Monday, May 23, 2016

The Clay Cave Revisited

Sunday afternoon, Rick and I took a short trip into the Clay cave near the second lookout on Highway 9 (Sylamore Road). Below are a few shots from our excursion. These are the first photos we've published from inside the cave. It's been several years since either of us have actually gone deep into the cave and it was shocking to find so much graffiti painted on the features of the cave. It's saddening that there are so many people who have such little respect for our places of natural beauty. It was nearly impossible to get clear shots of the very few cave features.We only trekked to the bottom of the cave and did not go all the way to the back. We'll save that for another adventure!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Sadieville Falls near Athens

A few weeks ago, we got a great tip from a friend about an interesting spot near the Sadieville Road off the Boswell Road. The site tuned out to be an incredible waterfall that we've driven past a dozen times since starting the blog in '06. We've wondered when Izard will stop giving us these wonderful gifts. Perhaps she never will.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Vintage Photo: Lafferty/Anderson


I found this great image on the Facebook page, "Cushman Heritage Museum", along with the information quoted in the image below:

More about Anderson/Lafferty to come!

Monday, March 07, 2016

Announcing the "Trail of Trees - Mystery of the Trees" Presentation & Tour!

On Saturday, March 19th, 2016 at 11 AM, Mountain steward, Robert R. Gaut will present his organization's new documentary film, "Mystery of the Trees" at 11 AM at the Historic, Knob Creek Church. A slideshow on Arkansas Trail Trees will follow and participants will be treated to a demonstration on how to document trees for the Mountain database while visiting a newly discovered tree as well as the "Jumbo Thong Tree" and "Grafted Trees near Jumbo". The event is free. We will be accepting donations to offset Mr. Gaut's expenses and DVD's of "Mystery of the Trees" will be available for purchase. For more info, look for our "Exploring Izard County" group on Facebook. We look forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Big Springs Cemetery

Big Springs lies between Mount Pleasant and Sidney and is located at the very headwaters of historic Poke Bayou. In the Benge Detachment journal, it is reported that one group of Cherokee camped at a spring in this area during the Trail of Tears journey through Izard County.. It is very possible...even highly likely it was at Big Springs. The group had followed Poke Bayou out of Batesville camping at Flat Rock in Sharp County the night before.

The cemetery bears the remains of several confederate soldiers from the community who died during the conflict. Two young men, David Bone and Joel Battles, both died within days of each other from measles. Joel's father, Frances Nelson Battles, drafted beyond the age of 40, also died during the war but it is said there was no explanation that arrived with the body when it was returned to the family. Joel's Brother, Andrew Jackson Battles was killed in action during the civil war as well. David Bone and Joel Battles are both mentioned in these articles by Sgt. Elihu Beckham. Samuel D. Gunn was also a private in Company K of the Arkansas 21st. Captain Christian Christopher Elkins s (C C Elkins) was also sent home sick around the time the two boys died. Christian is the brother of Thomas O. Elkins and is one of three brothers who moved to this area of Izard County in the 1850s.

There are several ministers buried here as well, including W.A. Givens, Samuel Gunn, and Henry F Bone.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Near Izard: Sandtown Road Trail Tree (Independence County)

Ricky and Cal were cruising around a few weeks ago and came across this amazing tree just over the county line in Independence County. We went back a few days later and asked the owner if we could take a closer look! What a tree!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Trail Tree near New Liberty

Our friend and colleague, David Pittman invited us over to his place this weekend to document a bent tree on his property near New Liberty. This area is in the corridor of the original Military Road traveled by the Benge Detachment on the Trail of Tears. We are told that there are several more trees on an adjacent property that are as large or larger than this example. The grindstone was found in the area as well along with other artifacts. We hope to get to document the other trees once all hunting seasons are over with. Note the tri-trunk tree next to the bent tree which has three knots and the three knots which are equidistant along the hip of the bent tree.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Massive Bent Tree on the Trail of Trees!

A week ago this past Friday, Rick and I were riding along Highway 56 approaching the bridge across Piney Creek when he exclaimed, "There's a thong tree!" And he was right!
Folks, we've driven this road looking for bent trees many times and Rick spots one only 50 feet off the highway in the exact spot we should expect to find one!
This amazing tree grows along a hollow that appears might have been the route of an early road fording the creek.
 The Highway 56 corridor is a known route of  those traveling the Trail of Tears through Izard County


Sunday, November 09, 2014

Trail Tree on Ridge above Mill Creek

Last week, while showing Linda and Jim Henderson some of the vintage churches in the county, I happened to notice this awesome trail tree along a ridge above Mill Creek just off a road we've looked for trees on many times. It's amazing to think that we've passed within 50 feet of this tree dozens of times without noticing it! This is a classic-shaped trail tree and it stands in an area we have predicted we'd find more trees.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Thong Trees in the Snow

Over the past few days, we've taken several rides around the Melbourne area. We managed to catch a few of the trail trees we've found along Rose Trail and Jumbo Road.