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.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

When it Rains...

A wet & wild weekend in the Izard County Outback. Wildflowers were blooming, dewberries were ripening, and the mountain streams were flowing! Following are photos of excursions to the Sylamore Waterfall and to a pair of falls near Gid we've never documented before. We've known about one of them but have never got the chance to catch it after a good rain. They lie along Colley Branch and since we don't know any nicknames for either, we have dubbed them the "Colley Branch Cave Waterfall" and "Jack-in-the-Box Falls".

Video below!


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

West Twin Creek Hollow

Rick, Ryan, and I took a hike down West Twin Creek Hollow on Easter Sunday to see if we could locate yet another waterfall we'd been told about. We didn't find one but located a gigantic "Thong Tree" which had fallen across the creek!

West Twin Creek is a beautiful little stream that features three separate waterfalls within a half-mile or so of each other, a wonderful shelter cave, and towering bluffs running along both banks of the creek below the three falls.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Old Lunenburg Schoolhose (Just Prior to Collapse and just After)

It is our understanding that the Old Lunenburg Schoolhouse and Oddfellows Hall stood until it collapsed in 1989. These fantastic photos document the building just prior to the collapse and just after. Our deepest gratitude to Duane Cooper for having the foresight to get these shots of the school before it was gone forever!

 From the Izard County Historian (Volume 7 Number 4):

"The community was not able to start construction on the long awaited school until about the year 1868. This was also the year in which the state laws placed a three mill tax on real estate. This was to be used for school purposes. There was nothing in Arkansas’ first constitution forbidding a school tax in districts where such tax was needed. There is evidence that the patrons of Lunenburg may have voted to tax themselves. 10 Even with a three mill tax the district needed the help of the entire community to put into operation the kind of school that was needed to meet the requirements of the growing population. A meeting was called and a request for volunteers went out. Services and material was pledged and the work started. A stand of pine trees was donated. Men volunteered to cut and haul the logs to sawmills. Time was donated to cut the logs into lumber and return it to the building site. Much of the labor of building was also donated. Two of the carpenters known to have helped in the construction of the new building were William Ragan and E. G. Landers. Joseph Ragan,father of William is credited with much of the work. He hand planed all of the inside paneling and ceiling boards as well as the outside weatherboarding. Planer mills had not yet come into use. A well attended I.O.O.F. Lodge was willing to cooperate with the school in the building venture. The Lodge agreed to furnish one-half of all materials and labor if they could use the second story as their meeting place.The two-story building atop the hill overlooking the little village was an impressive sight to the residents. They added still another distinction. There was no bell in the entire county to notify pupils that it was time to assemble. It was decided that the best possible bell be purchased for the school that had been built with love and care by the residents of Lunenburg. The empty belfry awaited the slow process of transportation to bring its cargo to port.The bell was brought by steamboat to Wild Haws Landing(now Guion) and thence to Lunenburg by ox wagon driven by two local residents. Legend has it that Starlin Smith,then a lad, was one of the drivers of the oxen. It was necessary to use oxen as the fine horses brought here from Kentucky and Tennessee by some of the settlers had all been conscripted during the recent conflict or had been taken by bushwhackers. But at last the bell was in place.Its clear, loud tone brought people in from miles around. It was one of the proudest possessions of the little town. For almost a full century its musical sound was enjoyed by old and young alike. It had a special meaning to all who had listened for its call on cold, frosty mornings as they hurried to school. Old ladies shed tears and old men shook their heads in disbelief when it was learned that the bell had been removed by thieves whose identity has not been established. Such was their love for the old bell. The two-story building was maintained as a school for grades one through eight. However, high school subjects were taught there by capable teachers who did not mind extra duty. As has been previously mentioned,the church and school exchanged property. The main purpose in exchanging lots was to preserve the old school building, the church members being willing to use the building as their place of worship. The present stone structure was occupied by the school until the year 1948-1949 when that district consolidated with Melbourne district and a bus route was established. This brought an end to a way of life that had long been maintained. The school and church had been the hub of the little town. One by one the places of business moved away or closed down. At this point in time it is hard to visualize all the activity that once stirred within Lunenburg."


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Spring Sing at Knob Creek Church!


Come out to beautiful, serene, Knob Creek Church for fun and refreshment at the Cooper Family's 2013 Spring Sing! 

Sunday May 26th, 2013 at 6:00 pm!

Performing will be:

Gerald Cooper
The Garlands
Dana Haggard 

Sharing nostalgia from her days growing up at Knob Creek:

Mrs. Bonnie Cooper

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Trail of Trees Road-Trip

UPDATE! Order your T-Shirts for shipment via PayPal below!

This Spring's road-trip will be a ride along what we believe might be an ancient Native-American trail marked by over a dozen living artifacts! This event which will feature a presentation about Indian Trail Trees by Mountain Stewards member, Bob Gaut, at the historic Lunenburg Schoolhouse will be capped by visits on both ends to the Melbourne History Museum in the morning and the Calico Rock Museum in the afternoon! Historian and EIC/ESC Crew Member, Freda Cruse Hardison will be sharing some stories from the period of the Trail of Tears. The Trail of Trees marks the route of the Trail of Tears traveled by the Benge Detachment and probably others through Izard County during the period. Along the trail, we'll visit the original County Seat of Izard County, Athens, where at least one group of 1500 camped during the Trail of Tears.

This event is free and open to anyone interested in the subject of the trees! We will encourage participants to make donations which will be divided between both museums. We will also offer T-Shirts near our cost and will have some raffle items available to help raise funds for software and equipment updates we desperately need! T-Shirts will be available for pre-ordering.

An itinerary, schedule, and map will be available next week to all participants.

To sign-up for this tour, please join at our Facebook Event page, call us at (870) 656-4835, or contact us by e-mail at !

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Tornado Damage at Old Jeffery Burial Ground

An EF2 Tornado ripped across the White River Bottom at Ruby's Landing near Mount Olive on April 10th destroying one home and devastating the Old Jeffery Burial Ground. Two memorial stones were damaged. Both Jehoiada Jeffery's stone and Nancy (wife of Daniel M. Jeffery) Jeffery's stones were sheered off at the base but should be restorable.
We've been told that a crew from the Arkansas Dept. of Corrections (Calico Unit) will be coming within the next couple of weeks to clean up the damage. After discussing the damage with members of the Jeffery Family, it was decided that the two damaged stones will be removed from the cemetery to keep them from being stolen. They will be returned to the cemetery once they have been restored.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sylamore Trail Trees?

 We decided to get out Easter afternoon to visit the western part of the county to explore and look for thong trees before the foliage bursts forth in brilliant fashion. We were delighted to find several trees while doing so! Three massive trees we found near Sylamore are featured below. Also included is a photo of the tree that started our journey down the road of studying these that was tragically cut down a few years ago not long after we discovered it. Whether these trees are legitimate Native-American trail trees or not, it's important we get the word out so landowners might think twice before destroying these amazing living artifacts. A short video is also included. For more photos and discussion, join us on Facebook!