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Category: History

Christmas and Candlelight at Historic Washington State Park in Washington, Ark., is a delightful time to connect with our rich Arkansas history and experience Historic Washington at its finest. This year’s 30th Annual Christmas and Candlelight is Dec. 3rd and Dec. 10th. Historian Chris Adams says, “Even if you have toured the park before, you’re in for a special treat. You can tour homes and buildings that were unavailable throughout…

Read More Christmas and Candlelight at Historic Washington State Park

When you think of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) boys building Devil’s Den State Park in the 1930s, you may think of the rustic style park architecture that mirrors its natural settings and beautiful stonework. But what about their way of life during this time? The Devil’s Den CCC had a mess crew of six men. These men prepared three meals a day for a group of around 200.  Apparently the…

Read More The Legacy of the CCC at Devil’s Den State Park

  Fall officially started on September 22 this year. We know that by simply looking at a calendar on our wall. But the people who lived here in Arkansas a thousand years ago didn’t have that modern convenience. Instead, their calendar was the landscape.  It’s really interesting how they did it, and without any modern tools. At Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park, there are the remains of ancient earthworks that are…

Read More Unexpected Challenge at Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park

Imagine a group of Indians sitting quietly under the shade of a tree, wiping sweat from their brow and calculating how many more trips they must make with their baskets to complete their newest mound.  They have made countless trips already and their efforts are almost complete.  Hard work and sweat were some of the tools used recently to preserve a piece of Arkansas’ history.  Recently, the staff at Toltec…

Read More Hard Work and Sweat

For kids here in Arkansas, August means it’s time to head back to school.  The end of the summer is near.  School sports have started, school supply shopping is in full swing, and kids are slipping back into their educational routines.  However, a few weeks ago many of our kids were enjoying their summer breaks without a thought of routine and involving themselves in one of my best summer memories:…

Read More Growing up in day camps

On December 1, 2010, Petit Jean State Park’s historic Mather Lodge closed its doors – but not forever.  The lodge closed for more than a year’s restoration, renovation and major rebuilding.  On the first of December, for the first time in nearly a half-century, the day had come again to begin construction on a modern new restaurant to adjoin the old lodge – a restaurant designed by architects to capture…

Read More The Once and Future Mather Lodge

One more time, I go over the list in my hand. Baskets of wool, mohair and cotton, check drop spindles, check koolaid for dyeing, check gallon jars for koolaid, check Hand cards, check Niddy noddy, check and on down the row. I think I’m all packed to teach the first day of the Sheep to Shawl class at the Ozark Folk Center’s Folk School. The students in the class will…

Read More Laughing and Learning

Interpreters, like most educators, know what it is like to operate on a shoe string budget – utilizing the resources at hand (leaves, seeds, and scenic vistas) and re-utilizing everyday materials (popsicle sticks, material scraps, and my favorite – peanut butter jars). There is something gratifying about not needing all the bells and whistles to highlight the significance of a place as special as Devil’s Den State Park.  However, when…

Read More When All is Lost

I have an atypical Park Interpreter station here at Parkin Archeological State Park.  The largest part of my job seems to be researching Arkansas History. Arkansas is an exceptionally colorful state, with complex and vivid stories about things you wouldn’t believe, not even if I told you.  This is one of those great Arkansas stories- the story of Aunt Caroline Dye. One of Arkansas’ biggest Blues legends wasn’t even a…

Read More The Hoo Doo Woman of Arkansas

The fallen leaves crunch under my feet as I walk down the path from the Administration building to the Homespun Gift Shop. The sunlight has a strobe effect through the newly barren limbs.  I pull my jacket snug in front and wish I had remembered a hat. John the potter hollers a friendly, “Hello,” from the front of his workshop. I reply in kind and continue on my errand. It’s…

Read More Winter at the Ozark Folk Center State Park