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Blog entries pertaining to northeast Arkansas and southeast Missouri, USA.
Enjoy driving in the Ozarks this autumn. Those Ozarks start right here in Pocahontas, and Lesmeister Guesthouse makes a perfect base for enjoying eastern Arkansas’ fall show!
(Click the photo above to take a video test drive.)
The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center, less than an hour from Lesmeister Guesthouse, includes a barn studio associated with renowned author Ernest Hemingway, as well as the family home of his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer.
Pauline’s parents, Paul and Mary Pfeiffer, were prominent citizens of Northeast Arkansas and owned more than 60,000 acres of land. During the 1930s the barn was converted to a studio to give Hemingway privacy for writing while visiting Piggott. Portions of one of his most famous novels, A Farewell to Arms, and several short stories were written in this studio.
Both the home and the barn studio were named to the National Historic Register in 1982. The properties have been renovated, focusing on the 1930s era and are open to the public as a museum. See more information at http://hemingway.astate.edu/
Arkansas State Parks made these photos of the newly restored Cash home in Dyess, about 90 minutes from Lesmeister Guesthouse. If you haven’t been, you should make plans soon!! It’s a fine stopover between Memphis and Pocahontas.
Click the first thumbnail to open the viewer, then use the > button on the right side of the viewer to see the other photos. In the window, note the Ice card. Depression era residents used it to indicate how much ice the delivery man needed to leave that day for the ice box.
This symposium, sponsored by Five Rivers Historic Preservation, Inc. includes speakers from Arkansas and Missouri regarding the 1838 Benge Party of the Trail of Tears journey across Randolph County–from Hix Ferry on Current River in the northeast corner to Miller’s Ford on Spring River south of Imboden, fording four of the county’s five rivers in December and camping four nights here.
Their route across Randolph County is now a part of the National Trail System and an important part of our county and national history.
“The Benge Detachment: A Different Trail of Tears,” a day of programs exploring the history of the Trail of Tears in northern Arkansas and southern Missouri is set for Saturday, March 29 2014, downstairs at the 1872 Randolph County Courthouse in downtown Pocahontas. The program schedule is as follows: Attendance is free.
All sessions are free. The event is sponsored by Five Rivers Preservation Inc., a group dedicated to preserving the history of Randolph County. For more information, contact Bill Carroll at 870-248-0069 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The “Clash of the Ozarks,” a six-part show about the town of Hardy in Arkansas, is set for a February 25 release date as The Discovery Channel has greenlighted the new series. Hardy is just 30 Ozark Mountain miles from Lesmeister Guesthouse and Pocahontas, Arkansas.
Discovery described the show as follows:
The war began over a hundred years ago at a town dance, when a member of the Evans family started a fight that allegedly resulted in three deaths. The bad blood between the Evanses and the Russells escalated steadily throughout the years, and today, tensions are running higher than ever, forcing all who live in Hardy to pick a side — with Crowbar or Kerry.
Crowbar Russell is the patriarch of the Russell family. Everyone in Hardy has their own story of how Crowbar got his name, but one thing is certain: Crowbar and his clan are not to be messed with. Crowbar’s ancestors moved to the Ozark Mountains to avoid being drafted into the Civil War. Once safely in the mountains, they married into the Cherokee nation and developed a deep bond with the land. Today, the Russell family owns hundreds of acres in the area, which they are prepared to defend at all costs. Known for stocking up on homemade canned goods and being the best anglers in the state, the family works hard at being self-sufficient. Everyone in town knows the Russell clan and many see them as outlaws, but others see them as generous and hard-working church-goers. Crowbar seeks only to work his land and hunt for what he needs to survive. He wants his family to continue doing things the way that they always have, and thus he is opposed to any form of change or progress that might disrupt his way of life. It is for this reason that he has great disdain for Kerry Wayne Evans.
Kerry Wayne Evans’ family has been in Hardy for six generations, dating back to the 1850s. Raised on the south side of the tracks in a tiny one-room house, Kerry’s family struggled to make ends meet. They survived by working hard and learning to live off the land. The Evanses are forward thinkers who are fiercely protective of everything they have worked for. Kerry believes people should police themselves and be self-sufficient rather than relying on the authorities. This outlook has gotten him beaten, stabbed and arrested more times than his scars reveal. He is a savvy businessman whose sole purpose is to bring progress to the sleepy town of Hardy, and to improve life for those that live there. This means change, a word not everyone is comfortable with — least of all Crowbar Russell — and Kerry’s intentions aren’t entirely selfless. He has a fondness for money, and he’ll do just about anything to build up his empire.
Located just 90 minutes from Pocahontas and the Lesmeister Guesthouse, this year brings the opening of Johnny Cash’s boyhood home as a museum. The single-story wooden farmstead is being returned to its original state as part of a $10 million project designed to get Cash’s hometown of Dyess back on its feet – echoing the fresh start Cash’s parents got when they were given the Arkansas farm in the 1930s as part of President Franklin D Roosevelt’s New Deal.
The house is the centerpiece of a restoration project that aims to tell the history of the purpose-built Depression-era town. It is scheduled to open on April 26, and the hope is that some of the 600,000 people who visit Graceland, home of Cash’s contemporary Elvis Presley, will drive a further 50 miles north from Memphis to the Man in Black’s museum. Cash’s surviving brother and sister have ensured that all the furnishings – upright piano, pot-bellied stove, Silvertone tabletop radio – are authentic and accurate.
Pocahontas is a real town, not just a suburb of some larger place. Our 18 block commercial historic district is the largest such district in Arkansas. Still mostly a “diamond in the rough”, buildings in this area retain most of their historic features, though some were covered by “modern” facades in the 1950’s and 60’s.
Our historic district is slowly but steadily being reborn as the wonderful place it was over 100 years ago, and Lesmeister Guesthouse is leading the way! The restoration of the building, removing modern additions and facades and restoring the historic appearance, has gone a long way in motivating local property owners to care for structures that have too-long been taken for granted here.
• Site of the 1863 capture of Civil War General Jeff Thompson
• The Downtown Playhouse, featuring live plays and other events in our rehabilitated movie theater
• 1872 Courthouse-Authentic Victorian Architecture
• Randolph County Heritage Museum
• Arkansas’ only Quilt Trail
• Black River Beads and Pottery Gallery
• Civil War Memorial Walking Trail
• Arkansas’ Oldest Barber Shop
• Arkansas’ Oldest Drug Store
• R.J. Reynolds Art Gallery
• A Real Meteorite
• Fully Restored 1921 Train Depot
• and much more!