Arkansas History

Garland County To Digitize Historical Photographs

Jul 11, 2013

The Garland County Historical Society has lined up grant money so it can create digital copies of photographs that tell the story of Hot Springs and the county.

The Oaklawn Foundation is giving $10,000, which is on top of $27,500 pledged in January by Umetco Minerals Corp. to create the digital archive.

A storm last August gave the project greater urgency after a tree crashed into the historical society's building on Quapaw Avenue.

Magnolia Properties Get Historic Designations

Jun 14, 2013

Two structures in Magnolia have been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The Banner-News reports that the president's house at Southern Arkansas University and the Rushton Clinic in Magnolia were named to the list after consideration earlier this year by the state review board of the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program.

A new exhibit focusing on the lives of Arkansas-born entertainers who went on to make a name for themselves in Hollywood will soon open at the Old State House Museum in downtown Little Rock.

Lights! Camera! Arkansas! will review the careers of movie stars and directors who all had their origin in the state. Jo Ellen Mack, the museum’s curator, says recent stars and filmmakers like Mary Steenburgen, Lisa Blount and Jeff Nichols will be featured, as will entertainers from the silent movie era.

Historic Hotel In Downtown Little Rock Upgrading

May 23, 2013

The historic Albert Pike Hotel in downtown Little Rock is about to get a bath.

Owners of the building said Wednesday that a $6 million renovation is planned for the structure that was built in 1929.

Included is a cleaning of the exterior of the building, which will give it a brighter appearance.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that BSR Trust LLC, which owns the hotel, will sustain the building's appearance because of its historic status.

Majestic Hotel In Hot Springs Up For Sale

May 23, 2013

The former Majestic Hotel in Hot Springs is up for sale. The hotel closed in 2006 after serving customers for more than a century and through the bathhouse heyday.

The Sentinel-Record reports that the hotel includes more than five acres at the intersection of Park and Central Avenues. The hotel underwent a number of expansions and renovations.

The original hotel was built in 1882 on the north end of the complex, where spa and bathhouse are now. Other sections were added from the 1920s into the 1960s.

Hope Rising In Helena-West Helena, Arkansas: Part Three

May 20, 2013
Malcolm Glover / KUAR

Communities throughout the Arkansas Delta often battle against a rising tide of economic woes. As factories close and labor-intensive jobs leave small towns, populations dwindle in many rural cities.

For decades, outside investments from banks and charitable organizations helped stimulate marginal growth, but most of the heavy lifting necessary to revitalize communities must be done by the people who live there.

In downtown Helena, a building that was once a post office is now a hub for various programs that provide important services to women and families.

Hope Rising In Helena-West Helena, Arkansas: Part Two

May 13, 2013
Malcolm Glover / KUAR

Helena-West Helena is part of Phillips County in the Arkansas Delta. According to U.S. Census data, the county’s population decreased over 17 percent in the last ten years, which means by some estimates the population is less than half of what it was in the 1950s. However, new community-led efforts in Helena-West Helena seek to make the area’s history and culture a catalyst for investment and growth.

Malcolm Glover / KUAR

Over the next few weeks, colleges and universities across Arkansas will host Commencement ceremonies to celebrate the academic achievements of graduates. This Saturday, one private two-year college in North Little Rock will have its first official graduate in nearly 15 years.

Wilhelm Cedric Hawkins has a long history with Shorter College.

“My grandmother went to school here, my mother went to school here, and also my father so I figure that I could follow the family tradition,” said Hawkins, as he walks through halls of the main building on campus.

Malcolm Glover / KUAR

The City of Helena-West Helena in Phillips County, Arkansas is no stranger to the hardships that have plagued many communities across the country during the economic downturn.

High unemployment, a struggling education system, political upheaval, a crumbling infrastructure, and even unresolved racial inequalities were once the hallmarks of this unified city in the impoverished Arkansas Delta. However, new research findings show some positive demographic trends and community development projects have some residents saying Helen-West Helena is finally making a comeback.

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