its […]]]>

In the wake of Arkansas’ mild holiday weather, very low temperatures are likely lurking as January unfolds. In light of this chilling prospect, natural state museums provide cozy indoor pleasures when the winter winds are blowing.

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville needs no new accolades, having achieved a world-class reputation in its first decade. Little Rock is full of notable museums, as well as the stylishly rebuilt Museum of Fine Arts of Arkansas, formerly the Arkansas Arts Center, to open later this year. The museums of this history, located beyond the Little Rock area, are all worth a visit.

Admission is usually free. Visiting days, times and rules may vary as pandemic restrictions persist. It’s a good idea to check the museum’s website or call ahead for the latest details.

Elvis Presley’s GI haircut is the focus of the Chaffee Barbershop Museum. (Special for the Democrat-Gazette/Marcia Schnedler)
Chaffee Barber Shop Museum
Chaffee Crossing, chaffeecrossing.com, (479) 452-4554. It was big news on March 24, 1958, when Elvis Presley was inducted into the United States Army and had his hair cut in a ducktail. It happened at Fort Chaffee, where a chair in the former military barber shop holds a cardboard cutout of the 25-year-old rock star and photos of his haircut.

Delta Cultural CenterHelena-West Helena, deltaculturalcenter.com, (870) 338-4350. Music from the Arkansas Delta is spotlighted in one of two buildings, where headphones allow visitors to hear the likes of Sonny Boy Williamson II, Louis Jordan, Johnny Cash and Levon Helm. In the other building, a Civil War exhibit features the Battle of Helena, a key Union victory.

Photo A photograph in the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum shows Ernest and Pauline. (Special for the Democrat-Gazette/Marcia Schnedler)
Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum
Piggot, hemingway.astate.edu, (870) 598-3487. Ernest Hemingway wrote part of “A Farewell to Arms” in the 1930s while living in northeast Arkansas with his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer. Memorabilia from the property’s barn, which Pauline turned into a writing studio, include her typewriter and hunting trophies the couple shot in Africa.

Lum & Abner MuseumPineridge, lum-abner.com, (870) 326-4442. In the radio era of the 1930s, Arkansans Chester Lauck and Norris Goff were among America’s premier air stars. The fictional Jot ‘Em Down store in the Montgomery County hamlet of Pine Ridge is full of memorabilia and taped recordings of their home comedy.

Marc-Martin MuseumBatesville, markmartinmuseum.com, (870) 793-4461. A cavalcade of Mark Martin cars melt into the sales and service areas of the racing legend’s car dealership. They include the 1989 Stroh’s Thunderbird, Kellogg’s #5 car, and the #6 Viagra Coca-Cola 600 car. A set of Martin albums provide personal insight into his career.

Arkansas Grand Prairie Museumstuttgart, grandprairiemuseum.org, (870) 673-7001. This 20,000 square foot attraction tells the story of Stuttgart’s settlement that began in 1878 by German pioneers. Vintage agricultural machinery and a model of the main street of Stuttgart around 1900 are presented. The Water Fowl Wing salutes the fame of Grande Prairie’s duck hunting.

Photo The Native American History Museum houses a treasure trove of colorful clothing. (Special for the Democrat-Gazette/Marcia Schnedler)
Native American History Museum
Bentonville, monah.us, (479) 273-2456. Founded by a registered member of the Cherokee Nation, this comprehensive museum houses more than 10,000 artifacts, mostly from North American Indigenous cultures. Visitors are greeted outside by a teepee and inside by a life-size model of the extinct woolly mammoth.

Southern Farmers MuseumTyronza, stfm.astate.edu, (870) 487-2909. Run by Arkansas State University, this Delta museum tells the highly unlikely story of a racially integrated labor union in the Jim Crow South during the Great Depression. The Farmers’ Union was also well ahead of its time in admitting women. He had a few years of limited success.

