Little Rock, Arkansas
Currently the home of the Little Rock Visitors Information Center, the house was originally built by Colonel Ebenezer Walters for his young bride Mary. Mary Walters was never able to see the completed structure, as she died in childbirth just before the house was finished. Grief-stricken, Colonel Walters left the state and the house was owned by several different people – some of whom have reported experiencing the presence of Mary Walters. Visitor Center staff has also experienced eerie occurrences, including a picture coming off the wall and a coffee machine making coffee with no grounds or water present. A team of supernatural experts has even captured a voice recording saying “Mary that’s who I am.” #arkansas#chile_travels#curranhall#haunted#legends#littlerock#ghost
Hornibrook House/ The Empress of Little Rock
Originally built as the most extravagant dwelling in the state by wealthy saloonkeeper James H. Hornibrook, the house currently operates as The Empress of Little Rock, a luxury bed and breakfast. Several paranormal encounters have been witnessed by owner Robert H. Blair, workers and guests. Blair saw a period- dressed gentleman, complete with top hat, floating down the stairs. While restoring the secret poker room in the attic hired painter Timmy Watts found himself locked out, even though no handle or lock was on the door yet. When he returned with a screwdriver to let himself back in, Watts saw that the door was now open and the same image of a man that Blair previously witnessed appeared before him.
Arkansas State Capitol
Did you know the Arkansas State Capitol as we know it today was built on the grounds of the former Arkansas State Penitentiary? During the excavation of the foundation around 1899, long-forgotten rotten wood coffins were unearthed, revealing the remains of the state’s past criminals. These days in the basement, disembodied voices have been heard. The 1932 tragedy of Representative Ira Gurley being crushed to death by the Capitol’s south elevator has been tied to the same elevator acting of its own accord. In other parts of the building, visitors and state employees have reported seeing a woman dressed in period clothing floating down the marble staircases.
The Crescent Hotel
The Crescent Hotel was built in 1886 as a resort for the rich and famous, but quickly became unmanageable and fell into disrepair. In 1908, it was reopened as the Crescent College and Conservatory for Young Women. This institution closed down in 1924, and then opened again in 1930 as a junior college. After the college closed in 1934, the Crescent was leased as a summer hotel.
In 1937, it got a new owner, Norman G. Baker, who turned the place into a hospital and health resort. Baker, a millionaire inventor and radio personality, styled himself as a doctor, despite having had no medical training. He claimed to have discovered a number of "cures" for various ailments, including cancer, and launched frequent attacks on organized medicine, which he accused of being corrupt and profit-driven.
Having been run out of Iowa for practicing medicine without a license, Baker moved his cancer patients to Arkansas and advertised his new health resort at the Crescent. His "cure" consisted primarily of drinking the area's natural spring water. In 1940, federal charges were filed against Baker for mail fraud and he spent four years in prison. The Crescent Hotel was left ownerless until 1946. In the spring of 1946, the Crescent Hotel was purchased by John R. Constantine, Herbert E. Shutter, Herbert Byfield, and Dwight Nichols. On March 15, 1967, the hotel was nearly burned to the ground. The only living owner at this time was Dwight Nichols.
In 1997, the Crescent Hotel was purchased by Marty and Elise Roenigk, who oversaw a six-year restoration and renovation of the hotel rooms. Marty Roenigk died in a car crash on June 18, 2009; Elise Roenigk remains the hotel's current owner.
One thing I enjoy about traveling to new places is all of the local people I get to talk to such as these 2 great girls that share some history of their town with me, huge thanks to Valerie and Joanna #chile_travels#arkansas#eurekasprings#newfriends
Arkansas Golden Gate Bridge
Beaver, Arkansas is the home to the terrifying one lane wooden plank suspension bridge, 554 feet long but only 11 feet wide, spans the White River, built in 1949 being the last bridge of its kind in the Natural State. Known as "The Little Golden Gate Bridge" for its yellow towers.
