Davidsonville Historic State Park hosts Archeology Day

March 19, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

March is Arkansas Archeology Month! Archeology has played an important role in what we know about the town of Davidsonville. In honor of the work that has been done at Davidsonville Historic State Park we will be offering the following activities:

  • 10 a.m. Davidsonville Town Site Tour – This walking tour will start at the new visitor center and travel around the town’s public square and courthouse. The tour will cover the history of the town and unique stories of the town. Tour should last 45 minutes and cover ½ mile.
  • 11a.m. The de Mun Flatboat – Meet at the new visitor center for a short discussion and child’s activity about the replica 1820’s hunter-trapper flatboat and the supplies it carries.
  • 12 p.m. Artifact Station – The artifact station will introduce visitors to the various kinds of “treasures” archeologists study and they will learn how to tell if something even an artifact. Visitors will get hands on practice in sorting artifacts and can even try their hand at washing real artifacts from an actual archeological excavation. Come get your hands dirty and discover ancient history!
  • 1 p.m. Primitive Hunting – At the primitive tools and weapons station, visitors will find out that prehistoric American Indians in the region actually had “technology” and that while the “primitive” weapons were old, they were incredibly efficient for the tasks that were required of American Indian life. It will be blow-darting, spear-throwing, pump-drilling good time!

Park staff will be available to help answer any questions concerning the flatboat and history of the park. Refreshments will be available for all park visitors until we run out.

Wear Schoonover of Pocahontas

Arkansas’s first All American in football was Wear Schoonover of Pocahontas.  He was also 2nd team All American in basketball. Schoonover lettered in those two sports as well as baseball and track at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville in the 1930s.  He was also President of his college senior class and maintained a 3.85 GPA while attending The University.

After graduation, he earned a law degree at the U of A and starred in a Hollywood movie, Maybe It’s Love.  He retained most of the Razorback’s receiving records in football for many decades, once catching 13 passes in a single game.

I once asked my great uncle, Joe Blankenship, who was about the same age as Schoonover, if he was recognized as an outstanding athlete while growing up here.  He replied that he was always the best athlete on local teams, but that no one here knew just how good he was until he went to college.  Uncle Joe said what he remembered about Wear as a boy was that every time he passed the Schoonover home (located where the Pocahontas City Hall stands today), Wear was in his front yard hurling a rubber ball against the porch and catching the rebounds.  “He was phenomenal,. my uncle said.  He never ever missed.”

For more information visit: The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture

Photo: http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/

The Sky Was Falling In Pocahontas

Everybody who visits Pocahontas wants to see our famous meteorite!

In the fall of 1858, a bright light streaked across the skies of northeast Arkansas. This visitor from the heavens was the remains of a large meteor that had burned its way through Earth’s atmosphere. It’s fiery presence grew larger as it approached the City of Pocahontas. The meteor fell to Earth with a great explosion of fire and a great bang! It landed in a field just north of what’s today Black River Overlook Park, along the river bank just across Highway 67 from downtown Pocahontas.

The great stony meteorite remained where it fell for forty years, until the town’s railway station master, Oscar Keith, loaded the rock in a wagon and placed it in his front yard on Vance Street north of downtown, where it remained for over a half century. Unprotected, the stone lost over 2/3 of its size as souvenir hunters chipped off many pieces.

The meteorite was more recently moved to a spot on the Randolph County Courthouse lawn (the 1940, art-deco building adjacent to the town square, not the 1872 “old courthouse” in the center of the square). There it can be viewed today, surrounded by a wrought iron fence. The meteorite’s location is near the northeast corner of the courthouse lawn, at the bottom of the large stairway off Broadway Street.