Photo The Sultana Disaster Museum details a terrible historical maritime disaster in the United States. (Special for the Democrat-Gazette/Marcia Schnedler)
Sultana Disaster Museum
marion, sultanadisastermuseum.com, (870) 739-6041. What this museum calls “The Forgotten Tragedy” is depicted near its aquatic location. Disaster occurred on April 27, 1865, when the steamer Sultana burned and sank on the Mississippi River while ferrying Union troops from Confederate prisons of war. It took about 1,800 lives.

Photo McGehee is the site of the World War II Japanese-American Internment Museum. (Special for the Democrat-Gazette/Marcia Schnedler)
World War II Japanese American Internment Museum
McGhee, rohwer.astate.edu, (870) 222-3168. Located in a former railroad depot, this museum tells the WWII story of nearby Rohwer and Jerome. In these remote Delta sites, federal internment camps confined 17,000 Japanese Americans for several years. An encouraging note is the evident resilience of so many of the internees.

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Arkansas population center continues north and west https://visitmyarkansas.com/arkansas-population-center-continues-north-and-west/ Mon, 27 Dec 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/arkansas-population-center-continues-north-and-west/ Arkansas’ population shift to the northwest is reflected in U.S. Census data and in decisions based on that data, such as the distribution of state legislative seats. Census results also reveal a specific location showing the change: the state’s “historic population center” – the place where an imaginary, flat map of Arkansas would balance out […]]]>

Arkansas’ population shift to the northwest is reflected in U.S. Census data and in decisions based on that data, such as the distribution of state legislative seats.

Census results also reveal a specific location showing the change: the state’s “historic population center” – the place where an imaginary, flat map of Arkansas would balance out perfectly if every resident of the state stood on it at his home.

The center never went west of Perry County or further north than Mayflower in Faulkner County for 100 years between 1880 and 1980, according to state calculations. The State determines these centers after each decennial census.

The equilibrium point in Arkansas is now north of Morrilton at Lake Overcup in Conway County, the state’s Geographic Information Service office calculated on Dec. 17 based on census figures from 2020. The last center follows a stable northwest trajectory for each census since 1980.

“Before long, if lawmakers in urban centers in northwest Arkansas and central Arkansas agree on something, they’ll get it through the Legislature,” said Bill Stovall, who was president of Arkansas House in 2005 and 2006. The concentration of representation in these urban areas and northeast Arkansas will become too large for the rest of the state to compensate, he said. declared.

“If they can make a political alliance, they can set tax and tax policy,” he said.

The partisan divide between Republicans in northwest Arkansas and a delegation from Pulaski County in central Arkansas that is still largely Democrat will make little difference, Stovall predicted.

“The political divide in the state will be less of a Republican-Democratic divide than an urban-rural divide,” he said.

The state has 23 Democrats in the 100-member House and parts of central Arkansas are Republican-leaning, he said. Stovall was a Democrat during his four terms in the House.

Thirteen members of the House of 100 live in Washington or Benton counties. New district maps approved on November 29 will bring that number to 17. Legislative districts are redrawn after each census to equalize their populations.

Pulaski County, the state’s most populous county and the home county of Little Rock, the state’s largest city, will have 13 House members. Neighboring Faulkner County will have six. Any measure that delegations from those counties agree on would need 15 votes out of the remaining 64 members of the House to pass in that chamber. Five other House seats will be wholly or partially in Craighead County. Four more will include all or part of Sebastian County, which includes the state’s third largest city, Fort Smith.

Benton County also secured a new 35-member Senate seat, giving Benton and Washington counties a combined total of six, with another district that includes southern Washington County.

The ongoing change in state policy is reflected in the maps of the state’s congressional districts. In 1982, Benton, Washington, Carroll, Crawford, and Madison counties were five counties in a 20-county 3rd Congressional District dominated by Fort Smith, then Arkansas’ second largest city.