The ferry continued until 1926, when a concrete bridge was built by the Carroll County road crew. This bridge stood until it was destroyed by flood in 1943. The present suspension bridge, now known as the "Little Golden Gate", was submitted for bid by the Carroll County Court in 1944. The contract was let to Pioneer Construction Company of Malvern Arkansas to construct the present suspension bridge on December 19, 1947, for a total cost of $107,785.93. At the same time, the Table Rock Dam was being built. The Corps of Engineers informed the Contractor that it was necessary to raise the construction some 40 feet; therefore the bridge was not completed until 1949.
Johnny Cash house.
Located in Kingsland, Arkansas is the house where Johnny Cash lived until he was 3 years old before moving to Dyess, Arkansas. Had the opportunity to speak to several elders from the area who directed me to this house and part of the story behind it.
J. R. Cash was born on February 26, 1932 in Kingsland, Arkansas, born to Ray Cash (May 13, 1897 in Kingsland, Arkansas – December 23, 1985 in Hendersonville, Tennessee) and Carrie Cloveree (née Rivers; March 13, 1904 in Rison, Arkansas – March 11, 1991 in Hendersonville, Tennessee). He was one of seven children, who were in birth order: Roy, Margaret Louise, Jack, J. R., Reba, Joanne, and Tommy (who also became a successful country artist). He was primarily of English and Scottish descent. At birth,
Cash was named J. R. Cash. When Cash enlisted in the United States Air Force, he was not permitted to use initials as a first name, so he changed his name to John R. Cash. In 1955, when signing with Sun Records, he took Johnny Cash as his stage name.
In March 1935, when Cash was three years old, the family settled in Dyess, Arkansas, a New Deal Colony intended to give poor families a chance to start over with land that they could work toward owning. J.R. started working in cotton fields at the age of five, singing along with his family while working. The family farm was flooded on at least two occasions, which later inspired him to write the song "Five Feet High and Rising". His family's economic and personal struggles during the Great Depression inspired many of his songs, especially those about other people facing similar difficulties.
Located at Fort Chaffee are also these two red barber's chairs which came from a barbershop downtown on Garrison Avenue, and they have a completely different claim to fame. The story goes, the famed criminals Bonnie and Clyde came in and had haircuts and sat in these very chairs. The couple was eventually ambushed and killed by law officers near Sailes, Bienville Parish, Louisiana May 23, 1934
The Chaffee Barbershop Museum in Fort Smith, Arkansas, doesn’t look like very much from the outside.
In fact, it’s located inside the original Camp Chaffee Barbershop. But the locals know it - and they love it - as the place where Elvis Presley got his first Army buzz cut on March 25, 1958. Every year since, the museum has celebrated the anniversary of that moment.
It was on that day - Mach 25, 1958 - that Elvis, one of the most popular recording artists of all time, decided to join the Army and had his head shaved. It has been reported that the widow of the barber who cut Elvis’ hair, James Petersen, still has the pair of clippers that were used and that another barber from the area still owns the chair he sat in. Mr. Petersen’s son, Jimmy Don Petersen, is also a barber. He gives buzz cuts to patrons of the Elvis Haircut Day celebration held each year around March 25. Growing in popularity, members of Elvis fan clubs and Elvis fans from around the region trek to the museum for a 50’s style festival.
The museum has been restored over the years so that it now looks just like it did on the day that Elvis walked through its doors. The idea was inspired by a local 5th grade elementary class who were studying a unit on money. They held fundraisers and presented a check to the FCRA for more than $1500 because they believed the barbershop represented history worth preserving.
The museum’s curator has collected items authentic to the period and rare photographs from Elvis’ stay in the town and put all of these pieces on display using various themes exhibits. In addition to all of the Elvis-related materials, the Chaffee Barbershop Museum houses artifacts recording military and refugee history from 1941 to the present.
Miss Laura’s Social club
Fort Smith, Arkansas
The former Miss Laura’s Social Club, a house of prostitution, is a reminder of the town’s rich history. Located at 123 First Street, it is the only former bordello in Arkansas listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
On the border between what was the known United States and Indian Territory, Fort Smith was one of the historic Old West towns. Being a border town invited the business of prostitution into the town, and several bordellos were established around the turn of the century.
