Arkansas History

The Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission has approved two new historical markers in Benton and Phillips counties.

The two markers announced Wednesday will be placed in Rogers and Helena-West Helena. The first will be placed at Hobbs State Park and will commemorate Peter Van Winkle's Mill, which was destroyed in the war.

The commission also approved a historical marker to commemorate the Lick Creek Skirmish in east Arkansas. That marker will be placed within Delta Heritage Trail State Park in Helena-West Helena.

Robinson Center Music Hall Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov. Mike Beebe, Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola and others used crow bars Tuesday to rip up part of the stage at Little Rock’s historic Robinson Center Music Hall, formally signifying the start of renovations to the venue.

The $68 million project will modernize the facility, which was built in 1939.  The work will improve its acoustics and seating, while enabling it to host any touring Broadway production.

Stodola said it has taken a lot of work to get to this point.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A group of photographers is working to document a long-closed, historic hotel in Pine Bluff, while it's also being studied by architecture students. The hotel was once considered among the finest in Arkansas, but has been abandoned for nearly half a century and after a hard winter, the once grand structure is deteriorating fast.

The two story lobby with marble walls and plaster ornamentation is crumbling. The curved ceiling once featured stained glass, but that’s broken, allowing water to pour in.

rohwer
astate.edu

The National Park Service has awarded nearly a quarter-million dollars in grants to projects in Arkansas that help preserve and interpret sites that were used to confine Japanese Americans during World War II.

The grants announced Thursday are among $2.9 million awarded nationally. In Arkansas, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock received a $220,000 grant for its cemetery conservation project at the Rohwer Relocation Center in Desha County. It held more than 8,000 Japanese Americans during the war.

Majestic Hotel
Save Her Majesty: Restore The Majestic Hotel Facebook Page

The owner of the Majestic Hotel in Hot Springs has been given 60 days to clean up the rubble left over from a fire that destroyed a large part of hotel complex in February.

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality sent a letter Monday to Garrison Hassenflu, who owns the corporation that owns the Majestic property. The letter also says Hassenflu must submit a plan within 10 days detailing a removal plan for the debris at the Majestic site.

Robinson Center Music Hall Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Little Rock’s historic Robinson Center Music Hall will soon be closing its doors to begin two years of renovations to modernize the facility.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock's Center for Arkansas History and Culture has been awarded a grant of nearly $140,000 to curate the papers of former Gov. Jim Guy Tucker.

The funding represents the largest National Historical Publications and Records Commission award in the state. The commission is part of the National Archives and Records Administration.

Clinton Foundation Clinton School of Public Service
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A former railroad station in Little Rock that today houses the Clinton Foundation and the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service is getting a new certification for energy efficiency.

To mark Earth Day, officials gathered Tuesday in front of Sturgis Hall, which was built in 1899, to make the announcement.

A national wildlife refuge in southeastern Arkansas will be renamed after former Gov. and U.S. Sen. Dale Bumpers in a ceremony planned in St. Charles.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will host a renaming ceremony Friday afternoon for the White River National Wildlife Refuge after Bumpers, a Democrat who was Arkansas' governor during the early 1970s before serving four terms in the U.S. Senate.

Bumpers, his wife Betty, and other family members are expected to attend the event in addition to wildlife service director Dan Ashe.

Officials in Hot Springs are marking the start of work by a documentary filmmaker who is to depict the history of spring training baseball in the Spa City.

Documentarian Larry Foley is to discuss the project at a Thursday event. The film is to show the city's role as a spring training site in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Starting in 1886 and into the 1940s, teams that included the Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Highlanders - later the New York Yankees - got ready for the season in Hot Springs.

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