These five counties are now the only ones to remain entirely within the district after new boundaries were drawn earlier this year. Part of Sebastian County also in the district includes Fort Smith, which is now the third largest city just ahead of Springdale, according to census results. No part of another county is in the district

Also in 1982, voters in Benton County cast 26,322 ballots in that year’s gubernatorial race. Washington County’s total in the same contest was 29,705. The two counties totaled 7.1% of the vote that year.

In the last gubernatorial race in 2018, Benton County received a total of 77,534 votes. Washington County voters cast 65,863 ballots in that race. The two counties combined accounted for 16% of the vote – nearly one in six of all ballots cast. If the state’s population growth had been uniform, this percentage would have remained the same.

REASONS FOR DISPLACEMENT

Many more factors are playing into the shift to the northwest than the growth in northwest Arkansas, said Shelby Johnson, the state’s chief information officer.

“You can trace this back to the mechanization of agriculture in the 1960s,” Johnson said in a telephone interview on Tuesday. “As late as the 1940s and 1950s the population of the state was in the east.”

People go to where the jobs are, he said. Agriculture was the state’s most important employment sector before machines such as cotton combines and other combines took over from row crops.

“In the 1920s and 1930s and into the 1940s, agriculture and the people who lived on it were rooted in Pine Bluff and Helena,” Johnson said. State calculations show that the center of the population landed as far east as present-day Sherwood in Pulaski County after the 1960 census, then fell back north of present-day Maumelle in the census. following. The center has moved north and west in every census year since, records show.

Growth in the Jonesboro area in northeast Arkansas is pulling the center north, even with the strongest growth in the west, Johnson said.

The main practical effect of the change is economic and political, said Mayor Kevin Smith of Helena-West Helena. Smith is a former state senator. Prior to that, he served in Washington, DC on the staff of the late Senator Dale Bumpers, D-Ark. Smith successfully ran for mayor in 2018.

“A century ago, Helena was what northwest Arkansas is today,” Smith told Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist Rex Nelson in 2019. “That was the game. state where people moved because there were jobs. We were among the best cities in the country for the hardwood industry with several large sawmills. The city on the banks of the Mississippi River enjoys ‘access to this waterway.

Smith said he was not surprised at the location of the new population center when contacted by phone on Tuesday.

“It really sounds like it,” he said, referring to the politics and economics of the state moving away from the east. “But I believe in the pendulums. There is currently a couple who bought one of the historic homes here and are restoring it who worked for Walmart. They can do what they do remotely and work from home.”

Her son, Smith said, has returned from California and is buying a house in town for the same reason: relatively lower house prices coupled with the ability to work from home thanks to better and improved internet connections.

“Northern California is beautiful, but first it was the house prices and then the wildfires came,” Smith said.

Rising house prices could block the northwest trend in central Arkansas.

Groups such as the Walton Family Foundation and the Northwest Arkansas Council, which identify and work on regional issues, have cited rapidly rising house prices as a serious threat to the continued growth of Northwest Arkansas.

The average selling price of a home in Benton County or Washington has increased 44% over the past five years, according to the Arvest Bank Skyline report from August 31. The average home price jumped 16.2% from January to June compared to home prices from January 2020 to June 2020, according to the Arvest report.

“If people can work where they want, it all depends on education and quality of life,” Smith said.

People will work and live in areas with good schools, affordable housing and access to basic necessities such as clean water, which his city has plenty of, he said.

“If it can happen here, it can happen anywhere, and we are already seeing it happening here,” he said.

Arkansas’ Fastest Growing Cities

These cities increased by at least 50% between the 2010 and 2020 U.S. censuses and had a population of at least 1,000 in 2020:

Cave Springs (Benton County): 217.8%

Brookland (Craighead): 147.5%

Southside (Independence): 100% *

Goshen (Washington): 96.3%

Centerton (Benton): 87%

Austin (Lonoke) 69.8%

Tontitown (Washington): 63%

Prairie Grove (Washington): 60.8%

Elm Springs (Washington): 53.8%

Bentonville (Benton): 53.4%

Gravette (Benton): 52.6%

* Southside was incorporated as a city in 2014

Source: National Office for Geographic Information Systems

CORRECTION: Joneboro is in Craighead County. An earlier version of this story listed the wrong county.