Built in 1896 as the Riverfront Commercial Hotel, the house at 123 First Street was bought by Laura Ziegler in 1898. Zeigler borrowed $3,000 from a banker to buy the building. She renovated the building and opened it as a brothel in 1903. She repaid her loan in only seventeen months.
In 1910, business began to falter as more and more people in Fort Smith wanted to do away with the red-light district. ” Ziegler realized that business was going to take a turn for the worse, and she sold the house to Bertha Gale Dean—known as “Big Bertha”—in 1911 for $47,000. Little is known of Ziegler after that.
The area soon deteriorated into a slum, and the house became a haven for drunkards and drifters. Despite the decline in the area, the house at 123 First Street remained a brothel through much of the early twentieth century. Bertha Dean ran the brothel until her death in 1948.
The building was eventually abandoned, and in 1963, the local government announced that, unless a buyer was found, the house would be demolished. Donald Reynolds, founder of Donrey Media Group, bought the house and saved it from demolition. The building was selected in 1973 for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, and restoration began in 1983.
Fort Smith, Arkansas
In the twentieth century, as the stories of Judge Parker and the Fort Smith court were handed down, the executions that occurred at the Gallows gained mythic stature. Many of the books written in the 1950s and later treated the legends, folktales, and myths.
During the course of his 21 year tenure at Fort Smith, Judge Parker sentenced to the gallows 160 men and women who had been found guilty of rape or murder by a jury. Of this total, 79 men were executed on the gallows. The judge only handed down the death sentences; he did not attend the executions or participate in them in any official capacity.
From 1873 through 1896, a total of 39 executions occur, putting to death 86 men for convictions of rape and murder.
The executions that occurred here were only open to the general public for three years (1873-1876). During that time, seven executions (a total of 22 men were hanged in these executions) were conducted where the public was allowed to attend. In 1878 a 16 foot tall fence was built around the gallows scaffold. From 1878 on, most executions had less than 50 spectators.
While Judge Parker sentenced four women to die for murder convictions, all were eventually spared through presidential commutations or Supreme Court reversals. Three women had their sentences commuted to live in prison and one woman was granted a new trial and was acquitted.
Eleven and a half months after the final execution on July 30, 1896, the City of Fort Smith demolished the gallows and burned the pieces. The present reconstruction, built on the original site, was constructed in 1981-82.
The Indian Territory jurisdiction of the court came to an end on September 1, 1896; putting a stop to the criminal cases being heard by the court. With a limited criminal jurisdiction, the court no longer heard capital crimes cases, and no longer needed the gallows.
During the early days of the civil rights movement, Memphis was the site of the birth of rock `n' roll thanks to rock pioneer Sam Phillips and his Sun Records recording studio in the Tennessee city. It is Phillips who guides the likes of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis through the early years of their groundbreaking careers as they change the course of the industry with their new style of music. "Sun Records," which is based on the musical "Million Dollar Quartet," chronicles the sudden and meteoric rise of the the young artists against the backdrop of political change and social unrest. Also in the picture is carnival con man Col. Parker, a master of manipulation and publicity who helps Presley -- his sole client -- reach unexpected levels of success and stardom.
On July 18, 1953, Presley first went to the Memphis Recording Service at the Sun Record Company, now commonly known as Sun Studio. He paid $3.98 to record the first of two double-sided demo acetates, "My Happiness" and "That's When Your Heartaches Begin." Presley reportedly gave the acetate to his mother as a much-belated extra birthday present, although many biographers suggest that Presley simply wanted to get noticed by Sun owner Sam Phillips.
Former Lorraine Motel, where Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968.
During the segregation era, Walter Bailey operated the motel as upscale lodging that catered to a black clientele. Bailey added a second floor, a swimming pool, and drive-up access for more rooms on the south side of the complex. He changed the name from Lorraine Hotel to Lorraine Motel. Among its guests through the 1960s were musicians going to Stax Records, including Ray Charles, Lionel Hampton, Aretha Franklin, Ethel Waters, Otis Redding, the Staple Singers and Wilson Pickett.
Following the assassination of King, Bailey withdrew Room 306 (where King died) and the adjoining room 307 from use, maintaining them as a memorial to the activist leader.
