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Old 01-06-2018, 09:38 PM
 
183 posts, read 93,709 times
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I was very impressed on what I saw passing through Helena,AR because it is definitely much more spread-out than I expected...Can anyone tell me why it seems that so much of it caught fire in random areas... And every house I've seen for sake there looks like it has severe water damage... How? I know the Mississippi River floods and is nearby but it appears that much if the city sits up sorta high... Does anyone know it's potential as a historic town? The number of burnt places was alarming and I wanted to know WHY it's burnt out.
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Old 01-06-2018, 10:27 PM
 
319 posts, read 501,941 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Patois View Post
I was very impressed on what I saw passing through Helena,AR because it is definitely much more spread-out than I expected...Can anyone tell me why it seems that so much of it caught fire in random areas... And every house I've seen for sake there looks like it has severe water damage... How? I know the Mississippi River floods and is nearby but it appears that much if the city sits up sorta high... Does anyone know it's potential as a historic town? The number of burnt places was alarming and I wanted to know WHY it's burnt out.
I don't know anything about fires there or recent floods, but Helena is a very historic town and they are trying to take advantage of that. There was a lot of civil war activity there. Before the Union took Little Rock, it was the Union army's big stronghold in Arkansas and one of the main points on the Mississippi River. Interesting factoid - The Battles of Gettysburg, Vicksburg, and Helena were all on the same day.

Maybe you've heard of the King Biscuit Blues Festival? Helena is very important in the history of the blues. Everybody played there and a lot of the biggest names in blues lived there at one time or another including Robert Johnson. Look him up if you don't know who that is. The King Biscuit festival is a big deal they still have every fall.

It's another place that has hit hard times. Obviously it was once two separate towns, and 50 years ago each one had more people than what the two of them combined have today.
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Old 01-07-2018, 06:53 AM
 
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Default My 15 Minutes with Helena

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Originally Posted by kdb05f View Post
I don't know anything about fires there or recent floods, but Helena is a very historic town and they are trying to take advantage of that. There was a lot of civil war activity there. Before the Union took Little Rock, it was the Union army's big stronghold in Arkansas and one of the main points on the Mississippi River. Interesting factoid - The Battles of Gettysburg, Vicksburg, and Helena were all on the same day.

Maybe you've heard of the King Biscuit Blues Festival? Helena is very important in the history of the blues. Everybody played there and a lot of the biggest names in blues lived there at one time or another including Robert Johnson. Look him up if you don't know who that is. The King Biscuit festival is a big deal they still have every fall.

It's another place that has hit hard times. Obviously it was once two separate towns, and 50 years ago each one had more people than what the two of them combined have today.
Is there any chance at recovery? It is gorgeous...and a nice size too ! Thanks for the Civil War snippet... I was really excited about a house that is there until I saw it half covered in vines, a column crooked, and all the windows smashed. It's just sad that people are living like this.
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Old 01-07-2018, 06:43 PM
 
Location: The Natural State
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Patois View Post
Is there any chance at recovery? It is gorgeous...and a nice size too ! Thanks for the Civil War snippet... I was really excited about a house that is there until I saw it half covered in vines, a column crooked, and all the windows smashed. It's just sad that people are living like this.

Many of those big, old, houses down near the river were built by steam boat captains.
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Old 01-09-2018, 11:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Old Fossil View Post
Many of those big, old, houses down near the river were built by steam boat captains.
Wow ! What else do you know? It's coincidental, that I was literally talking about Helena-West Helena last night. I was saying "It must be gorgeous in the spring when all those brown kudzus turn green." (It looks like many hills are covered with them. #SouthernClassic
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:40 PM
 
Location: The Natural State
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Patois View Post
Wow ! What else do you know? It's coincidental, that I was literally talking about Helena-West Helena last night. I was saying "It must be gorgeous in the spring when all those brown kudzus turn green." (It looks like many hills are covered with them. #SouthernClassic

Kudzu is not our friend, long story, but when they bloom in the spring the whole area smells like grape.
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Old 01-10-2018, 06:45 AM
 
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Default Helena Revisited

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Originally Posted by Old Fossil View Post
Kudzu is not our friend, long story, but when they bloom in the spring the whole area smells like grape.
Tell me about kudzu...All I know is that it's Japanese...It was introduced and liked the climate, so it just took over. Grape smell, you say? Hmm I went to Port Gibson, Missississippi and saw the house/field across the road from the Windsor Ruins is literally OVERTAKEN with it, but I don't remember noticing any such smell. Because you said this, I think I'm going to want to make a special trip up their this spring...I can already picture it: Stopping to enjoy Cleveland and Yazoo, MS, getting a brief introduction to Memphis, and then heading over to Helena-West Helena to see what it's really all about.
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Old 01-10-2018, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
68,158 posts, read 78,031,999 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Fossil View Post
Many of those big, old, houses down near the river were built by steam boat captains.
great information Fossil. it is nice to hear stories about happenings years ago in some of these almost forgotten towns. I know you have lived in Ar all of most of your life. You have so much knowledge. thanks again.
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Old 01-11-2018, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Arkansas
116 posts, read 313,215 times
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Burned out properties, I've been told are usually arson when people can't afford to pay a mortgage any longer or keep the property up, and not much sells very well down there. As poverty-stricken as the area is, that makes sense.

And/or it could be homeless/squatters living in the abandoned homes who set a fire for whatever reason.

If you go back there again to see what it's all about, avoid Center Street area, I would avoid further back of N 7th, 8th, 9th streets, and I believe the area over across MLK Blvd, across from the hospital area. Not sure which direction it is but, personally, I'd avoid that whole place. It's an ugly, dangerous place and I got out of it as fast as I could. Best view of H/WH is in your rearview mirror. There's really nothing of value there except historical information and things to see.

Last edited by Scarlett O'Hara; 01-11-2018 at 12:14 PM..
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Old 02-17-2018, 06:16 PM
 
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Sadly, many Delta towns are in the same predicament. Lack of good jobs and very little in way of entertainment (unless you happen to be near casinos or Memphis) is no incentive for young people to stay.
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