Lost Corner (Pope County)
Lost Corner is a small community consisting of a few farms in Pope County northeast of Hector (Pope County) and near the Van Buren County line. It is located on a ridge between the south fork of the Little Red River to the east and the Illinois Bayou to the west.
Little information about the early history of the community exists. At one point, the community was apparently called Old Diamond and then Okay. A school named Snowlick, after a nearby mountain, opened around 1897, and a new school building was constructed in the 1930s. However, the school consolidated with Alread (Van Buren County) in the 1940s.
During the drought that hit Arkansas in the 1930s, the Red Cross began trying to raise funds to help the drought victims. An article from the Baltimore Sun described what the Red Cross encountered in Lost Corner: a small, one-room post office on the edge of clearing on the shoulder of a mountain. The people were described as primitive and forgotten, having very little food, typically a slab of pork hanging in the kitchen, although some also had turnips under piles of dirt and small containers of berries by a fireplace to keep from freezing. The people of Lost Corner lived in two-room shacks and always had livestock roaming about. The Red Cross was able to set up a station and start supplying food to the victims.
In a first-hand account printed in an article in the Atkins Chronicle on August 15, 1930, Marshall J. Hagedorn states, “We are truly lost in a Corner, and forsaken by county, state, and governmental officials.” He goes on to explain that, during this time of the Great Depression and drought, the roads were terrible and the population did not have access to clean water. He also explained that there was natural gas underneath the town and said that the town would greatly benefit if the government would come and use that resource.
In the 1930s, a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp was built in this area. The camp was located above a low water bridge on the east fork of the Illinois Bayou. At least three different companies worked at the camp. Company 764 was there for six months starting on October 24, 1933. Company 1758 was there from May 1934 to April 1937. The last company, Company 745, started in May 1937 and had left by the summer of 1941. The first company duties were to construct the new campsite. All the companies worked on seventeen miles of mountain roads within the forest, widening them and putting new gravel down. Some of the men in these camps served as volunteer firefighters. The last two camps mostly dealt with private forestry or work in the Ozark National Forest.
Lost Corner was named Okay from 1904, when the post office of that name was founded, to 1929. The post office was accidently named Okay by the U.S. Postal Service, which had not realized the name was already in used by a community in Howard County. Postmaster George Napier submitted three possible names to the Postal Service, and Lost Corner was chosen. Napier’s house served as the post office before it was moved to the home of Katie Armistead Russell. Napier resigned in 1943, and the post office closed in 1954. In the twenty-first century, all of the mail is delivered from Jerusalem (Conway County). Most Lost Corner residents are either retired or work in the larger surrounding towns.
Since 2010, there have been efforts to protect the ruins of the CCC camp in Lost Corner.
For additional information:
“Conditions of Lost Corner Told by Bert Horn.” Atkins Chronicle, August 7, 1931, p. 10.
Hale, Danny. “Lost Corner CCC Camp.” TAKAHIK River Valley Hikers. http://www.takahik.com/trails/lostcornerccctrailmappics/lostcornerccc.html (accessed September 30, 2020).
“Lost Corner Citizen Tells of Conditions There.” Atkins Chronicle, August 15, 1930, p. 3.
Pfeiffer, Michael A. “Mule Logging at Lost Corner CCC Camp.” Pope County Historical Association Quarterly 43 (March 2009): 4–6.
Tripp, Bob. “Towns and Communities in Pope County—Lost Corner.” Courier Democrat, June 29, 1986.
Trower, Kelly. “Finding ‘Lost Corner.’” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, March 12, 2006.
———. “Road Trips: Despite Its Name, Pope County’s Lost Corner Community Is Not a Forgotten One.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, June 3, 2001, p. 9R.
Arkansas Tech University
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