The call letters WLOK originated in 1956 when frequency 1480 WBCR was sold to the OK group, a three-station chain from Louisiana. The new management changed the call letters from WBCR to WLOK.
WLOK was the second Memphis radio station to offer programming directed entirely to black audience. As its influence continuously grew, WLOK underwent several changes to meet the demands of an expanding business. The station purchased and moved to a new building at the corner of Talbot and S. Second in 1958.
After 1968 and the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, tensions increased between blacks and whites in Memphis especially at stations with all-black programming that claimed to be the “voice” of the black community, but were white-owned and controlled by white management. #chile_travels#memphis#history#radiostation#wlok
Sardis is a small rural community in Saline County. It's quiet and just big enough for a country store a church and fire department, but for several decades they've been known as the community with the mysterious shoe tree.
From a distance it's just an oak tree, but take a closer look at the bare limbs and it's hard to ignore dozens of shoes hanging by their laces.
Retha Crisler says, "We've lived here about 50 years and the best I can remember is shoes have been thrown in it since about 71 or 72." For three decades it's been fittingly called the 'shoe tree,' Crisler says she doesn't mind traffic stopping across the street from her home to view the adorned tree.
She explains, "We just think it's kind of unique, I don't know of any other around." "There are itty bitty shoes and huge shoes and everything it's really really cool," they say.
Folks in the Sardis community may never find out the mystery of why the shoe tree got started, but they say it's now an icon that makes this small community unique and as long as the tree stands the shoes will be a fixture.
There are currently about 70 shoe trees in the U.S. The most memorable Arkansas shoe tree fell with the weight of hundreds of shoes in a storm in 2000.
The beloved Shoe Tree has been cut down June 14 2017 after Saline County Judge announced to be a public hazard
"Judsonia's mystery grave," In Judsonia, Arkansas A fence surrounds the grave of an unknown child.
When the engineers were running their surveys, they were told of this isolated burial spot. That highway departments have hearts was thoroughly demonstrated. The grave was marked and protected. Of course, there are different stories. Some say that the grave was dug for the child of a poverty-stricken family, who could afford no better resting-place for their child.
Another story is said to be the grave of a baby girl, not quite two years old, who died in a high-chair accident sometime around the years 1890 or 1891.
Older residents of the community said that she was a daughter of tenants on a local farm. They were poor so neighbors and friends made a casket and the baby's body was buried in a fence corner. Later, adjustments were made in the property lines, and the grave was found to be within the Hopper holdings.
"The grave now has a very nice stone with several flowers planted. On a tree beside the grave is a figurine of an angel." The grave is located in the triangle formed when the northbound lanes of Highway 67/167 and Highway 157 merge.
THE UNKNOWN BABY GIRL
"IN DEATH SHE BELONGS TO ALL OF US" #arkansas#chile_travels#judsonia#unknowngrave#grave#bikelover ##indeathshebelongstoallofus#2wheelonelove#travels#mystery
Camp Nelson was a central staging point in central Arkansas for Confederate troops gathering from Texas and Arkansas. The camp was named for Brigadier General Allison Nelson who was in command of the 10th Texas Infantry Regiment.
During the fall of 1862 an epidemic of measles and typhoid fever ran rampant through the troops congregated there. Approximately 1,500 Arkansas and Texas soldiers died of disease during a two-month period including Brigadier General Nelson himself. Approximately 1,500 of these soldiers were buried in unmarked graves in the surrounding hills.
During the early years of the 20th century Confederate veterans placed markers in honor of the unknown soldiers and erected a 12-foot obelisk to their memory at the site. The cemetery was not properly maintained and was soon overtaken by the forest undergrowth and became just a local curiosity out in the forest.
In the 1980s local residents, including members of the ROTC and local high school students, began a restoration project on their own and returned the cemetery to its original condition. Camp Nelson Confederate Cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Arkansas State Capitol was constructed between 1899 and 1915 on the site of the old state penitentiary using prison labor, they lived in a dormitory that was left on the Capitol grounds while construction was taking place. The Capitol foundations
Designed by architects George Mann and Cass Gilbert, the original construction cost was not to exceed $1 million. After two general contractors, six Capitol Commissions and three governors, the completed Capitol cost almost $2.3 million. In 1911, the General Assembly convened in the unfinished building for their first session at the new State Capitol.
