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Mith242

NWA Trivia

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I've been trying to find out more about Fayetteville's history and have been coming across some interesting info. I thought it might be interesting if I periodically posted some info that some of you might not know or might find interesting. Others can feel free to post info as well. Anyway I'll start off with this bit of info. The Central High Integration has been in the news again lately. But Fayetteville High was integrated in 1955. Two years before the Central High Integration. It was the first school district in the 'Old South' to vote for integration.

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I'll go ahead and post this as well. I posted this in another topic before I got the idea to create this one.

Sorry this is a bit off topic but I thought it was pretty interesting. Did anyone know there was a minor league baseball league affiliated with the American League here in the area back in the 30's? The Arkansas State League started in 1934 with four teams; Fayetteville Educators, Rogers Rustlers, Bentonville Officeholders, and Siloam Springs Buffalos. Two more teams were added in 1935, Huntsville Red Birds and Cassville Tigers. many of the other teams changed mascots/names, Fayetteville became the Bears, Siloam Springs became the Travelers and Rogers became the Cardinals. The league folded and all the teams moved to the Arkansas-Missouri League in 1936 and lasted until 1940. Anyway I just thought that was interesting. I'd never heard that before.

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A cyclone hit Fayetteville in 1881 destroying many of the buildings on the Square and killed one person. I'm not sure if by cyclone they were referring to what we call hurricanes now. I believe some parts of the world refer to them as cyclones. Or maybe they didn't use the word tornado back then.

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A cyclone hit Fayetteville in 1881 destroying many of the buildings on the Square and killed one person. I'm not sure if by cyclone they were referring to what we call hurricanes now. I believe some parts of the world refer to them as cyclones. Or maybe they didn't use the word tornado back then.

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I have a Fayetteville history book that talks about that tornado destroying downtown. It is a impressive book that goes from the begining of the city to the mid eightys.

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The Washington County Courthouse on the corner of College and Dickson is believed to be the 6th building in the county to house it. The first several were actually located in the Square where the Old Post Office is now, before it started it's move towards College Ave.

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Okay so it was a tornado. I didn't figure a hurricane could hold together long enough to make it all the way up here. That sounds like an interesting book, which book is it? I need to look around and see if I can find a book that's by someone named Campbell. I think I've heard it's probably the book that would have the most info that I've been looking for. A while back ago Thia mentioned about someone working on a new book dealing with the history of Fayetteville. Not sure when it will be coming out though. I've been frustrated that none of the book stores seem to have much. Guess I need to stop by the Washington County Historical Society, maybe they'd have more of what I'm looking for.

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I actually found the book. It is called Fayetteville, A Pictoral History. It was written by Kent Brown in 1982. It has a small article about a tornado in April of 1880. You would love this book, it is full of hundreds of pictures from the 1880s through the 1980s.

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I'm interested in American and European folklore; needless to say Ozark folklore is full of interesting things. Arkansas' negative image can mostly be blamed on the fact that back in the 1800's Arkansas was a state full of boasts and brags about an abundance of fish and game and bountiful harvests that would grow overnight. When travelers came to Arkansas and were duly dissapointed to find just the opposite, negative folklore began pouring out the Natural State.

So, imagine that all that boasting and bragging never happened so many years ago... would Arkansas today still only have just over 2 million residents and such a poor economy? Or would Arkansas today have progressed as well as surrounding states in not only population, but also economy?

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I'm interested in American and European folklore; needless to say Ozark folklore is full of interesting things. Arkansas' negative image can mostly be blamed on the fact that back in the 1800's Arkansas was a state full of boasts and brags about an abundance of fish and game and bountiful harvests that would grow overnight. When travelers came to Arkansas and were duly dissapointed to find just the opposite, negative folklore began pouring out the Natural State.

So, imagine that all that boasting and bragging never happened so many years ago... would Arkansas today still only have just over 2 million residents and such a poor economy? Or would Arkansas today have progressed as well as surrounding states in not only population, but also economy?

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I'll try to throw out some info dealing with areas outside of Fayetteville when I can. Although most of what I've learn does focus on it. (If anyone has trivia for other parts of NWA feel free to share) I thought I'd mention a bit about Peter Van Winkle. He started as a wagon maker here in Fayetteville in the 1840's. Over time he began acquiring land. he eventually came to own quite a bit of land in eastern Benton County. He eventually started focusing in the lumber business. He built the state's first steam driven lumber mill in southeast Benton County. Almost all the wood in the victorian houses in the region came from his lumber mill. Some of his lumber even found it's way to other parts of the country as well. His business also made roads so that the lumber could be brought back. A number of the roads we use today were established by his business. During the Civil War his mill was burned. But afterwards he came back and rebuilt. In the 1870's he built a hotel in Fayetteville. It was supposedly the largest frame structure in the state. The third floor was made into one of the city's first opera houses. After he died his heirs began losing the land he once owned. In the 20's Roscoe Hobbs bought some of his land and then in the 40's he bough the Van Winkle estate. In the 70's the state bought much of this land, almost 12,000 acres, which became the Hobbs State Management Area. That land has now become Beaver Lake State Park and Hobbs State Management Area to Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area.

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That does sound like something I'd like. So where did you get it? The local bookstores have been rather disappointing in that area.

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I actually have no clue where it came from. It was at my parents and they don't remember where they got it. I would be surprised if the Public Library did not have a copy.

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True, but that's something I'd just as soon own. I'm sure I'd make good use of it and wouldn't want to keep checking it out every time I wanted to look something up.

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Like I said the book only goes through the early 80s. It has some pictures of the skyline from back then. It has not really changed much until the last year or two. It would be an amazing project to update it with Fayettevilles history and changes through today.

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Time to start throwing some trivia back out. I believe I've mentioned this somewhere on the forum already. Nowadays everyone thinks of Washington when you mention apples. But it used to be NWA. before WWII NWA was the big apple area. I'm not sure what caused it to move after WWII. Although I do think there was some occasional problems with late frosts and such. I believe several varieties of apples actually were started in NWA. But I don't think you tend to see them hardly anymore. The one I have heard the most about is the Arkansas Black Apple, which apparently got it's start in Benton County. The skin is a extremely dark red color, looking almost black. I've wondered if anyone around here still grows them. I wish I could find some in the grocery stores around here.

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It's been a little while since I posted anything here. The Fayetteville National Cemetery was one of the original 14 National Cemeteries authorized by President Lincoln.

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