County Heritage Museum
from our 2009 Quilt Show
during the Pocahontas Founder's Day, May 2.
“1910 Directory of Randolph County”
Available at Randolph County Heritage Museum
The “1910 Directory of
Randolph County, Arkansas” book by L. F. Blankenship
(1872-1930) is considered one of the most valuable
Randolph County resources for genealogists, researchers
and historians, and was last available as a publication
in 1978 when the Star Herald Printing Company made the
Mrs. Ann B. Carroll,
granddaughter of Mr. Blankenship, has given the Randolph
County Heritage Museum the rights to make 500 copies of
the publication in PDF format on CDs which are available
for sale in the Heritage Museum’s gift shop. The cost is
$20 for each copy of the 200+ page “book” and all
proceeds will go toward support for the museum.
In addition to the
listings of families in all 1910 Randolph County
townships, including all names of family members,
marriage dates, occupation, land ownership, and church
memberships, the book includes many pages of
advertisements from businesses around the county in
1910, as well as numerous photographs of historic
buildings and homes from the era.
The 1910 Directory is
also available for purchase on the gift shop page of the
museum’s web site, randolphcomuseum.org.
Button Factory Finds
A New Home
is still home to one surviving button factory from
the era of pearling and button making. Mr. Harold
Crosby, son of the original button factory owner,
Harold Crosby Sr., gave the button factory to our
museum a couple of years ago, however we’ve been
unsuccessful in finding a place to put it and were
really unsure of how to go about moving the building
In the last
couple of weeks a small group of business leaders
from downtown Pocahontas came together, and along
with the local boy scouts, and even a couple of PHS
football players, made a commitment to finally see
this project through.
The move was
incredible…complete with a two-car police escort. We
moved the building behind the museum. The button
machines themselves are to be restored by Mr. Mack
Hackworth. Our plan is to reconstruct the button
factory (a cross-section of the actual building and
machines) inside the museum. We are in the process
of saving a chapter of Randolph County’s history…a
chapter that in another generation would have been
forgotten and lost.
If you are
interested in helping to move this great project
into the next phase….designing an exhibit inside the
museum using the actual building….please come
forward. Spread the word to others who might be
interested in the project. We’ll be looking for
additions to the exhibit, such as photos, stories,
etc. from the River Days.
photos below to enlarge...
|Picking up the
||...and setting it
||Headed to the museum.
||The moving crew.
Local Museums offers Historical Dance
The Arkansas Historical Dance Series, a
book and video set, is a unique collection of 8 short
documentaries (5-11 minutes each) on traditional dance,
music, and culture stretching from territorial times to the
present. Their titles are: A “Frolic” in Territorial Times,
Jigging & Clogging, Old Time Square Dancing, Play Party
Games, The Victorian Ball, Riverboat Days, Modern Western
Square Dancing, and Black Dancing Traditions. Each segment
is supported by a text and rare, historical photographs.
The text (68 pages) includes a program summary, an
historical perspective of the period and activity, a
glossary of special dance and music terms, as well as dance
descriptions, and suggestions for follow-up activities.
Student work sheet packets are available for classroom use.
This project started in 1987 when the Arkansas Country Dance
Society (ACDS) received a grant from the Arkansas Endowment
for the Humanities to produce two audio tapes of string-band
dance music together with a text that could be used to
support the preservation and teaching of traditional dance
in the schools and communities of Arkansas. The tapes were
soon completed and are available from ACDS. Over the years
the text grew into a full length book which is the basis for
the enclosed text and the 8 documentaries which were
produced in cooperation with the Arkansas Educational
Television Network (AETN).
The videos were written and directed by Dr. David R.
Peterson and Dr. Charlie Sandage. Dr. Peterson wrote the
text, the student work sheets, and collected the historical
Dr. Peterson, who visited Pocahontas during the Heritage
Festival and was the “caller” at the Harvest Ball, is a
mathematician by academic training but a dance caller,
musician, musical instrument builder, stone mason, log
house builder, etc. by avocation. He helped found the ACDS
in 1978 and has been president since. He is well known for
his dance leadership and calling. Dr. Peterson has a joint
appointment as Professor of Mathematics and Director of the
Ozark Heritage Institute at the University of Central
Arkansas in Conway.
Dr. Sandage is and has been many interesting things: college
teacher, academic administrator, performer/songwriter,
music director at the Ozark Folk Center, music show
producer, and television producer. He currently produces
educational programming for the AETN.
The series set is also available online at
Mrs. Judy Downs of Pocahontas, President of the Northeast
Arkansas Living Historians and Dr. David Peterson of
Greenbrier display the “Historical Dance Series” at the
Harvest Ball held during the recent Heritage Festival. The
Arkansas Historical Dance Series (book and video set) are
available at the Randolph County Heritage Museum and Eddie
Mae Herron Center for $12 plus tax,
||Local historian Mrs. Anna Lue Cook displayed
an antique ironing board and iron, a washboard and antique,
hand-crank washing machine, as well as flour sacks designed
to become aprons. Additionally, Mrs. Cook demonstrated how
to churn butter with an authentic crockery churn which sat
on the floor and was worked by a long handle. Also several
pieces of Depression Era glass were displayed from the
collections of Virginia Stevens.
Cook instructing museum visitors on how to churn
Stevens, event coordinator.
the idea to put together such a show came from Joyce McFall Castleberry,
a native of Pocahontas who now lives in New York,” said Five Rivers
Historic Preservation, Inc. President Linda Bowlin. The planning
committee was led by Virginia Stevens and Anna Lue Cook and included
Linda Bowlin, Linda Eveland, Billie Ruth McFatridge, Rita Wadsworth,
David Bowlin and Ralph Cook.
Aprons and related artifacts were loaned to the
museum from across the county from a multitude of residents, including
Anna Cook’s extensive collection of aprons, Mary Freeman, Margaurite
Brown (sister of Rosemary Bowlin who contributed an apron belonging to
their mother Ellen Rhodes), Rita Jean Pearcy, Charlotte Sullivan,
Sharron White, Shirley Chester, Alta Crawford, Ann Carroll, Sharon
Thielemier, Cletis Neece, Elaine Ragan, Becky Luffman, Kathryn Dust,
Hannah Roberts, Cindy Robinett, Nancy Toney and others.
show was featured in the Jonesboro Sun and during Saturday’s show, a
television documentary journalist from Jonesboro visited the show to
interview the participants and video the show.
With approximately one hundred visitors signing the
guest book on Saturday, it was quickly decided to extend the show
through the end of August.
The museum is
open to the public during regular hours of operation Mondays,
Wednesdays, Fridays from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m.
– 1 p.m. There is no admission charge to visit the museum which is
located on the historic court square in Pocahontas, just off Hwy. 67.
For more information, call (870) 892-4056, visit online
www.randolphcomuseum.org, or e-mail
from Harmon Seawel's Early June Book Reading: The Fourche River Valley
nomination of Pitman's Ferry to the Arkansas Preservation Alliance
was accepted and was announced May 10 as one of the 9 historic sites in
the state included on the 2007 Endangered List.
This is a first step in getting recognition for the site so that it
might ultimately be preserved. Work may also begin on getting the site
designated as an Arkansas Historic Monument.
Catherine Candy of the Arkansas Archeological Survey (engaged in the dig
at Old Davidsonville) says Pitman's Ferry is one of two sites in
Arkansas that qualify for National Historic Monument status--the other
being already so designated Arkansas Post.
Campbell Cemetery, right, in southeast Randolph county was also one of
the nine sites named to this year's list.
Read the writeup at the Arkansas Preservation