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Arkansas Population Center Continues Trajectory North and West https://visitmyarkansas.com/arkansas-population-center-continues-trajectory-north-and-west/ Sun, 26 Dec 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/arkansas-population-center-continues-trajectory-north-and-west/ Fastest Growing Cities in Arkansas These cities grew by at least 50% between the 2010 and 2020 U.S. censuses and had at least 1,000 residents in 2020: Cave Springs (Benton County): 217.8% Brookland (Craighead): 147.5% South side (Independence): 100%* Goshen (Washington): 96.3% Centerton (Benton): 87% Austin (Lonoke) 69.8% Tontitown (Washington): 63% Prairie Grove (Washington): 60.8% […]]]>

Fastest Growing Cities in Arkansas

These cities grew by at least 50% between the 2010 and 2020 U.S. censuses and had at least 1,000 residents in 2020:

Cave Springs (Benton County): 217.8%

Brookland (Craighead): 147.5%

South side (Independence): 100%*

Goshen (Washington): 96.3%

Centerton (Benton): 87%

Austin (Lonoke) 69.8%

Tontitown (Washington): 63%

Prairie Grove (Washington): 60.8%

Elm Springs (Washington): 53.8%

Bentonville (Benton): 53.4%

Gravettes (Benton): 52.6%

* Southside was incorporated as a city in 2014

Source: State Bureau of Geographic Information Systems

Arkansas’ population shift to the northwest shows up in U.S. Census data and in decisions based on that data such as the distribution of state legislative seats.

The census results also reveal a specific location showing the change: the state’s “historic population center” – the place where an imaginary, flat map of Arkansas would balance perfectly if every resident of the state stood on it in its place of origin.

The center never went west of Perry County or further north than Mayflower in Faulkner County for 100 years between 1880 and 1980, according to state calculations. The State determines these centers after each decennial census.

The balance point in Arkansas now lies north of Morrilton at Overcup Lake in Conway County, the state’s Geographic Information Service office calculated Dec. 17 based on census figures from 2020. The last center continues a constant northwesterly trajectory for every census since 1980.

Practical impact

“Soon, if lawmakers in urban centers in northwest Arkansas and central Arkansas agree on something, they’ll push it through the Legislature,” said Bill Stovall, who was president of the Arkansas House in 2005 and 2006. The concentration of representation in these urban areas and northeast Arkansas will become too large for the rest of the state to compensate for, he said. declared.

“If they can make a political alliance, they can set tax and tax policy,” he said.

The partisan divide between Republicans in northwest Arkansas and a delegation from Pulaski County in central Arkansas, which is still largely Democratic, will make little difference, Stovall predicted.

“The political divide in the state will be less of a Republican-Democrat divide and more of an urban-rural divide,” he said.

The state still has 23 Democrats in the 100-member House and parts of central Arkansas are Republican-leaning, he said. Stovall was a Democrat during his four terms in the House.

Thirteen members of the 100-member House live in Washington or Benton County. New district maps approved on November 29 will bring that number to 17. Legislative districts are redrawn after each census to equalize their populations.

Pulaski County, the state’s most populous county and home county of Little Rock, the state’s capital and largest city, will have 13 House members. Neighboring Faulkner County will have six. Any extent that the delegations from those counties agree would need 15 votes from the remaining 64 members of the House to pass that chamber. Five other House seats will be wholly or partially in Crittenden County, which includes Jonesboro. Four others will include all or part of Sebastian County, which includes the state’s third-largest city, Fort Smith.

