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Old 02-24-2018, 11:43 AM
 
Location: The Natural State
1,133 posts, read 1,164,977 times
Reputation: 1020

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Fossil View Post
Pike County - O.K., we've seen the pretty stuff, now let's get serious. In his 945 Page book ARKANSAS GHOST TRAIN, J. Randall Houp wrote in great detail about the railroad that was supposed to go from Gurdon, Clark County, to Fort Smith. It didn't make it to Fort Smith but that's another long story covered in the book. The subject of his book is the Gurdon and Fort Smith Railroad and affiliated spurs and businesses. The RR was built in sections starting at Gurdon and going north. It all started in the 1880s but my subject here was in 1905. They were building the section from Antoine, Pike County, north, on the west side of the Antoine river and about five miles north of Antoine they were cutting through the toe of a mountain when there was a rock slide that buried and killed seven men and two mules. They realized that mountain was too dangerous so they went back to Antoine, crossed the river, then went up the east side.


My archeologist buddy and I finally found a way to get to the site of the rock slide, explored, and took these photos. The one on the left is bedrock they cut through, the one in the middle is the "joint" where the bedrock joins the less stable rock, and the last one is the rock slide. There were too many leaves to really see that rock face, but it extends up about 50 feet.


After we found the site we had planned to take Randall to see it because he couldn't get to it when he was researching his book, but circumstances will not let that happen. I really wanted him to see it because he spent many years researching his book and he wrote about the slide but was never able to actually visit it.

In the past several years I have Posted many photos of sections of this RR and it's bridges/trestles.
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Old 04-06-2018, 03:38 PM
 
Location: The Natural State
1,133 posts, read 1,164,977 times
Reputation: 1020
Home - Well ! My archeologist buddy and I had planned a busy trip to Clark County for today but got rained out. Several years ago we were exploring Pike County on a day with thunderstorms, but intermittent. We went in on the south side of the county and planned to go out the north side. About dark we decided to head back home and about five miles from Amity, and the highway, we came upon a creek that was flooded out of it's banks with no way to cross even with a big 4WD pickup. We had no choice, so we back-tracked and had to drive about 20 miles to get to Delight, and the highway. It was a long, late trip home but our wives have learned when we are out exploring, we will be home when we get home .


Today we had two specific objectives, then would, as usual, see what else we could find. One was an old abandoned pioneer cemetery we found and recorded several years ago. We wanted to go back to see what condition it is in. The other was a spring where Union troops camped during the Civil War. Camping near a spring or stream was normal, but this spring was supposed to have very cold water. We wanted to see if the spring is still running, and how cold it really is. We have it's general location, but when we get there we will have to hit the brush and start searching.


Oh well, there'll be other days, maybe.
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Old 04-10-2018, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Deer Creek/Edmond, OKla
654 posts, read 1,646,275 times
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Glad to see you are still a live and kickin'. Hopefully you can make it out to Clark County soon, looking forward to seeing your report on both.
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Old 04-10-2018, 07:40 PM
 
Location: The Natural State
1,133 posts, read 1,164,977 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prerunner1982 View Post
Glad to see you are still a live and kickin'. Hopefully you can make it out to Clark County soon, looking forward to seeing your report on both.
Thanks runner but I'm afraid this Old Fossil is slowin' down, WAY down. There are two things on my bucket list I really wanted to do but will not happen. One was an Indian quarry we found years ago that had rare, green, novaculite rock they used to make their points. I have never seen it anywhere else, and I have seen lots of Indian quarries. That was before GPS so the location method of the time was to do triangulation to mark the spot on a quad. We have been back two times to find it again and do a GPS location but have been unsuccessful. It's on a rugged, steep, mountain near the Winding Stair Trailhead and was tough to get to when I was in much better shape so now it's a no-go. The second was to go back to Graysonia, again, and this time to only look for the site of a known cinnabar retort, and a second, eight bay kiln. The many times we have been in there we always ran out of daylight while looking for them.
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Old 05-12-2018, 12:58 PM
 
Location: The Natural State
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Clark County - Well, Wife did it again! She had to run an errand, forgot to lock the door, I sipped out , joined my archeologist buddy, and we explored the hills and valleys of Clark County, again. We had several objectives on our list so climbed one BIG hill and walked lots of roads. When we got to our last objective we pulled off the road into the woods and just sat there trying to decide if we wanted to take another long walk . We finally admitted we were "used up" and it was time to go home. We saved that objective for another day. It is a big Indian Site that the property owner said was being looted and wanted us to see how much damage has been done, and photo/document the damage.


