Author: Laurie Skillern

Pioneer Village Spring Open House 2017

white county historical museum pioneer village

Pioneer Village Spring Open House

The White County Historical Museum Pioneer Village hosted their annual Spring Open House May 6 – 7, 2017.

Buildings throughout the village were open and each had a costumed guide that explained the daily life of early settlers. Activities included square dancing and live music along with live demonstrations of wood-working, blacksmithing, spinning, soap making, and bee-keeping. There were craft and food vendors, live animals, and pioneer games for children.

Pioneer Village is a preservation project of the White County Historical Society, located at 1200 Higginson Street in Searcy, AR. For more information call 501-580-6633 or visit their website at http://www.whitecountypioneervillage.org/

1st Annual Cabot Civil War Muster April 28th-30th, 2017

1st Annual Cabot Civil War Muster
April 29th – In from the Field

I’ve never been a big Civil War buff but the 1st Annual Cabot Civil War Muster was held about a mile down the highway from my house on the grounds of Changepoint Church. I decided to go check it out and see what it was all about and I’m glad I did. It was interesting. I especially liked the demonstrations and the costumes of the women and children. I could not imagine having to wear the long dresses and the hoops underneath that women wore back then in the humid summers of Arkansas.

On Saturday they reenacted the Battle of Reeds Bridge (which the Confederates won) and Sunday the Battle of Bayou Fourche (a Union win). The threat of dangerous storms throughout Arkansas kept many participants at home. The storms held off on Saturday until after the battle but unfortunately the artillery night fire and field hospital candlelight program both had to be cancelled. I actually had not planned on going Sunday but the flooding on Hwy 67/167 and the developing sink hole on Hwy 15 kept me at home from church. The demonstrations at the muster had been cancelled but they still reenacted the battle. It had rained off and on all morning and was still raining when they started the battle.

 

More Scenes from the Muster

Abandoned Farmhouse on Hwy 13

abandoned, home, hwy 13, carlisle

abandoned, home, hwy 13, carlisle

abandoned, home, hwy 13, carlisle

Beautiful abandoned farmhouse on Hwy 13 in Carlisle, Arkansas.

As I get out of the car I can’t help imagining the people that once lived here. The smell of freshly made biscuits in the morning, gathering eggs and milking the cow before breakfast. Everyone doing chores – pumping water from the well, harnessing the horses, plowing the fields, washing clothes by washboard or ringer washer. Friends and family helping in the harvest. Canning and preserving for the coming winter. Storing food in the root cellar. Trying to get homework done before dark, walking to school in sunshine, rain or snow. Happily looking forward to church on Sunday’s, fun programs at school, and other social events around the county. The tragedies – storms, tornadoes, crop loss … the deaths.

Spotted Sandpiper on Lake Pickthorne

spotted sandpiper

spotted sandpiper

spotted sandpiper

A spotted sandpiper on Lake Pickthorne in Jacksonville, Arkansas.

It was utterly miserable outside today. Cold and wet with what I call a pissy rain. You know, that kind that can soak you in a less then a minute but yet not enough to keep the windshield wipers going. It didn’t help that there was a strong cold wind that was blowing water off the lake.

Since I refused to get soaking wet by getting out of the car I didn’t get to shoot very much. There was a tiny kildeer that I wish I would have gotten and this spotted sandpiper that was busy gobbling up ants and other critters around the lakes edge. There were some wildflowers that I’ll share later. Other than that nada.

Message From the Bluebirds

singing male eastern bluebird with mate in background

The Messengers

The day after Don died I was driving home from the funeral home. Just as I got in front of the church that is around the corner from my street my car was suddenly surrounded by Eastern Bluebirds. There were both male and females and there were so many I couldn’t count them. I have never seen so many bluebirds in one place before, nor since. It was a very clear message from above that everything was going to be okay.

The Symbolism

Bluebirds symbolize happiness, they spread joy and comfort and are a reminder of brighter days. It is said they are a messenger of God and that they fly with the angels.

 

 

Esso Makes Your Car Go

esso, carlisle, arkansas

The Old Esso Station in Carlisle

At the corner of Hwys 70 and 13 in Carlisle is an old Esso gas station. I haven’t been able to find out hardly any information about the building or how long it has been there. I have found out that at one time it was an espresso shop but that it closed about 2013. I’m not sure if the building is actually abandoned or not as there is a big yellow Freeman Electric truck parked next to it.

“There’s a smile for every mile at the Esso sign. Happy motoring!”

Sylvania Presbyterian Church in Ward

Sylvania Presbyterian

Sylvania Presbyterian

This pretty little church, built in 1904, is in the Sylvania community of Ward, AR on Hwy 321 North.

The historical marker reads:

“SYLVANIA

REV. JAMES W. MOORE, A NATIVE OF
PA. AND A PIONEER OF ARKANSAS
PRESBYTERIANISM SETTLED HERE IN
1840. IN 1828 HE HAD FOUNDED THE
TERRITORY’S FIRST PREB. CHURCH IN
LITTLE ROCK. HE ESTABLISHED
SYLVANIA ACADEMY, THE FIRST
CLASSICAL SCHOOL IN ARK., AND IN
1840 HE ORGANIZED THE SYLVANIA
PREB. CHURCH. HE WAS THE CHURCH’S
PASTOR FOR MANY YEARS AND IS
BURIED HERE. FOUR BUILDING HAVE
SERVED THE CHURCH, WITH THE
INTERIOR OF THE THIRD, BUILT IN
1860, BURNED BY UNION SOLDIERS
DURING THE CIVIL WAR. THE PRESENT
STRUCTURE WAS BUILT IN 1904.

LONOKE COUNTY HISTORICAL COMMISSION”

As I Drive Through Fields of Clover

clover

As I Drive Through Fields of Clover …

Arkansas roadsides are beautifully covered right now with wildflowers. I have always wanted to stop and take pictures but it’s hard when you’re traveling 55 to 70 mph to find a place to safely stop where there is a good photo op.  I finally found a place to pull over on Hwy 64 near El Paso this past Saturday and it was covered in red clover with an intermingling of pink primroses and sometimes an oxeye daisy or two.

 

 

Frenchman’s Mountain Methodist Episcopal Church – South

frenchman mountain methodist episcopal church, cato, ar

aka Cato Historic Church & Cemetery, Inc.

Just a quarter mile down the road from the historic Frenchman’s Mountain Methodist Episcopal church, four trailers were torn apart by an EF2 tornado,  on 24 March 2017. The church and cemetery show no signs of damage from the storms that night (this picture was taken the next morning.)

Built in 1880 as a two story church and Masonic Lodge. The building was renovated in the 1940s and the second story lodge area was removed. The church and cemetery are part of the last few remaining remnants left of the once thriving Cato Community. In 1940 families living in the area were forced to give up their land and homes by the U.S. Army’s expansion of the Camp Robinson training grounds. The church and cemetery are now completely encompassed by the six-foot fences of Camp Robinson. There is a small gate that allows for entrance onto the grounds.

Links for More Information