Benton County also gained a new 35-member Senate seat, giving Benton and Washington counties a combined total of six, with another district that includes southern Washington County.

The current change in state policy appears on maps of the state’s congressional districts. In 1982, Benton, Washington, Carroll, Crawford, and Madison counties were five counties in a 20-county 3rd congressional district dominated by Fort Smith, then Arkansas’ second-largest city.

These five counties are now the only counties remaining entirely within the district after new boundaries were drawn earlier this year. Part of Sebastian County also in the district includes Fort Smith, which is now the third largest city just ahead of Springdale, according to census results. No part of another county is in the district

Also in 1982, Benton County voters cast 26,322 ballots in that year’s gubernatorial race. Washington County’s total in the same contest totaled 29,705. The two counties combined totaled 7.1% of the vote that year. In the last gubernatorial race in 2018, Benton County received 77,534 total votes. Washington County voters cast 65,863 ballots in this race. The two counties combined accounted for 16% of the vote, or almost one in six of all votes cast. If the state’s population growth were equal, this percentage would have remained the same.

Reasons for change

Much more plays into the shift to the northwest than growth in northwest Arkansas, said Shelby Johnson, the state’s chief geographic information officer.

“You can trace that back to the mechanization of agriculture in the 1960s,” Johnson said in a phone interview Tuesday. “As late as the 1940s and 1950s, the population of the state was in the east.

People go where the jobs are, he said. Agriculture was the largest sector of employment in the state before machines such as cotton combines and other harvesters took over row farming.

“In the 1920s and 30s and into the 1940s, agriculture and the people who lived off it were rooted in Pine Bluff and Helena,” Johnson said. State calculations show the population center landed as far east as present-day Sherwood in Pulaski County after the 1960 census, then fell back north to present-day Maumelle the next census. The center has shifted north and west in every census year since, records show.

Growth in the Jonesboro area of ​​northeast Arkansas is pulling the center north, even with the greatest growth to the west, Johnson said.

The main practical effect of this change is economic and political, Helena-West Helena Mayor Kevin Smith said. Smith is a former state senator. Prior to that, he served in Washington, DC on the staff of the late Senator Dale Bumpers, D-Ark. Smith successfully ran for mayor in 2018.

“A century ago, Helena was what northwest Arkansas is today,” Smith told Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist Rex Nelson in 2019. “State where people moved because there were jobs. We were among the best cities in the country for the hardwood industry with several large sawmills. “The city located on the banks of the Mississippi River enjoys access to this waterway.

Smith said he was not surprised at the location of the new population center when contacted by phone Tuesday.

“It sure looks like it,” he said, referring to the state’s politics and economy moving away from the east. “But I believe in clockwork. There’s a couple right now who bought one of the historic homes here and are restoring it who worked for Walmart. They can do what they do remotely and work from home.”

Her son, Smith said, moved back from California and is in the process of buying a house in town for the same reason: relatively low real estate prices coupled with the ability to work from home thanks to better internet connections.

“Northern California is beautiful, but first there were housing prices and then the wildfires came,” Smith said.

Rising house prices could stall the northwest trend in Arkansas’ population center.

Groups such as the Walton Family Foundation and the Northwest Arkansas Council, both of which identify and work on regional issues, have cited rapidly rising housing prices as a serious threat to the continued growth of northwest Arkansas. .

The average sale price of a home in Benton or Washington County has risen 44% over the past five years, according to the Arvest Bank Skyline report Aug. 31. The average house price jumped 16.2% from January to June compared to house prices from January 2020 to June 2020, according to the Arvest report.

“If people can work wherever they want, it’s all about education and quality of life,” Smith said.

People will work and live in neighborhoods with good schools, affordable housing and access to essentials such as clean water, which his city has in abundance, he said.

“If it can happen here, it can happen anywhere, and we’re already seeing it happening here,” he said.