These photos are of the Ouachita River a few miles up-stream from Arkadelphia. It is now hard to believe that 100 years ago river boats were regularly coming up this river and docking at Arkadelphia.
Attached Thumbnails
Exploring Arkansas-img_1130.jpg   Exploring Arkansas-img_1132.jpg  
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Old 05-18-2018, 11:26 PM
 
1 posts, read 244 times
Reputation: 10
Thank you Old Fossil for the info on the Womble Branch north of Antoine. I am particularly interested because my father was born and grew up in Shawmut north of Antoine and Graysonnia. The MD&G merged with the Womble Branch there and there were still signs of the wye when I was last there many years ago.

Too bad the line was pulled up and not made a trail. That is some pretty country.

What will become of the big trestle at Rock Creek?

WinkShoal
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Old 05-19-2018, 01:47 PM
 
Location: The Natural State
1,133 posts, read 1,164,977 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WinkShoal View Post
Thank you Old Fossil for the info on the Womble Branch north of Antoine. I am particularly interested because my father was born and grew up in Shawmut north of Antoine and Graysonnia. The MD&G merged with the Womble Branch there and there were still signs of the wye when I was last there many years ago.

Too bad the line was pulled up and not made a trail. That is some pretty country.

What will become of the big trestle at Rock Creek?

WinkShoal

I have contacted some of the "right" people about making the old tram into a WONDERFUL trail but the word I get is that the adjoining property owners are saying they now own the old tram that comes through/by their property. That appears to have stopped everything. All the trestles and bridges I have looked at are in great shape except the one across the Antoine River south of Amity where one balk/pier is collapsing. I think I have posted before that the people who re-opened the lumber company in Glenwood was considering rebuilding the RR but when they got the facts of the proposal they went into sticker shock and I haven't heard anything else about it. I did read the other day the Glenwood mill has been sold again and the future continues to look bright for the company. There was no mention of the RR.


Thanks for the note. I'm sending you a DM
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Old 05-21-2018, 11:03 AM
 
Location: The Natural State
1,133 posts, read 1,164,977 times
Reputation: 1020
Clark County - This was once a hardwood forest with several large pine trees but now is a "trashy" clear-cut. Normally, after a clear-cut when they plan to plant a pine plantation, they push all the left over stuff into wind rows and sometimes burn it. But not here for some reason. You can see a couple of oak tree tops in the distance in this photo, and they are all over this 80+ acres. There are tons of seasoned hardwood fire wood left on the ground that if someone had the willingness to obtain the permission, permits, and effort, could make big $$ cutting and hauling this stuff to the "big cities".


When we are exploring and come across a new clear-cut, we drive the log roads and walk the cleared areas and some of the log roads looking for Indian Sites or evidence of an old pioneer house site. We found five Indian Sites here and didn't have time to walk the whole cut.
Attached Thumbnails
Exploring Arkansas-img_1128.jpg  

Last edited by Old Fossil; 05-21-2018 at 11:07 AM.. Reason: Added info
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Old 05-25-2018, 11:05 AM
 
Location: The Natural State
1,133 posts, read 1,164,977 times
Reputation: 1020
Clark County - See Post above dated 5-12. This is a small pioneer cemetery on top of the BIG hill I mentioned. There are 12 graves in that underbrush and 10 of them have "commercial" tombstones but two are marked with plain, un-inscribed, sandstone slabs. Although I have not been able to verify it, oral history states they had slaves (unknown number) and we wonder if there were only two and they were "like family" and were buried in the family cemetery, with the plain markers. Traditionally, slave cemeteries are near, but separate, to the family cemetery.


The house was on this hill and we found pieces of pre-Civil War china and two water wells. We also found the original road that circles around the steep hill at a comfortable grade. I sure wish we had known about it before we struggled up that steep hill
Attached Thumbnails
Exploring Arkansas-img_1116.jpg   Exploring Arkansas-img_1121.jpg  

Last edited by Old Fossil; 05-25-2018 at 11:08 AM.. Reason: correction
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Old 05-25-2018, 09:39 PM
 
573 posts, read 515,538 times
Reputation: 550
Thank you for taking the time to post pictures and commentary. It is always very interesting and informative.

I do have a question about ticks and chiggers in your adventures. I know of several friends with extended and very serious health issues from tick bites. Several years ago, one person even died because he thought he had the flu and delayed getting diagnosed until it was too late. It has keep me out of the woods, except during the winter. And chigger bites, they are like a month long healing process for me. Snakes don’t really bother me, but ticks and chiggers strike fear in me.
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