Historic Arkansas · Nature · Travel

Native American Trail Marker Trees

While searching for monarch butterflies at Camp Robinson Special Use Area near Mayflower, AR on Monday, I happened to run across a Native American Trail Marker Tree. I went back Tuesday afternoon and found at least one more plus two more that may be marker trees.

The tree I found Monday is close to a dry creek bed. Nowadays, it only has water after a significant rain but who knows what it actually looked like before Lake Conway was built. I’m not sure if the second one I found is actually a marker tree. It’s about 50 feet or less from the first one, just across the creek bed, and although it’s bent I’m not really sure if it’s because it was a marker tree or if mother nature bent it during a storm. The third one is just the remains of a bent tree, or limb, and not very big. The only reason I think it could be a trail marker tree is the knobby ends of the bends look man-made but it’s really kind of small to be a marker tree. The fourth and last one I found is near the top of the ridge right up the road from the others.

Native Amercian’s used to bend the tree to mark the trails they used. The way the tree was marked would indicate nearby water and food or convey warnings of danger or rough traveling ahead.

Advertisements
Historic Arkansas · Travel

In Search of: A Farming Colony in Scott, Arkansas

 

If you heard of Johnny Cash in Arkansas than you know he lived in the Dyess Colony Resettlement Area but did you know there are more resettlement area’s in Arkansas?

Resettlement areas were setup under Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal and was administrated by the Works Progress Administration and the Federal Emergency Relief Administration.

They were designed to help those whose lives were devastated by the natural and economic disasters of the Great Depression. In Arkansas, the flood of 1927 was followed by a severe drought and many families were left with nearly nothing. Resettlement areas were established to promote a self-sustaining community consisting of independent farms that provided educational, agricultural and commercial support facilities.

My father-in-law, Hubert Skillern, lived in one such colony near Scott, Arkansas in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s. He was in his mid-teens at the time and helped his parents farm the land as well as attended school. He loved the time they spent in Scott and loved talking about it.

I’ve been trying to do research into the Jones Colony Resettlement Area in Lonoke County but so far I haven’t found out very much information. Buddy Raines, a longtime friend of Hubert, lived down Jones Colony Road (now Johnson Road) from the Skillern’s and his parents were also farmers in the colony. When I talked to Mr. Raines the other day he referred to the resettlement as the “Toltec Community.” An internet search calls it the Lonoke Colony. No matter what it is called I’m not finding any information at all.

If you have any information, stories or historical photos from the Jones Colony/Toltec Community/Lonoke Colony between Scott and Keo, Arkansas please feel free to email me!

DSC_2904
I believed the Skillern’s lived in this typical-styled “colony” house. When driving down Johnson Road (historic Jones Colony Road) you’ll see many homes that look like this one.
DSC_2909
What may have been the Jones Colony store. It’s near the corner of Hwy 165 and Johnson Road. It used to have a sign in front that read,”Hamiter Hicks Estate Est. 1869,” but the sign has been gone since the front overhang fell.
maps 1942 2017
Maps do not encompass the whole of Jones Colony. Including it as a reference point to the general area.
Historic Arkansas · Recipes

Lillian’s Orange Pecans

DSC_3005

This week I headed to Scott once again to take pictures of the few historic plantation homes that are remaining and other old buildings in the area but instead of just staying in the car I went in to the Plantation Agriculture Museum State Park to see if they just happened to have a book on Scott history. No luck finding a book but I had a great talk with Linda Goza, the Superintendent of the museum.

One story she told me about was Lillian Walker Scott (yes, THAT Scott family that the town is named for) and her orange pecan candy that she made and sold to help save the Elmhurst Plantation after the severe flooding of 1927. She even sold them as far away as New York. Well of course my foodie heart wondered how yummy those pecans must have been. I mean orange and pecans …. how could it go wrong? The Californian in me still craves fresh oranges and the Arkansan in me LOVES pecans. I’ve never even heard of orange pecans but make the spicy cinnamon ones all the time so I set out to find the recipe. It didn’t take very long, back in December 2016, the Arkansas Times ran a bunch of old recipes and Lillian’s Orange Pecans was one of the recipes featured.

I made them this afternoon and they are wonderful! So much better than the cinnamon ones. Even Mr. Picky (my son Sean) liked them and he rarely eats nuts! I tell you though, if you’re diabetic, watch out!

Lillian’s Orange Pecans

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
3 cups pecans

Bring the sugar and juice up to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium and heat until 238°F (soft ball stage). Stir in nuts and the zest from one orange. Pour onto a cookie sheet covered in wax paper and spread nuts to cool. Once they’re cold off a bit you can break them apart. Or if you want to get real fancy and waste a bunch of time – take them out of the pan and place on wax paper covered cookie sheet one at a time. They will look better but the taste is the same either way!

Historic Arkansas

Dr. E. F. Utley House, Cabot, Arkansas

 

Utley House, Cabot, Arkansas

Wow, there’s only two places in Cabot that are on the National Register of Historic Places. Only one house and the Confederate Cemetery. I photographed 10 more houses the other day and I know there’s still more in town that could be eligible.
 
The 2 1/2 story Dr. E. F. Utley House, at 401 W. Pine Street in Cabot, was built sometime between 1914 and 1922 and is an example of an “American Foursquare” with Colonial Revival-style detailing.
 
During the time it was constructed, Cabot had a population around 447 people and had a bank, a weekly newspaper, two nurseries and a telephone exchange.
 
The property is known as the Utley House for Dr. E. F. Utley, a local “horse and buggy” doctor who owned, lived and saw patients in the house from about 1935 to 1955.
 
The house has been reported to be haunted by the current owner. Sounds of people walking across the upper floors and down the stairs are often heard. The front entrance door has also been seen to open by itself even when fully latched.
 
The property was listed in National Register of Historic Places on June 3, 1998. (By a strange coincidence, this image was taken June 3, 2017, 19 years later)