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The people of central Arkansas are lagging behind. Maybe highways don’t create growth after all https://visitmyarkansas.com/the-people-of-central-arkansas-are-lagging-behind-maybe-highways-dont-create-growth-after-all/ Mon, 30 Aug 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/the-people-of-central-arkansas-are-lagging-behind-maybe-highways-dont-create-growth-after-all/ The Democrat-Gazette presented today Director of Metroplan Tab Townsell’s lament at a recent regional planning agency board meeting that growth in central Arkansas has plummeted over the past decade, with population growth of 6.9 percent (less than half of the increase in the previous decade) of the six counties attributed to natural growth (more births […]]]>

The Democrat-Gazette presented today Director of Metroplan Tab Townsell’s lament at a recent regional planning agency board meeting that growth in central Arkansas has plummeted over the past decade, with population growth of 6.9 percent (less than half of the increase in the previous decade) of the six counties attributed to natural growth (more births than deaths) rather than the migration of new residents.

The situation was even worse in Little Rock, with only 4.7% population growth.

Townsell concludes that the area may not be considered a hotspot for quarry construction, unlike Northwest Arkansas. Duh. We may be giving birth to more children, but jobs have stagnated here over time, according to federal figures. Basically flat in Little Rock for two decades, with little growth mostly in government jobs.

Townsell now touts amenities, such as building a regional trail system like the Green Lane in Northwest Arkansas as a way to build the region. From the article:

More generally, such a network would offer benefits beyond transport, including improving the quality of life in the region and promoting economic development, according to supporters of the concept.

The development of amenities such as cycle lanes is an increasingly important element in attracting young workers, which could stop further declines in the rate of population growth.

The irony here is rich thanks to a multibillion dollar elephant in the Metroplan boardroom.

If Townsell mentioned it, it was not included in the DG article and it is this:

Decades of building ever-widening freeways to suburban counties, including 30 Crossing, the more than $ 1 billion concrete ravine that cratered downtown Little Rock, apparently failed product of economic and demographic growth. Say it isn’t, Tab.

Metroplan has been and remains one of the main advocates, through a suburban five-county-controlled council, of an ongoing orgy of spending on Little Rock’s freeways to cut the travel time during peak half hour at Little Rock.

Could anyone think that 10 lane highways are not a “amenity”?

That the traffic grids of cities ruined by such highways are not “amenities”?

That demolished neighborhoods are not “amenities”.

That more air pollution is not a “pleasure”.

That the flight of middle-class people to the suburbs – aided not only by wider freeways, but also by senseless city policies such as free commuter cars for the Little Rock Police Force – has not had an impact. favorable on Little Rock? Good schools are an approval.

Think for a moment about the pending proposal to increase the sales tax on Little Rock’s groceries and other items (including utilities) by one dime on the dollar. The half billion planned spending includes $ 5 million to pay security guards to escort people to their cars downtown. Is it an “approval”?

It may take more than a “green lane” to fix what is afflicting us.

But if you want a little excitement, downtown LR is bustling with life.

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Asa Hutchinson’s defense of an insurgent: Where’s the Arkansas media coverage, let alone the outrage? https://visitmyarkansas.com/asa-hutchinsons-defense-of-an-insurgent-wheres-the-arkansas-media-coverage-let-alone-the-outrage/ Mon, 01 Feb 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/asa-hutchinsons-defense-of-an-insurgent-wheres-the-arkansas-media-coverage-let-alone-the-outrage/ ONCE AGAIN WITH FEEL: The governor’s avoidance of criticizing a dangerous crackpot was an embarrassment, but ignored by state media. Sorry, but once again with the feeling on Governor Hutchinson’s whim avoidance to repudiate the violent insurgent who is a Republican congressman from Georgia, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene. Due to a near total lack of […]]]>

ONCE AGAIN WITH FEEL: The governor’s avoidance of criticizing a dangerous crackpot was an embarrassment, but ignored by state media.