The neo-classical style of the building is a common example of monumental architecture of the early 20th century. The marble on the floors and walls came from Vermont, the columns from Colorado, and the grand staircases from Alabama. The exterior limestone was quarried near Batesville, Arkansas while a softer Indiana limestone was used for the dome. The Capitol contains 247,000 square feet. The distance from ground level to the top of the cupola is 213 feet. The cupola is covered in gold leaf. As a scale replica of the US capitol, the Capitol has frequently been used as a filming location. In 1990 the Capitol grounds were featured extensively in external and internal photography for the action film Stone Coldstarring Brian Bosworth.
The North Little Rock High School was constructed beginning in 1928 and completed in 1930. In 1970, the North Little Rock School District closed Jones Junior-Senior High School as a result of desegregation and the city established a new integrated public high school and thus integrated and renamed the then 40-year-old classic art-deco facility along Main Street as Ole Main High. In 1993, North Little Rock High School was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. North Little Rock School as well as Central High School went thru a desegregation process.
The North Little Rock Six were six African-American students who attempted to desegregate North Little Rock High School on September 9, 1957. Two years earlier, the North Little Rock School Board voted to begin integrating classes at the twelfth-grade level; however, after Arkansas governor Orval E. Faubus publicly stated opposition to the integration of Little Rock Central High Schooland summoned the Arkansas National Guard to the school on September 2, 1957, the directors of the North Little Rock School Board put a halt to their integration plan.The North Little Rock School District did not desegregate until September 3, 1964, when eight African-American students were admitted at the all-white Clendenin and Riverside elementary schools. The North Little Rock Six did not receive recognition until September 9, 2007, when they were honored at a ceremony hosted by the City of North Little Rock and the North Little Rock–based nonprofit STAND Foundation.
USS Hoga (YT-146) is best known for her actions during the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941. Getting underway within 10 minutes after the first Japanese bombs fell, she went to work rescuing sailors in the water, fighting fires, and pulling ships out of harm's way. Hoga pulled the repair ship USS Vestal away from USS Arizona's burning hull, assisted the damaged minesweeper USS Oglala and the battleship USS Nevada. She fought fires on the Nevada as well as the battleships USS Maryland, USS Tennessee, and USS Arizona. In all, Hoga spent 72 continuous hours fighting fires. Hoga is most recognized for pushing the sinking USS Nevada to safety and preventing her from blocking the narrow channel. For her work, Hoga, her commanding officer, and his crew received a commendation from ADM Chester A. Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet. #arkansas#chile_travels#navy#littlerock#pearlharbor#hoga#ussarizona#bikelover
The 9 man crew known as crew #18 from Smoky Hill Army Air Field were given orders on March 12, 1943 and departed their station at 1300 hours (1:00 p.m.) for Morrison Field in West Palm Beach Florida.Statements made to family members of the airmen weeks prior to the crash, indicated that the crew already knew that their assigned Flying Fortress serial number 42-29532 might very well cause the death of them all. They were all willing to die fighting for their Country but none of them wanted to die in an non-combat accident because the plane they had been issued was a “lemon”. As they departed for Florida they never imagined that the mechanical/structural problems of their Flying Fortress would bring them down just 2-hours and 35 minutes later (3:35 p.m.).
The plane had been condemned the day before their flight and should have never been in the air.
Now, a replica of the plane and nine plaques signify that loss.
"These men's story was almost lost to history until Jackson's son, a Boy Scout from Benton, intervened. Fourteen-year-old Jerry Glen Jackson and his father stumbled upon parts of the wreckage at the crash site during a hunting trip in 1984. Jackson remembered her son thinking the airmen were not receiving the respect they deserved, so for his Eagle Scout project, Jerry made a plan to memorialize them.
Sadly, Jerry could not see his dream come true. His life was also lost too soon in a car crash when he was 16. #arkansas#chile_travels#historylesson#sheridan#B -17 #memorial#army#naturalstate