Sorry, but once again with the feeling on Governor Hutchinson’s whim avoidance to repudiate the violent insurgent who is a Republican congressman from Georgia, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Due to a near total lack of coverage of Arkansas, I recap what I wrote here yesterday by providing Hutchinson’s verbatim response when asked about Greene on a national news program in ABC:

Marthe Raddatz: And another question about a congressman, a new Republican congresswoman, Trump loyalist Marjorie Taylor Greene, she’s long embraced conspiracy theories like qanon, voiced support for the execution of Nancy Pelosi, is- she fit to serve and should she be on the Education Committee?

Huchinson: Well, it’s — first of all, the people in her district elected her, that should mean a lot, they elected her and she’s going to run again and she’ll be responsible for what she said and her acts. Then –

Raddaz: Given her history, is she fit to serve?

Huchinson: I’m not going to answer this question of whether she’s fit to serve because she believes in something that not everyone accepts, I reject that, but she’s going to represent herself. I don’t think we should punish people from a disciplinary point of view, from a partisan point of view, because they think something a little different. We have to make sure we don’t split our party. I’m more troubled by someone who opposes Liz Cheney because she took a different stance than many others in the party, that’s the kind of thing that tears our party apart. We shouldn’t start criticizing everyone because we don’t like the way they are handling things after the election.

Raddatz: But Governor, you’re saying you shouldn’t prosecute someone because they’re thinking something a little different, she believes in conspiracy theories, that there are pedophiles running Washington.

Huchinson: I reject that. I wouldn’t vote for her. I wouldn’t vote for her. The second question is: should the House of Representatives sanction it? I’m not going to get involved in that. They’re going to have to make that judgment. But when you have great diversity of a party, you reject the extreme elements, that’s not the traditional GOP, and that’s what we have to come back to, we have to have respect for those who supported Donald Trump . We want — because they have a message, they have a concern, but at the same time, we don’t want to cover up the terrible actions that happened on Capitol Hill. We need to hold people accountable for this, it is extremely important.

Party unity is more important than lambasting a fully baked hazelnut cake that apparently approved of putting a bullet in the head of the Speaker of the House? Criticizing Liz Cheney is worse than criticizing an insurgent?

” A little different ? »

Exactly how far would it have to go before a belief qualified in Hutchinson’s mind as something more than “something not everyone accepts”. If assassination is not permissible, what in God’s name does it matter?

Hutchinson’s comments captured national attention. I haven’t seen any coverage of Hutchinson’s appearance on ABC by Arkansas-based media, other than comments about COVID-19. Please let me know if I missed them.

Here is what David Cay Johnston, said an award-winning former New York Times reporter on Raw Story:

Let’s put into perspective the atrocious conduct of freshman lawmaker Marjorie Taylor Greene, the gun-toting Georgia congresswoman who wants to put a bullet in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s head.

Any decent human being would get a court order to stop Greene walking around with a gun in his purse.

But Greene is special because she works at the People’s House. Under our Constitution, she cannot be fired. She can, however, be expelled.

Republicans don’t have the decency to kick out a member with murder, bigotry, and anti-Semitism in his heart, a gun in his purse, and a desire to overthrow the government in which he serves.

Our Constitution requires a two-thirds majority vote to remove Greene. It will only happen if 59 of the 211 House Republicans have the basic human decency to kick out a member with murder, religious bigotry and anti-Semitism in their heart, a deadly weapon in their purse and a declared desire to overthrow the government. in which she serves.

A former congressman and homeland security chief who is now the governor of Arkansas doesn’t want to talk about it. He clearly wouldn’t vote to kick him out. I expect nothing better from representatives French Hill, Bruce Westerman, Steve Womack and Rick Crawford. Especially not the seditionist Crawford.

And the mainstream Arkansas media – looking at you Democrat-Gazette – doesn’t think those comments were newsworthy?

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